In Hip Hop History Today “Jay Z released Reasonable Doubt” June 25, 1996

Reasonable Doubt is the debut studio album by Jay-Z, released on June 25, 1996, by Roc-A-Fella and Priority Records. It features production by DJ Premier, Ski, Knobody and Clark Kent, and guest appearances from Memphis Bleek, Mary J. Blige, and The Notorious B.I.G., among others. Reasonable Doubt features Mafioso rap themes and gritty lyrics about the “hustler” lifestyle and material obsessions. The album peaked at number 23 on the US Billboard 200, on which it charted for 18 weeks. It was promoted with four singles, including the Hot 100-charting “Ain’t No Nigga” and “Can’t Knock the Hustle”. Reasonable Doubt has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold 1.5 million copies in the United States. Well received by critics upon its release, the album has since been heralded by music writers as Jay-Z’s “crowning achievement”, “a seminal work” and an “undisputed classic”. It appears on numerous best album lists by music publications, including The Source, Blender and Rolling Stone, which ranked it number 248 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Listen to Reasonable Doubt above.

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