Ranking the top 5 MCs of all time will always be a pastime of diehard rap fans, and ranking the discography of their favorite MCs is just as perennial a debate. On his 44th birthday, Jay Z took those rap nerds by surprise when he decided to rank his own discography from #1 to #12. So, does the hip-hop community agree with his take?
Jay put his 1996 independent debut, Reasonable Doubt, at the top of the list, followed by 2001’s The Blueprint and 2004’s The Black Album rounding out #3. His most recent LP, Magna Carta … Holy Grail, landed at #6, while 2006’s Kingdom Come — to the relief of many fans landed — at #12.
Naturally, there were plenty of reactions across social media. Jay Z’s longtime engineer, Young Guru, shared his own rankings on Instagram, where he listed his favorite albums in order with brief explanations next to each project. Just like Hov, he ranked Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, and The Black Album at the top of the list, describing them as “classic,” with Kingdom Come at #12 as well. Magna Carta … Holy Grail landed all the way at #10, with his favorite tracks being “Oceans” and “Heaven.”
Complex magazine editor in chief Noah Callahan-Bever had only one slight disagreement with Hov, tweeting, “I pretty much agree with Hov, but I’d put Vol.1 and Dynasty over MCH. I really like Vol.3, I think Jay is a bit harsh on that one.”
Meanwhile RapRadar content director Brian “B. Dot” Miller, disagreed a bit with the top spot, telling one Twitter follower, “I’ve had this convo with him b4. I think it’s fair. HKLV. 2 to me is his best,” referring to Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life.