Dozens of DJs and producers have paid tribute to Jay-Z with remixes of tracks from his latest LP, The Black Album. But now some hip-hop and R&B artists are feting Brooklyn’s finest MC by more traditional means.
Artists in and around Jay’s Roc-A-Fella Records camp are coming together for Beyond Reasonable Doubt, a tribute album to Jay-Z. The LP will be a double-disc set divided into separate hip-hop and R&B sides — as is fitting for an artist who’s scored several hits by merging the two genres. The album is slated for a late May release, according to a Roc-A-Fella spokesperson.
The songs being covered will span all eight years of Jay-Z’s career, from his highly regarded 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, to his “final” effort, last year’s The Black Album. While the track list is still being finalized, the first two singles from the tribute will be rapper Beanie Sigel doing “Where I’m From” (off of In My Lifetime, Vol.1) and singer Nicole Wray’s version of “Regrets” (from Reasonable Doubt).
Other songs on the hip-hop side include next-generation Roc rappers the Young Gunz doing “Face Off,” Memphis Bleek covering “Can I Live,” and Kanye West, who built his reputation by producing tracks for Jay-Z, turning in a rendition of “A Million and One Questions.” On the R&B side, the singer Rell will do his rendition of “Some How, Some Way.” Additional tunes expected to be covered on the R&B side include “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and “This Can’t Be Life.”