Hip-hop legend and music mogul Jay-Z celebrated his 50th birthday today with the release of his entire discography on Spotify.
The catalogue left the streaming giant in April of 2017, ahead of the release of 4:44, which was available exclusively on his streaming service Tidal, along with the rest of his discography.
The drop includes his most recent critically-acclaimed album 4:44, as well as Watch the Throne, The Black Album, American Gangster all of the Blueprint albums, his MTV Unplugged album and the rest of his 13 studio albums.
Jay’s catalogue has always been intermittently available on various services. All of his Blueprint albums were taken off Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes for years and could only be accessible on Tidal.
Jay’s return to Spotify just shows how prolific the rapper has been over the past 20 odd years. From his 1996 breakthrough debut Reasonable Doubt to his triumphant comeback, 4:44, this shift allows old fans to revisit the classics and new fans to discover his influential hits.
Since his debut, Jay-Z has always been America’s biggest hustler and the biggest proponent of the “American Dream”.
“I ain’t crossover, I brought the suburbs to the hood / Made ’em relate to your struggle, told ’em ’bout your hustle / Went on MTV with do-rags, I made them love you,” he raps on ‘Come and Get Me’.
— Spotify (@Spotify) December 4, 2019
From music to apparel, sporting teams to now his partnership with the NFL, Jay-Z has expanded his empire to an unfathomable scope.
His legacy is also the subject of a new book, JAY-Z: Made in America, by author, radio host and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, which came out on 26 November. Dyson certainly knows his subject, having taught a class on the MC at Georgetown University for the past 10 years.
Dyson calls Carter, “Robert Frost with a Brooklyn accent,” in a recent interview with NPR and compares Woods’ poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snow Evening’ to Jay-Z’s ‘What More Can I Say’ for its “pace, rhythm, cadence, and simplistic imagery that contains deeper thoughts”.