Jay-Z 'In My Lifetime Vol 1'
For this week’s Vinyl Tuesday we wanted to take the time to discuss one of Jay Z’s earlier
albums titled ‘In My Lifetime Volume 1’. Released in 1997, the album was Jay Z’s
second and went on to sell more than 138,000 copies within the first week!Shawn Corey Carter is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur
and record executive.
"Since I was four years old I've been told that everything that glitters ain't gold"
Jay-Z was Born and Raised in the Marcy projects Brooklyn, New York, where crime, drugs and poverty were rife. Surrounded by crime and struggle it is truly remarkable that he has gone on to become a cultural icon and one of the most accomplished rappers of all time. Jay-Z is regarded by some as THE best rapper of all time.
In My Lifetime is truly a poetic body of work. Jay-Z paints a vivid image for the listeners of what it looked like growing up in the Marcy Projects, New York. In particular, ‘Where I’m From’ a track featured on this album creates an image of the dark, crime ridden world he and his friends grew up in.
With the line, “life expectancy so low we making out wills at eight-teen” listeners realise just how non-existent life beyond the Marcy Projects was for children growing up there. We get a sense of the harsh reality children were facing on a daily basis. Where, instead of being at school they would be “up the block, round the corner, and down the street, where the Pimps, Prostitutes, and the Drug Lords meet”. With crime rates soaring, ‘Where I’m From’ provides listeners with a view of police interactions. Jay-Z states “We called the police the A-team Cause they hop out of vans and spray things”. Really hammering home the idea that not even those who’s job it was to help did so.
make a million off of beats, cause our stories is deep”
'You Must Love Me'
Jay-Z completely opens up in this album, we see the artist vulnerable about his past. He gives us the rawest version of himself, completely baring all in the track ‘You Must Love Me’, the rapper re-lives the moment he shot his older brother when he was just 12. In the track, listeners hear him confess “Saw the devil in your eyes High off more than weed Confused I just closed my young eyes and squeezed”. These lyrics are powerful, as listeners we feel the pain and confusion that the young Jay-Z felt at the time. The title of the track ‘You Must Love Me’ is a reflection of Jay’s older brother not pressing charges against him. Instead, apologising for exposing a young Jay-Z to his drug addictions and dealings. In interviews since then, the rapper has said that guns were everywhere growing up, and shootouts were a normal part of day to day life.
99 Problems, But Success Ain't One
The scared and confused young boy introduced to us in ‘You Must Love Me’ went on to win 10 Grammy awards, have 11 No1 albums and become a business Tycoon. Founder of legendary the Roc-A-Fella Records and CEO of the Roc Nation music publishing and entertainment empire. Jay-Z has even created his own clothing label which sold for $204m in 2007. Shawn Corey Carter is truly an inspiration to us all, demonstrating that anything can be achieved!
We hope you have enjoyed reading this week’s Vinyl Tuesday post! And that you’ve been inspired by Jay-Z’s success and accomplishments after experiencing such hardship early on in life,
Below you will find the Jay-Z ‘In My Lifetime’ record which is available to purchase from the Al Mathew’s Collection store in Barcelona! We have also included items of clothing inspired by this weeks post! All items are available to purchase online at TPH.CO
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