Jay Z’s The Black Album celebrated its tenth anniversary of its inital release today (November 14). The album was supposed to cement the “best rapper alive’s” legacy as he bowed out into the sunset. Obviously that didn’t happen yet it still made its mark on the rap world as we know it.
The sharp and witty lyricism found on the LP was Jay’s and Jay’s alone, for it featured nary a rapping guest. It was the producers whose work shone through on the project.
Justin “Just Blaze” Smith and Patrick “9th Wonder” Douthit had some of the finest contributions from behind the boards. Just Blaze had earned his stripes from beats from several of Jigga’s albums prior to The Black Album and he landed the most placements with three.
Scored by Blaze, “Interlude” was the only record that was purely instrumental. The producer recalled his tactical approach behind its creation in a recent sit-down with REVOLT stating, “I wanted it to be something you just kind of zoned out to.”
9th Wonder and his rap group, Little Brother had been keeping the underground warm and bubbly when he caught the attention of Jay Z’s engineer, Young Guru. In his segment with REVOLT, 9th recalls Cedric the Entertainer coming in the studio to record his comedic relief portion of the track. “He talked for like 15-20 minutes,” 9th remembers, unknowing that it was the beginning of something special in his career.
What’s your favorite beat from The Black Album? Watch Just Blaze’s recollection below and hit the jump to see what 9th Wonder had to say.