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JAY-Z’s ‘The Black Album’ turns 15

On Nov. 14th, 2003, Jay-Z released his eighth studio album – The Black Album. It was advertised as his last album before retirement, allowing massive hype to build up before the release. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling almost 500,000 in the first week. The album is diverse in instrumentation, and has samples ranging from The Chi-Lites to the film, Gladiator.

Fifteen years later, The Black Album still stays as a key part of Jay-Z’s discography. Notable tracks include “Dirt off Your Shoulder” and “99 Problems.” The theme of retirement hasn’t aged too well seeing as how Jay-Z is still pumping out music in 2018, but at least he has been steadily releasing quality music since then. In fact, out of his top ten highest charting songs on Billboard, seven of them came out after his supposed retirement was to happen.

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