Album Review | JAY-Z – Vol. 3… Life & Times of S. Carter

Click HERE to stream this album

This album was released on December 28th in the year of our Lord 1999. I really don’t think I’m gonna like this album. I’m not sure how people feel about this one compared to his first three albums. I don’t think the streets really fuck with this album outside of the bigger singles. I’m being told that it’s better than In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, but the streets also told me that Vol. 2 was equal to Reasonable Doubt, so I don’t really trust them. If this album is worse than Vol. 2, this is gonna be an exhausting ass album. Let’s just get this shit over with as soon as possible…

Track 1: Hova Song (Intro) [Prod. K-Rob]

Oh shit. This beat is dope af. Okay, this is fucking awesome. The first verse was fine. Oh. The song just ended. There’s only one verse, and then there’s a long ass outro from the fake ass Al Pacino. The best thing about this track is the production. The verse from Jay was nothing special, but it was sufficient. I enjoyed the song. I wish it was a little more fleshed out, but it’s definitely not bad. This is dope to me.

Track 2: So Ghetto (Prod. DJ Premier)

This beat is dope. The first verse from Jay was fine. Honestly most of what Jay says just goes in one ear and out the other for me. He doesn’t have anything interesting to say. It’s not really bad tho. It’s just not really impressive. The hook’s fine. Everything I said about the first verse applies to the second one. Same goes for the third one. The song just ended. I like this song. I don’t love it. It’s cool tho. Honestly, if I didn’t like the production, I wouldn’t ever come back to this again. JAY-Z didn’t impress me on this song at all. He wasn’t bad tho. The verses and hook were sufficient. DJ Premier’s beat is the only thing that really makes this worth coming back to. I like it tho. It’s a good song.

Track 3: Do It Again (Put Yah Hands Up) Feat. Beanie Sigel & Amil [Prod. Rockwilder]

Do It Again

Oh fuckin’ shit… Oh… Damn it… Lmao. This song starts off with a really hard hitting electric guitar intro, and it actually sounded really good. The rest of the song uses a more conventional mainstream Hip Hop instrumental tho. It’s still a cool beat, but it kinda disappointed me to be honest. I would’ve preferred if the entire song had that Rock influenced sound. I don’t even fuckin’ like electric guitars, but it sounded really cool. Beans’ verse was fine I guess. His flow sounded really sloppy honestly. It’s not too bad tho. The hook kinda sucks. This… This isn’t good… Jay’s verse was really cool, but… I don’t know. This just isn’t good. The hook is shitty. The more I listen to this repetitive beat the more I dislike it. Honestly, Jay’s verse is the only thing I enjoyed from this song, and it wasn’t even that great. I mean, it was good, but… Nah. I’m not feelin’ this song. It’s not really wack, but it’s far from good in my opinion. This is mediocre.

Track 4: Dope Man Feat. Serena Altschul (Prod. Lance Rivera, Darrell Branch, DJ Clue? & Ken Ifill)

This beat is dope. The first verse was nice. Alright here we go. This song actually has an interesting concept. I could’ve done without the fake news reporting from Serena Altschul, but that’s just a nitpick. Jay’s rapping about being on trial for selling dope, and using “dope” as a metaphor for his music. The second verse was dope. The Serena Altschul commentary is really corny. The final verse was dope af.

At age nine saw my first hate crime / Blindfolded, expected to walk a straight line / Mind molded; taught to love you and hate mine / Climbed over it, at a early age Jay shined / Fuck the system at Lady Justice, I blaze nine / Your Honor, I no longer kill my people, I raise mine / The soul of Mumia in this modern day time.

That was great. The only gripe I have with this song is the feature. That was lame as hell. I still really enjoyed this song tho. This is definitely my favorite track on the album so far. This is dope.

Track 5: Things That U Do Feat. Mariah Carey (Prod. Swizz Beatz)

Oh God… This isn’t gonna be good. I’m not feelin’ this beat, and this hook from Mariah Carey is awful. Jesus fucking Christ. I’m so fucking tired of this shitty commercial Pop Rap. Why the fuck is JAY-Z so popular? Seriously, how can you make so much music like this and be considered one of the greatest rappers of all time? This is reminding me of Nastradamus. Just sonically, it sounds like something Nas would’ve tried to do on that album. At least Jay’s flow isn’t too bad. The first verse was decent. It’s just the production and the hook that I can’t get behind. This is so fucking bad. I mean, it’s not complete dogshit, but it’s pretty fuckin’ terrible. Not because of Jay tho. Jay wasn’t too bad. His verses were fine. That fucking hook tho. And this beat… I can’t stand this shit. This is fucking terrible.

Track 6: It’s Hot (Some Like It Hot) [Prod. Timbaland]

Woah. This beat is dope af. I’d love to hear Pusha T rap over this shit. This beat sounds really familiar… I think this was sampled in Scum by Random Axe. When the beat switches up it sounds like a slightly modified version of this song. I’m not crazy about this first verse…

Cris sipper, six dipper, wrist glitter, nigga / Gat buster, ass toucher… Clit licker.

…Why… He threw a jab at 50 Cent in the following couplet. That was kinda cool. Aside from that tho… I’m really not feelin’ this verse.

Hova’s like Noah; keep two in the truck / I’m like U-Haul; every bitch moving I fuck / You move slut, I gotta put two in your butt / I’m everything: the whens, whys, whos, and what.

The hook’s fine. Jesus… There are so many wack lines in this song…

Separate myself from the lame; no you can’t see me / I’m 6-0-0, you 300 C-E / Give my ladies dick; my young hoes pee-pee / Hits in a row like MJ; “hee-hee.”

Cringe

SO FUCKING BAD. The rest of the second verse thankfully wasn’t as wack. The third verse was fine. It just ended. Fuck. Lmao. Nah, son. I mean… I kinda fuck with this, but there’s so much wrong with it. If the beat wasn’t so good I wouldn’t be able to fuck with this shit at all. I like it tho. I’ll just have to disregard the lyrics.

Track 7: Snoopy Track Feat. Juvenile (Prod. Timbaland)

This beat is dope af. The first verse was fine. Man… What happened to Jay’s flow? I feel like with every song it gets lazier. He’s just so boring to listen to. I like the hook from Juvenile. The second verse was nothing special. This hook is really dope. I really liked the way the beat evolved during the third verse, which was also pretty good. Honestly this is probably my favorite song on the album so far. It’s not that interesting lyrically, but it’s the most entertaining track so far sonically. This is dope to me.

Track 8: S. Carter Feat. Amil (Prod. Russell Howard, Sean Francis & Chauncey Mahan)

I guess this is the closest thing to a title track for this album. It’s starting now. Oh God… This hook is fucking awful… Jesus Christ. The beat is kinda shitty. The first verse was nothing special. I really wasn’t feelin’ his flow, but this line wasn’t too bad.

Chip off the old block / Resemble my old pops / ‘Cept I tote Glocks & open dope spots / And I shut down rap crews / Smack them cats who flash tools / Laugh at fake ballers with bad jewels.

It was nothing special lyrically, but the rhyme scheme sounded pretty good. This hook is fucking unbearable. This is easily the wackest song on the album so far. I can’t fucking stand this shit. I… I want to turn the album off. I’m done with this shit. This is wack af.

Track 9: Pop 4 Roc Feat. Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek & Amil (Prod. DJ Clue? & Ken Ifill)

Oh noooo… This beat is wack… The hook is fucking awful. I didn’t like the first verse from Amil either. Beans’ verse was actually pretty dope tho. The hook is just so fucking bad. I really can’t stand this Amil chick’s voice. Bleek’s verse was cool. I even liked Jay’s verse. The hook and production are really bad tho. That kinda sucks. I really liked the way Beans & Bleek sounded on this shit. However, as a whole, this song is REALLY fucking wack.

Track 10: Watch Me Feat. Dr. Dre (Prod. Irv Gotti & Lil Rob)

Oh shit… This beat is fucking awesome. Wow. I actually really liked the first verse from Jay. Alright, this is more like it. The hook from Dr. Dre is dope af. This song is fuckin’ great. Jay killed the second verse. Shit. This may end up being my favorite JAY-Z song period. This is really fuckin’ good. The third verse was fantastic too. Wow. Alright, I need more shit like this from Jay. This shit is dope af.

Track 11: Big Pimpin’ Feat. UGK (Prod. Timbaland)

Big Pimpin'

Of course I’ve already heard this song before. This beat is fucking legendary. I really liked the first verse from Jay too. I’m what some people call “a feminazi,” so I can’t really get behind the content. His flow was great tho. The hook is really catchy too. One thing that always bothered me is the fact that Jay calls himself “Jigga Man” in the hook, when “JAY-Z” would’ve added an additional rhyme. That’s just a nitpick tho. Bun B fuckin’ slaughtered the second verse. The only thing I can criticize is his intentional mispronunciation of the word “scenario” to stretch a rhyme scheme, but, again, that’s just a nitpick. UGK honestly hijacked this song. Pimp C’s verse is legendary.

Smokin’ out, pourin’ up / Keepin’ lean up in my cup / All my car got leather & wood / In my hood we call it “buck.”

Seriously this song feels like UGK Feat. JAY-Z. If JAY-Z didn’t say a single word on this track, it would be just as good as it is now in my opinion. Jay didn’t take anything away from this tho. I liked his verse. I just think he got murdered on his own track. Nas really could’ve said “UGK murdered you on your own shit.” Jay was fine tho. Anyway, I really fuckin’ like this song. As I said before, I can’t get behind the content, but the flows, hook, and production all made up for it. This is dope af to me.

Track 12: There’s Been A Murder (Prod. K-Rob)

I like the Alana Davis sampled K-Rob flipped for the hook. I’m not really sure how I feel about this beat tho. The first verse was fine. Yeah, the way this sample is incorporated just sounds really disjointed. I like the sample itself, but it doesn’t blend very well with this production. The crashing & police siren sound effects in the background are annoying as hell too. The second verse was pretty dope. Jesus… This is so bad. I mean, the verses are good, but as a song… I guess it’s not super wack. It’s definitely not good tho. It’s unfortunate that three of the best verses on the album were laid over one of the wackest beats. I can’t fuck with this song. It’s not terrible, but I don’t feel comfortable saying anything too nice about it. The verses were good. Everything else, not so much.

Track 13: Come & Get Me (Prod. Timbaland)

This beat is cool. This first verse is pretty fuckin’ great to be honest. This shit is hard as fuck.

I remove your roof, nigga, let the sunshine in / Thirty-eight waist, enough to put one nine in / Really a thirty-six; without the gun I’m thin / But when the gat is tucked I’m fat as fuck.

Wooah… This hook is weird as fuck… The beat just switched up… What’s going on right now? This is really cool. If it goes back to the original beat I’m gonna be pretty disappointed… OOOOHHHH FUCK.

YAS 3

YESSS. This is so fucking awesome. This beat is fucking incredible. Jay’s killin’ this shit too. This is so fuckin’ gangsta. Man, the way they built up to this shit was amazing. This is so fuckin’ dope. Timbaland put his ASS in this beat. This is my favorite JAY-Z song. This is my favorite song from this Marathon so far. Why can’t all his music be this good? It’s really odd how much better this song is than every other track. This shit is crazy. I definitely fuck with this song. This is dope af.

Track 14: NYMP (Prod. Rockwilder)

This beat is really dope. The first verse was cool. That last couplet at the end of the verse was awesome. The hook is fine. I just listened to the whole song. It’s good. I don’t have much to say about it tho. The structure is pretty simplistic. He’s just rapping about the New York Marcy Projects, where he grew up. Nothing about this song is bad. It’s not gonna blow anyone away, but I enjoyed it personally. This is dope to me.

Track 15: Hova Song (Outro) / Jigga My Nigga / Girl’s Best Friend [Prod. K-Rob & Swizz Beatz]

Jigga My Nigga

This track is just titled “Hova Song (Outro),” but it contains the other two songs as hidden tracks. It’s starting now. Okay, he’s rapping over the same beat from the intro. It’s another verse. It’s the exact same song, except with a different verse. It’s dope. The next song is starting now. Oh God… This hook is terrible… I’m not gonna like this one. That’s unfortunate. This beat is wack to me. The first verse was nothing special. There’s an uncredited feature from Amil. She’s on the hook. It’s fucking awful. I just want it to end. The second verse was alright. The third verse wasn’t bad. No. I’m sorry. I can’t do this one. The verses are average, the beat is wack, and the hook is fuckin’ terrible. This shit is wack. Girl’s best friend is starting now. This beat is actually really fuckin’ dope. Oh my fucking God. Jesus fucking Christ. This hook is even worse than that of the previous track. This is fucking horrible. The first verse was nothing special. It’s a love song directed towards his jewelry. I generally don’t like love songs, and I sure as fuck don’t give a shit about any rapper’s jewelry. This hook is unbearable. This is the wackest song on the whole album. Nah. This shit is wack af. Okay… The first song was dope, the second song was wack, and the final song was wack af. As a whole, this track is wack.

Final Thoughts:

This is not a good album. This was definitely his wackest project at this point in his career. It’s not even really bad in my opinion. It’s just worse than all the other albums. It’s definitely not good. It’s an average album. It’s passable. It’s really just more of the same shit. He’s rapping over shitty commercial production about money, jewelry, being a pimp, selling drugs, and gangsta shit. Most of that shit doesn’t interest me at all. I’m still really not seeing why this guy is praised as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Maybe he’s one of the best celebrities of all time, who just so happens to rap, but as an actual MC he’s painfully average to me. Anyway, just like with the previous two albums, JAY-Z stans will like this. People like me who don’t give a shit about him won’t. I don’t even know if I can tell people to skim it. It really felt like a waste of time. The streets don’t fuck with this album, so I guess most people probably wouldn’t be interested. If you listen to it you’re gonna have to keep your finger on that skip button. It’s not a good album. There are a handful of dope tracks, but, for the most part, this album doesn’t deserve any attention.

Favorite Song: Come & Get Me

Least Favorite Song: Girl’s Best Friend

Verdict:

C

60-69

Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album

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One comment

  1. 1999 was a weird year for Hip Hop. You had albums like 2001, Streetz Iz A Mutha, No Limit Top Dogg, …And Then There Was X, Slim Shady LP, Thug Mentality 1999 and so forth, this shit becomes the most hyped! It’s something I never understood tbh growing up back then.

    I remember when Big Pimpin first became major it was on MTV, on rotation in my local station next to The Fugees’ “Ready Or Not”, “Still D.R.E.”, “My Name Is…” You couldn’t go a God damned place without hearing it. Personally it never appealed to me. I was fucking with Marshall Mathers’ music at that point lol.

    Most of this album is completely forgettable and a tedious listen at the best. At the worst it’s another reason why Jay is an overrated emcee. I give this project a 5.0/10.

    Liked by 1 person

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