The Hits Collection Volume One
Roc-A-Fella/Island Def Jam
Nearly 15 years into his career, Jay-Z has decided it’s time to look back, releasing this hits collection right on the heels of his memoir, Decoded. But where Decoded attempts to dig deep, this album barely scratches the surface of Hova’s output ”“ partly because most of his great songs aren’t hits. But Jay is the most mercurial of the rap titans, and each track here offers fresh rhyme schemes and different personae: from bootstrapping hustler (”˜Hard Knock Life [Ghetto Anthem]’) to “the new Sinatra” (”˜Empire State of Mind’). What’s been consistent through all these years is the virtuosic skill and the unflappable attitude.
Key Tracks: ”˜Empire State of Mind,’ ”˜D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)’