“Even if it ain’t sunny, hey, I ain’t complaining.”
On his magnum opus, Reasonable Doubt, which celebrates 20 years of excellence today (June 25), Jay Z spits the aforequoted line on “Feelin It,” a song that can very well be his own perinneal soundtrack. The record itself, which originally belonged to Ski Beatz and Suede from Camp Lo, finds the Brooklyn rhymer washing away the ill street blues and nightmares with a toast to better days, even if that involves the illegitimate transactions. Still, it’s a fighting soundtrack to a rags to riches, Robin Hood tale — one that has stuck on to Jay over the last two decades like the champagne bottle inserted in the Roc-A-Fella logo.
Over the past 20 years, the Roc mogul has weathered his fair share of storms, whether it was the Roc-A-Fella split, his infamous tenure at Def Jam, rap beefs, etc. Yet still, like most of the showers that attempt to come his way, he’s risen above the fray. No more Roc-A-Fella, cool, hello Roc Nation. Stepping down from as Def Jam President, fine, “I own my masters.” In addition, Mr. Carter has gone from artist to mogul and walking business… man. And to think, he forecasted the upward trajectory that his career has taken since then on his first-ever album.
“That album still stands the test of time because it was real and you can actually sort of envision it,” said Abdul Malik Abbott, filmmaker and director. Although he didn’t direct the visual behind “Feelin It” (Alan Ferguson directs the vid that is shot in Jamaica), the Harlem-bred creative is responsible for a bulk of the music videos from Reasonable Doubt, an album he explained, “brings pictures to mind when you listen to the lyrics.”
So as the rap world continues to celebrate Jay’s seminal release and trace back to where it all started, don’t lose sight of the Roc mogul’s mission from the get-go: “Putting myself in a position most of these rappers ain’t in.”
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