In Hip Hop History Today: Jay-Z released The Black Album November 14, 2003
The Black Album is the eighth studio album by rapper Jay Z, released on November 14, 2003, by Roc-A-Fella Records. It was advertised as his final album before retiring, which is as a recurring theme throughout the songs although Jay Z resumed his recording career in 2006. For the album, Jay Z wanted to enlist a different producer for each song, working with Kanye West, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Rick Rubin, and 9th Wonder, among others. When The Black Album was released, it received widespread acclaim from critics. In its first week, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 463,000 copies in the United States. It became Jay Z’s top selling record of the 2000s decade and by July 2013 it had sold 3,516,000 copies in the US. The Black Album was promoted with a retirement tour by Jay Z and three singles that also achieved Billboard chart success, including the top-ten hits “Change Clothes” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”. Listen to The Black Album above.