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The Best Jay-Z Albums Of All Time

Updated December 6, 2019 3.5k votes 749 voters 10.0k views13 items

List RulesVote up your favorite studio albums.

Jay Z is widely known as one of the greatest rappers of all time, and with good reason. The man with many nicknames also has just as many hit songs. All of these songs were on Jay Z's best albums, which this list tries to figure out what can truly be named his best albums. People think very highly of his debut, Reasonable Doubt, which is widely considered one of the best rap albums. His other work isn't too shabby either. While people generally think that it drops off after a certain point, it's up to you to determine if that's true or not.

This is our list of the best Jay Z albums, including pictures of the album covers when available. This Jay Z discography is ranked from best to worst, so the top Jay Z albums can be found at the top of the list. To make it easy for you, we haven't included Jay Z singles, EPs, or compilations, so everything you see here should only be studio albums. If you think the greatest Jay Z album isn't high enough on the list, then be sure to vote for it so it receives the credit it deserves. Make sure you don't just vote for critically acclaimed albums; if you have a favorite Jay Z album, then vote it up, even if it's not necessarily the most popular.

  • Reasonable Doubt
    Photo: Roc-A-Fella, Priority

    1. Can't Knock the Hustle (feat. Mary J. Blige, Pain In Da A**)
    2. Politics as Usual
    3. Brooklyn's Finest (feat. The Notorious B.I.G)
    4. Dead Presidents II
    5. Feelin' It ft. Mecca
    6. D'Evils
    7. 22 Two's
    8. Can I Live
    9. Ain't No N***a ft. Foxy Brown
    10. Friend or Foe
    11. Coming of Age ft. Memphis Bleek
    12. Cashmere Thoughts
    13. Bring It On (feat. Jaz-O, Sauce Money)
    14. Regrets
    15. Can't Knock the Hustle (Fool's Paradise Remix) (feat. Meli'sa Morgan)
    16. Can I Live II ft. Memphis Bleek

    Pitchfork score: 9.4/10

    • Release Date: 1996
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    #453 of 863 The Best Albums of the 1990s#175 of 257 The Best Debut Albums of All Time, Ranked#42 of 524 The Best Hip Hop Albums of All Time

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  • The Blueprint
    Photo: Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella

    1. The Ruler's Back
    2. Takeover
    3. Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
    4. Girls, Girls, Girls
    5. Jigga That N***a
    6. U Don't Know
    7. Hola' Hovito
    8. Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)
    9. Never Change
    10. Song Cry
    11. All I Need
    12. Renegade (feat. Eminem)
    13. Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)

    Pitchfork score: 8.7/10

    • Release Date: 2001
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  • The Black Album
    Photo: Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella

    1. Interlude
    2. December 4th
    3. What More Can I say
    4. Encore
    5. Change Clothes (feat. Pharrell Williams)
    6. Dirt Off Your Shoulder
    7. Threat
    8. Moment of Clarity
    9. 99 Problems
    10. Public Service Announcement
    11. Justify My Thug
    12. Lucifer
    13. Allure
    14. My 1st Song

    Pitchfork score: 8/10

    • Release Date: 2003
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  • Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life
    Photo: Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella

    1. Intro - Hand It Down (feat. Memphis Bleek)
    2. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
    3. If I Should Die (feat. Da Ranjahz)
    4. Ride or Die
    5. N***a What, N***a Who (Originator 99) (feat. Jaz-O)
    6. Money, Cash, Hoes (feat. DMX)
    7. A Week Ago (feat. Too Short)
    8. Coming of Age (Da Sequel) (feat. Memphis Bleek)
    9. Can I Get A... (feat. Ja Rule, Amil)
    10. Paper Chase (feat. Foxy Brown)
    11. Reservoir Dogs (feat. Beanie Sigel, The Lox, Sauce Money)
    12. It's Like That (feat. Kid Capri)
    13. It's Alright (feat. Memphis Bleek)
    14. Money Ain't a Thang (feat. Jermaine Dupri)

    Pitchfork score: N/A

    • Release Date: 1998
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