The Original Tracklisting For Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Revealed
Pictured below is the original tracklisting for Jay-Z’s debut 1996 LP, Reasonable Doubt. 2DopeBoyz got a hold of it through Adrien Vargas, the album’s original art director and designer.
Imagine Reasonable Doubt starting with “Dead Presidents” (what looks like the original, as the “remix” is billed as a bonus track on the bottom) instead of “Can’t Knock The Hustle.” It also looks like Mary wasn’t originally slated to appear on “Can’t Knock The Hustle,” perhaps because she appeared as a favor to Dame. Bleek was originally featured on “Can I Live,” Jaz-O and Sauce Money are absent from “Bring It On” (maybe because AZ and Nas were slated to appear on the original), and there seem to be three tracks that have never been released – “Hot,” “The Hurt,” and “Tell Me.” Also notice how “Brooklyn’s Finest” is buried on the second half of the album, an odd choice for a guest feature with the biggest rapper in New York at the time.
While it’s fun to get a glimpse into the early process of how an album is made, and rap nerds like ourselves may make a playlist with the original tracklist to hear how it sounds, it looks like the tweaked, final tracklisting has a better sequencing to it. — Max Weinstein