Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt (1996)

Label: Roc-A-Fella

Kid Cudi: “I listened to this album and I thought I was from Brooklyn. I listened to this shit every day before school. I used to bump that before school. It was just one of those albums that I remember listening to it like, 'Man, in that world, where he came from, that shit is just so real to make it out of it.'

 

I remember coming to New York; I was seeing things. I was like, 'Oh, this was what Hov was talking about when he said this.'

 

“It opened my eyes to another world that I wasn't used to. I remember coming to New York; I was seeing things. I was like, 'Oh, this was what Hov was talking about when he said this.' [Laughs.]

“Listening to old Jay-Z records, it put a lot of things in perspective once I moved to New York. That was definitely an album that I listen to now that I'm like, 'Okay, how can I make the perfect hip-hop album?'”

“There's a couple go-to albums that I'm listening to. I'm listening to Kanye's shit and I'm listening to Hov. And those are always two niggas I'm listening to when I'm like getting ready to work on my hip-hop shit.

“I'm like, 'Okay, let's think about Hov's catalog. Let's think about 'Ye's catalog.' Let me study how these guys mastered the art of creating the perfect hip-hop album, the perfect classic.”