Producer: Teddy Riley, Chad Hugo Album: In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 Label: Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam
Complex Says: After his partner in rhyme The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down, Jay-Z made it clear that he was coming for Biggie's spot as the new King of New York. But his sophomore discIn My Lifetime Vol. 1 underwhelmed, and the album's single “City Is Mine” was particularly unconvincing.
Besides the generic beat, Jay struggles to establish his identity on the song. He seems unsure of whether he wants to be the flashy cool-guy or the lyrical street rapper with mob-like mannerisms. That misstep is only exacerbated by Blackstreet's flatly sung chorus from Glenn Frey's "You Belong To The City." What should have been a powerful hook sounded corny, leaving us wondering, why exactly is Jay-Z the man of the night?