Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt (1996)

Label: Roc-A-Fella/Priority

Roc Marciano: “I was out there in the streets around that time, and Jay was just preaching on how to get rich. You know how they talk about how conscious rappers might get a little too preachy? He was too preachy on how to get money. [Laughs.] He was actually scolding us, like, ‘If y’all ain’t gettin’ no money, you’re a fuckin’ bum.’ So we were out there hustling, and he was definitely pushing the agenda of getting money. It was motivational music to dudes who were actually out there trying to hustle up some money.

“And that’s not to take away from the artistry, because the fuckin’ rapping is excellent, and the beats are also. It’s a beautiful piece of work. ‘D’Evils’ used to fuck me up. All that shit. ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle.’ Hov put together a master work with that.”