Jay-Z is an international hip-hop star, businessman and all-round icon. Married to Beyoncé and worth many millions of dollars it is fair to say that Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter has made it. However, rewind twenty years back to 1996, and Jay was still looking to make his mark with the release of his debut album, ‘Reasonable Doubt.’
This was at a time when hip-hop was quite different from how it is now – not least because Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were still alive (and running things). Could Jay Z have risen to his position if these two icons had not been murdered?
One of today’s rapper’s, Future, doubts it.
Speaking in a barber-shop back-and-forth with Steve Stoute, Lebron James, James Harden, and Ebro of Hot 97, Future claimed the ‘Reasonable Doubt’ only became “hot” after Biggie and ‘Pac passed:
Future went on to say that Jay “wasn’t great” at the time and that Big, Tupac, and Ice Cube were the top rappers at that time. He went on, noting how Nas’ classic debut, ‘Illmatic,’ was deemed a classic right away – unlike Jay’s ‘Reasonable Doubt.’
What do you think? Is Future right? Would Jay have found his rise more difficult had Big and Tupac lived? Would Reasonable Doubt have ever gained it’s status as a hip-hop classic?
Either way, it’s fair to say that the hip-hop world would have been a very different place without the tragic deaths of Big and ‘Pac…
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