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Vol. 1 - In My Lifetime Explicit Lyrics

108 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Explicit Lyrics, November 4, 1997
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Vol. 1 - In My Lifetime + Vol. 2, Hard Knock Life + Vol. 3 - Life And Times Of S. Carter
Price for all three: $24.37

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In an earlier age, when the likes of Public Enemy and Gang Starr ruled the roost, Jay-Z would have garnered the same kind of serious attention and respect as, say, the Fresh Prince. But in the devalued hip-hop universe of the late 1990s--where political activism is irrelevant, and entrepreneurial mediocrities like Puff Daddy and Master P hold sway--it's tempting to hail him as a conquering hero. Tempting, but mistaken. For one thing, he lacks the pipes to be considered among the truly great MCs (Chuck D, Guru, Ice Cube, Method Man). For another, his rhymes--both structurally and in terms of subject-matter--are way too simplistic. Rather than draw any conclusions from his world, or postulate any form of action, Jay simply calls 'em like he sees 'em--a post-Biggie dialectic of thinly-veiled threats ("Friend or Foe '98", "Face Off") and dreary self-aggrandisment ("I Know What Girls Like", "City Is Mine"). Hang on, didn't this used to be known as whack? --Andrew McGuire

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 4, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: November 4, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Roc A Fella
  • ASIN: B0000024MU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,933 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Gifted One on September 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In My Lifetime Vol. 1 is Jay-Z's 3rd best album after Reasonable Doubt and Blueprint respectively. This album is very underrated for the simple fact that it came out after the classic RD and before Jay's "blow up" album Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life. A lot of the tracks here are pretty good and as always Jigga has his lyrics on point. Now for the track by track breakdown. The number after the description is based on a 1 to 5 scale with one being the worst.
1. A Million and One Questions - A very good track. Premo laced Jay with a sick beat for this track. This track had Jay-Z's best intro on any LP until the Dynasty album came out. (5)
2. The City is Mine - This track is hot. I love the mellow beat and it makes me feel calm everytime I hear it. I think on this one Jay was making a statement telling everyone how he was about to take over the rap game (which he has now accomplished). (4.5)
3. I Know What Girls Like - The worst track on the album in my opinion. Even Lil' Kim's appearance can't help this track's annoying beat and the weak topic. This is one of the tracks that prevent this album from being a classic. (2.5)
4. Imaginary Player - An excellent track. It has a real street feel to it. Jay raps about wearing white air force ones and platinum jewelry way back in 1997 when most of the nation was still wearing Reeboks and gold chains. Jay definitely proves himself to be a trendsetter in the rap game, not to mention that the flow is sick on this one. (5)
5. Streets is Watching - This track is one of Jay's more hardcore tracks. He talks about how the streets see and talk about whatever you do. So watch your actions. (5)
6. Friend or Foe '98 - A humorous track, it will make you laugh everytime you hear it. (3.5)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Harrison on January 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
A lot of the kids rating this album were in diapers when it first came out. Don't get it twisted, the album is hot! And that's coming from someone who was there...right there, listening to it, as soon as it came out! This is the last album that Jay put out that was truly Hip-Hop. And it came out during a time when true Hip-Hop music was on the decline. It got horrible air play. The only time I'd hear it on the radio was late Saturday nights when WHPK played "Streets is Watchin'" during their Hip-Hop show. Otherwise, the mainstream radio stations, at least in Chicago, didn't give it a second thought. I bumped the sh%$ out of this album. Many good tracks. The production tight, but not commercial. But Jay-Z's words are what captured me. His lyrics are deep...creative...unbelievable! Check out "Imaginary Players". But this time, try to follow what he's saying (if you can). That's probably the song that gets the least respect on the album.

I love Jay-Z. His first two albums solidified that for me many, many years ago. I've bought all of his albums since. But this really is his last real Hip-Hop album...before going commercial. I'm not mad at him. He manages to sneak in some Hip-Hop in all of his work, but this is different. Really speaks to the period...and the fans that were close to Hip-Hop and understood what it was all about. Lately, he's speaking to a broader audience. That's how he makes money- appealing to the masses- and that's fine. It's just a shame that the earlier works (those that I believe are better works) don't get the same attention, record sales, and air play.

I was there.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Done on June 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Jay-Z second album "In My Lifetime, Vol 1" (1997) is a solid release. I liked the way Hov used Scarface samples in his intros, he started this joint off on a good note with "A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More", which benefits from some deadly premo production. Jay-Z then delivers a standout cut with "The City Is Mine", the Blackstreet hook, and the track beat is ill. The next two tracks fall under skip material for me, and then Hov drops some on point rhymes on "Streets is Watching"- don't know why this was censored. Jay-Z shows some heart on the laidback "Lucky Me", rhyming well backed by a smooth female chorus. The album then hits a low point for me, not feeling the next three tracks at all, find them to be weak in lyrics and production. Jay-Z picks things up again for two more standouts: "Real N****z" feat. Too $hort and the albums closer "You Must Love Me". Its an artist gift and curse to deliver a classic, because later albums often get compared I won't lie though after "Reasonable Doubt" this was a disappointment for me, while there a number of standouts, there is also a lot of skip material. What I really missed was the consistency in production found on his first album, I wasn't interested in buying into Jay-Z claim of the throne being his, was bumping Big and Pac (and missing them big time) classics and wondering where Hip-Hop was going. 3.5.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike J on April 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I actually like this album better than Reasonable Doubt. I know, most of you out there like it the least. Before everybody attempts to lynch me, check out why I dig it so much:

In My Lifetime came out at a very confusing time for Jay. He had just lost his rhyme partner Biggie. He was catching a lot of flack from the legion of 2pac fans he had alienated by allowing Big to use his "get it, two pacs" line on the song "Brooklyn's Finest". Jay would later admit in interviews that this time was one of the worst in his life and he was in a depressive state.

Emotions, both high and low, are the breeding grounds for great music, (hip-hop or otherwise). "In My Lifetime" is no exception to this rule. While Jay had been able to convey quite a range of emotions on Reasonable Doubt, (which I neglected to notice), here his delivery has taken on a decidedly more superior tone. In short, Jay began to develop that arrogance we have come to know and love. At first put off by it, I began to develop a newly found love for his "I'm not impressed" routine during forced repeated listenings, (while working at a record store). Just who did this guy think he was? He was smug, bitter, and sounded almost bored with competition.

And lyrically, his imagery and content were also improving. "Where I'm From" and "You Must Love Me", in my opinion, surpass almost all of his other works in terms of subject matter and emotion. How many emcees ever would share the extremely personal history of asking your lover to be your courier, shooting your brother, and selling dope to your moms over the course of an entire album, much less in one song. Jay gave of himself for this album. He wouldn't do it again on this level until his classic "Blueprint" was released.
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Vol. 1 - In My Lifetime
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