Happy 20th Anniversary to Jay-Z and his album “Vol 3… Life and Times of S. Carter.” The fourth album from Jay-Z, it was considered the return of the street sound that originated from his first album “Reasonable Doubt.” The album sold 462,000 copies the first week and went on to go triple platinum, selling over three million units. The album would have production from Timbaland, Rockwilder, Swizz Beatz, Irv Gotti, DJ Clue, DJ Premier, and K-Rob. While debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, the first week sales were thirty-percent more than the first-week sales of Jay-Z’s previous album, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life
“Jay-Z has become a better architect of songs” while hailing Vol. 3… as “his strongest album to date,”
Rolling Stone critic Kris Ex
“Vol 3…Life and Times of S. Carter” produced three singles “Do it Again,” “Big Pimping,” which was the most successful single from this album, as it reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Things That U Do.” Jay-Z would also release the song “Anything.”, a song that would appear on Beanie Siegle’s album “The Truth” and also a bonus track on Vol 3.
Jay-Z first began his musical career in the early 90s by featuring on songs with one time friend Jaz-O and later finding his way on Big Daddy Kane’s song “Show and Prove”. Jay-Z would release his first single and with no major label record deal, Jay-Z sold his album out of his car. Jay-Z, Dame Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, created Roc-A-Fella Records as an independent label in 1995. After striking a distribution deal with Priority they released his debut studio album Reasonable Doubt in 1996.
The legacy of the Roc had just been born. Besides Jay-Z, Roc-A-Fella records had some of the hottest artists of the era. Roc-A-Fella began releasing hit records after hit records all the while Jay-Z was becoming the greatest rapper in the game. Jay-Z is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with over 100 million records sold worldwide. He has won 22 Grammy Awards, the most by any rapper, and holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, with 14. Jay-Z has gone on to release twelve additional albums and he has also released the full-length collaborative albums with Kanye West, Beyoncé, Linkin Park, and R-Kelly.
Outside of his musical career, Jay-Z has also attained significant success for his career as a businessman. Jay-Z founded the clothing retailer Rocawear, he founded the luxury sports bar chain 40/40 Club. Both businesses have grown to become multi-million dollar corporations. Jay-Z used the money to fund the start-up for the entertainment company Roc Nation, which was founded in 2008. Jay-Z also acquired the tech company Aspiro and took charge of their media streaming service Tidal, which has since become the world’s third-largest online streaming company.
In 2017, he became the first rapper to be honored into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2018, received the commemorative “Salute to Industry Icons” award at the 60th Grammy Awards. In June 2019, Jay-Z officially became the first hip hop billionaire, making him the 3rd wealthiest African-American and the wealthiest American musician.
“Vol 3…The Life and Times of S. Carter” would be the album that Jay-Z would use to recapture the streets. His previous two albums Jay-Z went for a more commercial sound and attained success. But this album also showed where Jay-Z was headed, he was going for the crown. He effortlessly flowed over every beat while painting vivid pictures with his word.
Salute Jay-Z on the 20th Anniversary of your album Vol 3…The Life and Times of S. Carter.