10 Years Later: Analyzing Every Song On Jay Z’s ‘Black Album’

Jay Z’s landmark project, The Black Album, celebrates its 10th anniversary today (Nov. 14). Released under the impression that Hov was calling it quits as an MC, the masterful LP could’ve been the perfect bookend to an exemplary hip-hop career. Yet listening to Jay’s pseudo swan song a decade later shows some vast differences—and a few similarities—between 33- and 43-year-old Shawn Carter (the latter establishing #newrules with his Magna Carta … Holy Grail LP this summer). As The Black Album hits double digits, VIBE’s Bonsu Thompson looks back at every song on the project.

Click through the photos to begin.