Jay Z Ranks Solo Albums


Let’s End The Speculation.

Jay Z’s celebrating his birthday today and while looking back on his illustrious career, he ranked his solo albums from best to worst. Four classics? Sounds about right.

1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic)
2. The Blueprint (Classic)
3. The Black Album (Classic)
4. Vol. 2 (Classic)
5. American Gangster (4 1/2, cohesive)
6. Magna Carta (Fuckwit, Tom Ford, Oceans, Beach, On the Run, Grail)
7. Vol. 1 (Sunshine kills this album…fuck… Streets, Where I’m from, You Must Love Me…)
8. BP3 (Sorry critics, it’s good. Empire (Gave Frank a run for his money))
9. Dynasty (Intro alone…)
10. Vol. 3 (Pimp C verse alone… oh, So Ghetto)
11. BP2 (Too many songs. Fucking Guru and Hip Hop, ha)
12. Kingdom Come (First game back, don’t shoot me)


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    American Gangster was a FUCKING CLASSIC. BETTER THAN VOL 2

    • Brian B.Dot™ Miller


      • JD

        It’s worth noting that as opposed to vol2, referring to BP, BA, and RD as classics gets met with little-to-no resistance whatsoever. That says something in and of itself.

    • Great album but definitely NOT better than Vol. 2. Nope.

    • eastpointvet

      i agree it flipflops with me as well i think they both classics

    • Ben


    • JD

      I’m back and forth on this but vol 2 isn’t a classic. It may have catapulted jay to fame and redefined Hov as we now know him…but as an album that has to be compared to his other albums and other albums in the rap game, I don’t think it achieves that. BP, RD, and BA exemplify greatness in rap as well as bring as much to his career as they do the game itself.

      Vol2 is a a really good album with plenty of good hits, classic verses, and it meant a lot for Hov…But a classic is more than that.

    • sway-z

      American Gangster is definitely almost right there. I don’t understand how niggas sleep on that. MCHG is gonna be the same way, take off 3 songs (Versus & Beach is Better which aren’t even really songs, & La Familia) and it’s right there too.

    • Ason Frio

      yo i’m young so I didn’t really live through these albums being a fan but jays my all time favorite and i dont understand why people fucks with vol 2 and not vol 1.. vol. 1 way better imo. shit has a million and one, STREETS, where im from, you mus love, who you wit II, friend or foe 98, lucky me… like holy shit

      • REALLY23

        He dropped a wack video for Sunshine that almost buried him… He followed behind Puffy and them and it didn’t work out, but he redeemed himself with the Streets Iz Watching musical dvd and that set up Vol 2 and the rest is history (sorry for the long explanation)…

    • REALLY23

      hell no

    • Bibby

      I Agree American Gangster was a Classic

  • Only quarrel I have is Dynasty ABOVE BP3.. You BUGGIN on that one Hov (Intro, Script, Cant Be Life, Soon You’ll, Where Have You Been, 1-900) Regardless all these are #TIMELESS

  • Ed

    Kingdom Come is better and more with today’s time than American Gangster.

    • You’re insane.

    • Ant

      I agree that album was ahead of shit…if any artist today were to drop an album with that content people would call it classic

  • hiphop_art

    I would honestly put the mtv unplugged album 4th. The Roots went crazy on that takeover by incorporating ny state of mind.

    • Dan Karlin

      It was “Oochie Wally” they incorporated, but yeah, I get what you’re saying.

      I’m also surprised Jaguar Wright didn’t become a bigger name because of that album, but that’s another story.

      • hiphop_art

        also ny state of mind. go to 3:40

  • hiphop_art

    Vol. 2 isnt classic just meh mixed with few hits.

  • J grizzy

    Wow he needs to put vol.3 top 5 the bars was there

    • hiphop_art

      Go listen to things that u do and reconsider.

  • CK

    the dynasty should be a Vol 2’s spot.

  • Sina Mailer Daemon Djavadkhani

    That’s awesome! I agree pretty much! Check out what I did yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHTygG4ERgo

  • Tysonz

    AYO I dont understand how a raw ass album like the Dynasty gets overlooked because of 3 wack songs????
    Daddy Where have you been is the deepest Jay song of all time.
    Forget Song Cry and You must love me, I know real dudes who cant listen to that song because they start shedding tears.
    I gotta feeling Jay frontin on the Dynasty because he got Beans on all the good songs so he tryna send a message that the album was wack.
    And also WTF American Gangster is not top 5 . That record was weak.

    • Sean

      I agree he frontin on dynasty… That’s better than V.2 and V.3 was wayyy better than american gangster

  • realish

    I dunno but bp2 bp3 reason doubt n black album was his.best music lyrically beats n all. Ppl only say bp1 was classic cuz of takeover bsides tht the album was wak. Vol 2 was.mad commercial too. Qas fire but not classic material

  • ExecProlificBeats.com

    Guess which one I picked…

  • areal1

    Jay has three classic albums vol 2 Isnt a classic album is a great album and its nostalgic i think it was a great soundtrack during that era but not classic.

    • Ben

      All due respect….that’s crazy, vol 2 is hands down classic. Album is full of crazy hits and street anthems.

    • Justin TimberBAKED

      Thank you! I never knew how to word it, but that’s exactly what it is.. A soundtrack. That album to me is jays most over hype album. Besides for nigga what, if I should die & it was all good just a week ago. That album got mad fillers!!! Oh & Coming of age feat Bleek is that shit 2

  • Da Business

    Vol 2 was dope, but it’s overrated. Vol 1 was the better joint. And for the record, Dynasty is so underrated it’s a shame.

    Props to Hov tho. Not too many emcees can say that they have @ lease 4 classics under their belt.

  • Ben

    Vol 2 before black album and bp3 second to last

  • truth

    The production on kingdom come stays slept on… just blaze/kanye/dre did work. Vol 2 stays overrated, too much filler to play start to finish.

    Reasonable Doubt
    Black Album
    American Gangster
    Kingdom Come
    Blueprint 2

    Blueprint 3
    Vol 2
    Magna Carta
    Vol 3
    Vol 1

    • LP1087

      Not just that bout Kingdom Come. It showed his growth in his lyrics, which was always my knock on Jay

  • Quese

    I loved kindomcome tho!

    • Elproblemo Djblast

      it was cool but not messing with the rest

    • Bruh_man23

      i gave it some burn, it just doesn’t compare to the rest

  • gametimeroy

    Resonble doubt
    Black album
    Kingdom come
    American gangster

    American gangster on down he lost me

    • Bruh_man23

      i respect your opinion but i feel like you’re really sleeping on american gangster. easily his most underrated album i was glad he put it as high as he did.

      • gametimeroy

        jay is jay all of his albums are atleast good and american gangster is not soo bad to me, i love the theme. when he said he was creating american gangster i instantly thought reasonble doubt pt 2 which gave me high expectations iguess…lyrics were good the beats were decent. check out american gangster mixed with the marvin gaye its called “brooklyn soul” i thought that sounded better than the original

  • Ray

    that looks about right

  • ImJustSaying

    I feel like if you take the best songs from the gift and curse it makes his best album by far my ideal track list as far as commercially accepted and classic.

    1.Blueprint 2 (As intro)

    2. Hovi Baby

    3. The Watcher 2

    4. 03 Bonnie and Clyde

    5. Ballad for Fallen Soldier

    6. Meet The Parents

    7. Bitches and Sisters (Interlude)

    8. A Dream

    9. Some How, Some Way

    11. Excuse Me Miss

    12. Show You How (Interlude)

    13. Some People Hate (Favorite Song of His)

    14. I Did It My Way


    U Don’t Know Remix, Poppin Tags, Diamond is Forever

  • flo jo

    Dynasty has to be way higher than 9. Shit would be number 4 for me. I know this is blasphemy but I’m not even that big on reasonable doubt. Its cool but its not a classic in the ranks of ready to die or illmatic. Maybe that’s just me

    • flo jo

      ………..and no mention of “squeeze first”?!?!

  • Dan Karlin

    Agreed with the people who said Dynasty was underrated. He probably didn’t acknowledge “This Can’t Be Life” simply because that would be some offhand way of giving Beans credit. “Soon You’ll Understand” is one of my favorite tracks of his, though. It proved Jay was capable of going beyond the constant bragging and write a narrative of some real substance when he felt like it. You don’t see that enough from him in his catalogue.

    • sway-z

      There’s not a Hov album to date without substance

  • theflyeststar

    vol 1
    vol 2
    black album
    vol 3
    american gangsta

  • hilly


  • Tushawn Bundy Stewart

    I actually think kingdom come is very underrated ! Even by Jay himself lol but American Gangster is a classic to me, That’s like what I would imagine a Reasonable Doubt 2 would sound like

  • cheeeese

    people definitely sleep on blueprint 2 (besides it having too many songs) and also the Dynasty album, and I also enjoyed kingdom come, though maybe not “classic” still a great album to come back from retirement with. jay was actually speaking on the real shit throughout that whole album, (production was kinda wack tho)…anyways love all of jay z albums -minus magna carta it was ok. lol

  • PolarBearsToenails

    Aside from American Gangster everything after phony retirement marketing ploy….I mean, Black Album….was wack.

    Fact that garbage MCHG is above In My Lifetime 1 is all you need to know. This man is not seeing himself clearly

    • gametimeroy

      black album is the game 6 game winning shot album before he was going to retire, it was so clutch. you might wanna re listen to that

  • Word

    Isn’t a bit of a shame that in 12 albums, he ranks his first album as best? In over a decade, you STILL haven’t topped your first work? Classics are classic but I think that’s sorta weird. I think BP1 gives it a run. Production alone was better, obviously.

    • sway-z

      No, RD was flawless. There’s not one track I don’t want to hear anytime I put it on, front to back. Even Illmatic has shit I skip from time to time (Halftime being one of them)

  • p0is0nedkoola on Twitter

    Vol 1 is slept on.
    Vol 2 is a mixtape. Feature on nearly every fucking song
    Vol 3 is just a couple of “radio” songs surrounded by mediocre songs

    Kingdom Come > Blueprint 2 & 3. Both were an insult to Blueprint 1

    • Justin TimberBAKED

      You’re crazy!!!! Bp2 is damn near a classic. That is hands down jays most slept on album.

  • Neal

    So so Dynasty is to low and Bp3 is to high


  • sway-z

    Shit, ain’t enough Sunshine songs to drop Vol 1 like that. Vol 1 is almost right there with RD. Streets is watching, Imaginary Player, Where I’m from, Rap game/Crack Game, You must love me, Real Niggas, A Million, man listen lol.

    I also don’t know about the Black Album, on certain days, that shit kills the Blueprint. Lyrically and production-wise, but it’s close. Vol 2 is like the perfect commercial album too, so quit hating on that, go back and listen to it again, it’s definitely a classic.

  • LP1087

    No way Vol. 1 is better than Vol. 3. Vol.3 could easily be a classic. YOU SEE THIS WAYNE. GROUNDWORK LIL NIGGA. His Carter III is even overhyped

    • Sincity

      actually Carter III is Waynes best album not lyrically but musically, production, etc.,

      • LP1087

        muuuuuurp ( my error sound ) still weak and had like 8 of the same records on it

        • Sincity

          dude that was lil waynes best album hands down, you buggin

          • Bruh_man23

            album: Carter 2, mixtape:Dedication 2. Nothing good after no ceilings.

  • PeanutHeadShawty

    he put BP2 so low because em killed him on it lol

    • Justin TimberBAKED

      Dumb ass that was on the first BP!!!! & em didn’t even kill him. Stop being a follower & saying what you heard other ppl say

    • Bruh_man23

      yeesh man at least know what you’re talking about

  • Ready

    American Gangster should be pushed up…

  • Ian Grantham

    niggas sleepin on that. mchg..kc is his worst…still. sold 2 mill

  • Ian Grantham

    niggas is sleepn on mchg…definently one of his top 5 in his catalogue….

  • Billow Baggins

    To this day Jay-z is the only artist that I have brought every single studio album from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxHh0DJ1RnI

  • Oz

    I actually like kingdom come,

  • Jules

    Why people shitting on Vol. 3 tho? Hova Song+So Ghetto+Do It Again+Dope Man+Its Hot+Snoopy Track+Big Pimpin+Come And Get Me? To me this album is where Hov was at his zenith spitting. And on La Familia offcourse.

    • Dashing28

      Things that you Do, S. Carter,Pop 4 Roc were wack. Do It Again wasn’t great.

      Watch Me, There’s been a murder, NYMP were decent but pretty forgettable.

  • Santigo

    I’d switch Vol 1 & Vol 2, Vol 2 is nowhere near a classic, Dynasty is better than BP3 and the biggest blip is MCHG, sorry Hov that album is pure basura! The only album Jay worse than MCHG is KC. Jay to me has 5 bad/poor albums…KC, MCHG, BP3, BP2 & Vol. 3. The top 3 I agree with hands down.

  • Dev

    It’s no way in hell that Kingdom Come should be last of all 12. That album was HIGHLY underrated in my opinion. I’ll take BP1 over Reasonable Doubt as well

  • That song with Puffy on Vol. 1 kills that album too…. But Imaginary Player was super dope….

    • Dashing28

      That and Sunshine. Otherwise, the album would have been up there with RD.

  • vegetable lasagna

    black album over blueprint. American gangster and Magna Carter over Vol.2

  • Dashing28

    1. The Blueprint (Classic, even the bonus cuts are unbelievable, a game changer in a way that RD simply wasn’t)
    2. Reasonable Doubt (Classic, didn’t hit me like BP because there were other albums out at the time that were better [ATLiens, The Score, Hell on Earth, Ironman]”didn’t really appreciate it til the second one came out” )
    3. The Black Album (Classic, best combo of Jay-z’s best producers, Timbo, Neptunes, Just Blaze, Kanye, all brought their A Game and Jay rapped his ass off)
    4. Vol. 1 (damn near classic, take off 2 songs, the album that made people really take notice)
    5. Vol 2 Hard Knock Life (hits, hits, hits, the one that made him a star, but doesn’t hold up as well in 2013)
    6. Dynasty (best blend of the State Property(1900 Hustler) influenced era of Jay, party hits “Give it to Me” and personal records “This Can’t be Life” “Soon You’ll Understand)
    7. American Gangster (so underrated, take off “Hello Brooklyn” and “I Know” and you’ve got a classic, but it didn’t have that many hits)
    8. Magna Carta (consistent album, didn’t really have any bad songs, but very few classic records)

    9. BP3 – (Empire State of Mind, DOA, Run This Town, but otherwise an uneven album)
    10. Vol. 3 (So Ghetto, Big Pimpin, and then a bunch of filler records)
    11. BP2 (too bloated, too many horrible songs, 2 Many Hoes, )
    12. Kingdom Come (tried, but it didnt work. The song with Usher is arguably the worst Jay-z song ever, I’ve yet to get past the 2nd verse, the Ye record is wack, the Bey record is wack)

    • Thecool

      I agree with you on your reasons except I feel like “I Known” was a pretty good song for the album and really flipped the album for its second half.

  • John Jay

    I like the 4 on top of the list and songs on the rest of them…but hey, a huge body of work when I look at the pic…

  • stefmazy
  • Bobbito Jones

    Im sorry but i would move magna Carta down to 12 and would add the Unplugged ablum to top 5

  • jhdiplomaticpower
  • Alex


  • YoungN’
  • johnny boy

    im sorry but magna carta was butt weak.. just recycled content from his good shit, keeps talking the same shit over and over. face it, jay is getting old

    • johnny boy

      also black album > blueprint. reasonable doubt #1 good pick