Jay-Z is the most successful emcee in history. With 14 number one albums on the Billboard chart (11 in a row as a solo artist), 21 Grammys, over 100 million records sold, and countless other side deals, he has repeatedly gone beyond the normal bounds of what a rapper could do.
Welcome back to the latest – and final – edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time.
This is the 25th entry of this series and while that is an arbitrary number, it’s a nice one with which to end. In fact, the truth is that I’ve explored most of the albums that I’ve wanted to within this space. To continue going forward every week would lead to me doing it out of a sense of obligation rather than interest. When that happens, the writing suffers.