Saturday, June 25, 2011

Can’t Knock the Hustle: ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Turns 15

Hip-Hop stars don’t always make a big splash right out the gate.  Sometimes it’s a slow burn until the big bang of success.  Jay-Z had been toiling in the underground for quite a few years by the mid-1990’s, stacking his chips while hustling up and down the eastern seaboard.  He’d had a few noteworthy appearances on collaborations and posse cuts.  Everyone remembered him from the ‘Hawaiian Sophie’ video, sporting a high top fade and truck jewelry.  Some even remembered his (then) more recent appearances with Original Flavor.  Then there were the two singles released on Payday records.  All of that had been a lead up to what would be the first chapter in a legendary discography: Reasonable Doubt.