This week, Future sent his #FutureHive and "real hip-hop" fans into a keyboard-tapping fury after a video clip of a barbershop conversation regarding Jay Z's Reasonable Doubt went viral online. This clip featured music mogul Steve Stoute engaging in a healthy debate with the likes of Future, Houston Rockets star James Harden, Showtime Sports' Paul Rivera, business exec Maverick Carter and Hot 97/Beats 1 Radio's Ebro Darden, and saw Fewtch deliver the following (unpopular yet valid) opinion: when Jay Z's Reasonable Doubt arrived in 1996, the album and the star was still overshadowed by stars like 2Pac, Biggie, Nas, and Ice Cube, among others.
"Jay Z wasn't great when 2Pac and Biggie was alive," he states in the video. "It was Biggie, 2Pac, Ice Cube and Nas." Further in the conversation, he added, "Reasonable Doubt wasn't hot until ['Pac and B.I.G] died."
Unsurprisingly, and considering that we're in this instant-reaction age, the comments spawned quite the mixed reaction from fans. However, and ironically, Twitter mostly sided with Future Hendrix.
Future isn't qualified to speak on Reasonable Doubt.... and thats that— Gage (@KingGage_) December 15, 2016
Jay-z himself has said on record that Reasonable Doubt was overlooked when it 1st came out. So why are ppl mad at what Future said?— Mario(87 ‘Til Infinity) / Watch Luce (@MarLew29) December 15, 2016
But before everyone went into full furor, Future explained his stance after the statement and made it clear that in addition to respecting Hov and his classic debut, he's aware that the album didn't get as much respect as it when it released. "I'm saying at that time, [it wasn't hot]. They always go back for your classic album. When Nas dropped his first album, it was great then," he explained. "When "If I Ruled The World" came out, it was the best then. You have to go back and listen to Reasonable Doubt and [think] this the best shit ever."
Overall, and to his credit, the DS2 hitmaker isn't wrong.
After all , and to be fair, Jay himself even admitted this on a little song called "Hard Knock Life," rapping, "I gave you prophecy on my first joint, and you all lamed out / Didn't really appreciate it 'til the second one came out."
To Fewtch's point, when Jay Z dropped Reasonable Doubt in 1996, despite its universal acclaim today, the album failed to set the world on fire right away. It sold just 43,000 copies in its first week, only peaking at No. 23 on Billboard's album chart. Hell, the project didn't achieve platinum status until February 7, 2002. Around the time of its 1996 release, Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Records were on fire (Total and 112 released their self-titled debut), 2Pac rode quadruple platinum success with All Eyez on Me, Fugees were the biggest thing on the planet that year with The Score, and Nas' It Was Written — which arrived one week after Reasonable Doubt, steamrolled most. Heck, even The Source, which retroactively gave the album five mics years later, originally gave it a 4 and the main knock was this: "Jay Z isn't saying anything new. It's the same 'ol criminal melodrama that you hear on so many rap LPs these days."
While critically acclaimed, Jay's debut album fell to the background of the mentioned bigger stars at the time. However, like fine wine, it aged gracefully as years passed.
All in all, Fewtch has a point.