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MTV Unplugged: Jay-Z Explicit Lyrics, Live
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Audio, Cassette, Explicit Lyrics, Live, December 18, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
For me, the live band (especially being The Roots) sold me. No pre-recorded music or djs spinning records. REAL music, and it makes even Jay's oldest songs sound fresh!
Jay Z has an amazing gift, that has always been evident to me on his albums. I have always wondered, however, if he could pull it off live. I have seen too many hip-hop acts who were not able to pull off thier studio majic when they hit the stage. Jay Z does it almost better than he does in a studio.
The entire album amazed me. Some do stand out better than others though. Take Over is one of the better battle tracks ever, and sounds even better with a live band (appropriate since it heavily samples The Doors). Jigga What's crowd participation makes it even better than the album version, and the flow into Big Pimpin was perfect. Ain't No Love is amazing because of the powerful chorus sung by Jaguar Wright - who I have seen open for Maxwell, and was impressive there as well. Can't Knock the Hussle was great also because of the chorus, sung by the Queen of R&B/Hip-Hop/Whatever... hey, she's the Queen!
There were some things that I would have liked changed. Big Pimpin sounded great with a live band, and he was right on - however, with only the two verses it seemed to be over too quickly. I know he only did those two verses on the song, but he's an artist - Freestyle! The medelys were great, but I would have liked a trak break, so that I could listen to them individually more easily.
Aside from those two SMALL complaints, this album is definately worth buying whether you are a Jay Z fan, only like a few of his songs, or if you just like live hip-hop, Roots style.
I never really thought hip hop could sound this good live, but rest assured it can. All the tracks are done by different producers but they all seem to work. Of course they needed a little extra help on percussion for the Crazy incessant Timbaland Hi-Hats on "Jigga What , Jigga Who" but damn quest love puts it down behind the kit. And on "The Takeover" the Roots manage switch the beat to "Shook Ones" and "Oochie Wally" just to ad a little more fire to Prodigy and Nas' pants respectively.
Mary J Blige came in and showed the love on the classic "Cant knock the Hustle" she still sounds damn good on that track after all these years, Mary still cant knock her hustle. But still even more emotionally moving is "Song Cry" I mean I've never cheated on my wifey but for some reason the song still makes me sad, It must be some of the thug love nature in me. Even Jay himself is almost moved to tears by the end of the track.
From there of course tha party gets started once again, and The roots put it down on the wild Neptunes produced "Give it to me" , with a little extra percussion the track bumps like the pores on the back of a shaven neck.Read more ›
While the full Roots crew would probably have been a much more exhilarating show, it's hard to complain about having Jay-Z sit in with the band, and banging through newbies and classics like it's nothin'. The diversity of instruments the Roots band plays made covering Jay's tunes pretty simple, and the sounds they couldn't replicate, they simply ad-libbed.
Jay admitted in an interview that he was really feeling the dynamic between himself, the band and the crowd during the sessions, and a good deal of that energy is captured on the album. It's been said that Jigga had to read from a teleprompter during a lot of the set, and you can kind of hear that as well, most noticeably when he stumbles during some of the more rapid-fire lines in "N***a What N***a Who." But oh well. The quality of the jams makes up for it, I suppose.
The whole disc plays in under an hour, and most of the older, better songs are cut short. But the centerpiece of the album is it's best moment, a medley including "Can I Get A...," "Hard Knock Life," "Ain't No N***a," and finally, the Big Willie classic "Can't Knock Da Hustle," featuring none other than the guest on that track, Ms. Mary J. Blige.
But Jay-Hova was clearly the main attraction, commanding the crowd, barking orders and laying rhymes like few can. Playa-hater or not, this is a solid slice of hip-hop pie anyone can sink their fork into.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
to me this is Jay z best album. Captures his artistry better then anything else he has ever put out. Read morePublished 12 months ago by chris keegan
Gives a taste of all early Jay-Z and with MJB and Jaguar Wright. This is a definate classic.Published 14 months ago by Terrence T Griffin
Brilliant. You take out everything else and you have hip hop and the rawness of what Jay Z meant to say.Published 15 months ago by claire
Great cd. The roots are a tight funk machine. Jay-z knows how to work an audience and Jaguar Wright is off the hook stupid good. Highly recommendedPublished 17 months ago by Ed Munoz
Of course you cannot go wrong with Jay-Z. I loved the entire cd from the beginning to the end. You will not be disappointed.Published 20 months ago by Verne
This album is great! Why because you see Jay-Z getting back to his roots. No studio perfection, you hear the crowd
taking " THE TRIP" with him. Read more
The Roots are awesome. This album is worth it just to hear them play Jay-Z's tunes live. Jay-Z was never my favorite, but this album is very impressive. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jason from Durham, NC