The Dynasty Roc la Familia (2000)
“Intro,” the opening track to JAY Z’s fifth solo album, The Dynasty Roc la Familia is one of the best intros found on a rap album in recent memory. The Just Blaze-laced track finds Jay spitting lines like, “Got a strange way of seeing life like / I’m Stevie Wonder with beads under the du-rag / Intuition is there / Even when my vision’s impaired”, and demonstrates just why, at the time of this album’s release, he was light-years ahead of much of his competition. On songs like, "This Can't be Life", "Soon You'll Understand" and "Where Have You Been", which features both him and Beanie Sigel directing heart-piercing lyrics like, “Fuck you very much / You showed me the worse kind of pain” at their absent fathers. The often cool and somewhat detached Shawn Carter was not only at his most revealing since Vol. 1: In My Lifetime, but was also at his most vulnerable. The chemistry of the Roc, particularly that of Jay and Beans, was at an all-time high throughout the album which was originally slated to be a Rocafella compilation project, but ended up being Jay's fifth solo effort. The dynamic duo connected like no other on nine of The Dynasty’s sixteen tracks. Though The Dynasty Roc la Familia had standout moments, there were a good amount of very forgettable songs on this album like "Holla" and "Parking Lot Pimpin’." Like many Jay Z albums, The Dynasty Roc la Familia was rumored to be his last, and it’s a good thing that this wasn't. If this album was his final statement, his post-retirement career and legacy would have certainly been a lot different.