Jay-Z - Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jason Karsh   
Monday, 28 September 1998

Vol. 2 . . . Hard Knock Life,
Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella Records
| Performance 8.5 | Sound 7.5 |

For a little over a year now there's been the debate going around about exactly who the reigning lyrical king of rap really is. And while many people still cast their vote for the late Biggie Smalls, there are a growing number of people who are coming around to the notion that Biggie's buddy Jay-Z may just be the heir to the throne. In fact, it is probably safe to say that right now, Jay-Z really is the King of New York. His rhymes seeming to come as if by will from beneath those city streets.

It's also remarkable that Jay-Z has been able to drop a new album not even a year after his sophomore effort hit the shelves. A fact made even more amazing when you hear how good it is. Songs such as "Money, Cash, Hoes" (featuring DMX) and "Hard Knock Life" in which he and producer Mark The 45 King actually use a sample from the Broadway musical 'Annie' drop your jaw to the floor. Actually, there is little to say for this album other than the obvious--if you are a fan of Jay-Z, or a fan of East Coast rap, you need to own this album.

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