Today in Hip Hop History: December 28, 1999
Rapper and business mogul Shawn Carter, aka Jay Z, released his fourth studio album, Vol. 3…Life and Times of S. Carter, through Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam Recordings in 1999. The album follows up his 1998 effort, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, and returns to the mafioso and street sound of his debut, Reasonable Doubt. Vol. 3…Life and Times of S. Carter features production from DJ Premier, DJ Clue?, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, Irv Gotti, K-Rob and several others. The tracks contain outside vocal features from Beanie Sigel, Mariah Carey, Juvenile, Dr. Dre, UGK and others.
Jay Z released three singles for the album: “Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up),” “Things That U Do” and “Big Pimpin’,” the latter of which became a crossover hit for him. The album sees Jay returning from more commercial raps in his previous album to his classic street rhymes, and in combination with the all-star production team, corresponds perfectly with his superstar status at the time.
Vol. 3…Life and Times of S. Carter received fairly well written critical reviews and exceptional commercial success. The album debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling around 30 percent more than the first week sales of his previous album. Within the first month of its release, Jay moved over 2 million copies. It became RIAA Certified 3x Platinum in February of 2001. The sonically unique sounding songs that comprised the album added another classic to the amazing discography that is Jay Z’s.