June 25, 2021

Jay-Z "Reasonable Doubt" (June 25, 1996, Press Kit)

New York - "The Most Anticipated Album on the Street" is at long last scheduled to surface. Roc-A-Fella recording artist JAY-Z will release his first single, "Dead Presidents" as early as March 1, 1996. The forthcoming album, REASONABLE DOUBT will follow shortly after with its release scheduled for April 1, 1996. "Dead Presidents," the underground hit single has its large audience captured in a tight grip. It is no wonder why the "underground hit" has now been scheduled for release as the sophomore single. Now in full rotation on HOT 97, New York's premiere hip hop station, "Dead Presidents", held listeners in a burdening suspense. JAY enthralled the hip hop community by winning three consecutive bouts on the Angie Martinez' segment, "Battle of the Beats." Winning over reputable competitors such as Busta Rhymes, Real Live Sh!t and Tupac Shakur was just part of a day's work for JAY-Z. On the fourth night it was Ghost Face Killer and several key Wu-Tang members that took him out. See what it takes to knock an artist like JAY. The "fant-abulous" issue on the release of this single is that listeners will receive equal enjoyment of the flip side. The "B" side features Foxy Brown on the explosive, "Ain't No N*gg@." So listen on, "JAY-Z's Listening Party" will provide you with a sweet head nod and an idea of what else will follow. Remember this is just a taste." (Press Release. February 5, 1996). Revisit Hov's classic, Reasonable Doubt, and more below...

Reasonable Doubt is the first release for Roc-A-Fella Records, a label that was conceived by Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem Burke. Reaching gold status in such a small amount of time for a start-up record company is a remarkable feat in itself. Jay-Z, who holds the title of COO of Roc-A-Fella records comments on the success of Roc-A-Fella and Reasonable Doubt by saying, "It's just the beginning." Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-A-Fella contributes that, "We're not just a company, we're a conglomerate. A family with high expectations, we refuse to lose." In the words of CMJ's M. Tye Comer, Reasonable Doubt is "easily one of the best records of the summer and will undoubtedly give De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest a serious run for their money as the hip-hop record of the year." The album highlights include production by producers such as Clark Kent (Junior M.A.F.I.A.), DJ Premier (Nas) and Big Jaz, who produced the gold single, Ain't No N*gg@. The current single, Can't Knock The Hustle, which features Mary J. Blige, is currently in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. Jay-Z's performance at a recent concert at New York's famed Apollo Theater had seasoned observers of the hip hop scene comparing Jay-Z's live fire to Run-DMC in their prime. Neil Strauss of The New York Times wrote, "Jay-Z came off like a hustler millionaire alternating lyrics about diamonds and Grey Poupon with ones about street gangs and shootouts." (Press Kit, September 19, 1996). The art above is by talented artist, Alphonze. Full press releases are below.