Hip Hop Wiki
Reasonable Doubt
Reasonable Doubt.jpeg
Studio album by Jay-Z


June 25, 1996


September 1994 - August 1995


D&D Studios
(New York City, New York)


Mafioso rap, East Coast hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Conscious hip hop, Underground hip hop




Roc-A-Fella Records / Priority Records


Big Jaz, Kareem "Biggs" Burke (exec.), Sean Cane (co.), DJ Clark Kent, Dahoud (co.), Dame Dash (also exec.), DJ Irv, DJ Premier, Jay-Z (exec.), Knobody, Peter Panic, Ski

Jay-Z chronology


In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)

Reasonable Doubt is the debut studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released on June 25, 1996 via Roc-A-Fella Records and Priority Records. Recording sessions took place at D&D Studios in New York City from September 1994 to August 1995. Production was handled by DJ Premier, Ski, Knobody, Big Jaz, DJ Irv, DJ Clark Kent and Peter Panic, with co-production from Dahoud, Damon Dash, Sean Cane. It includes guest appearances from Memphis Bleek, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., Mecca, Foxy Brown, Jaz-O and Sauce Money. Reasonable Doubt features mafioso rap themes and gritty lyrics about the "hustler" lifestyle and material obsessions.

The album peaked at #23 on the Billboard 200 (which it charted for eighteen weeks) and #3 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Reasonable Doubt released the four singles: "Dead Presidents", "Feelin' It", "Ain't No N*gga" and "Can't Knock the Hustle". The album has been acclaimed by music critics upon its release, the album has since been heralded by music writers as Jay-Z's "crowning achievement", and appears on numerous best album lists by music publications. On February 7, 2002, Reasonable Doubt was certified platinum by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of million copies in the United States.

Track listing[]

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "Can't Knock the Hustle" Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige Carter, Foster, Millar Knobody, Dahoud (co.), Sean Cane (co.) 5:17
2. "Politics as Usual" Jay-Z Biggs, Carter, Willis Ski 3:41
3. "Brooklyn's Finest" Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G. Bonner, Carter, Franklin, Jones, Middlebrooks, Morrison, Noland, Pierce, Wallace, Webster Clark Kent, Dame Dash (co.) 4:36
4. "Dead Presidents II" Jay-Z Carter, Jones, Phillips, Smith, Willis Ski 4:27
5. "Feelin' It" Jay-Z, Mecca Carter, Willis Ski 3:48
6. "D'Evils" Jay-Z Carter, Martin DJ Premier 3:31
7. "22 Two's" Jay-Z Carter, Willis Ski 3:29
8. "Can I Live" Jay-Z Bacharach, Carter, Davis, Lorenzo DJ Irv 4:10
9. "Ain't No N*gga" Jay-Z, Foxy Brown Burks, Carter, Lampert, Marchano, Moon, Potter, Thomas Big Jaz 4:03
10. "Friend or Foe" Jay-Z Carter, Martin DJ Premier 1:49
11. "Coming of Age" Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek Carter, Franklin, Mtume Clark Kent 3:59
12. "Cashmere Thoughts" Jay-Z Bohannon, Carter, Emanuel, Franklin, Ragin Clark Kent 2:56
13. "Bring It On" Jay-Z, Sauce Money, Big Jaz Burks, Carter, Gaither, Martin DJ Premier 5:01
14. "Regrets" Jay-Z Carter, Di Pasquale Peter Panic 4:34


Can't Knock the Hustle

  • "Much Too Much" by Marcus Miller

Politics As Usual

  • "Hurry Up This Way Again" by The Stylistics

Brooklyn's Finest

Dead Presidents II

  • "Oh My God (Remix)" by A Tribe Called Quest
  • "A Garden of Peace" by Lonnie Liston Smith
  • "The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)" by Nas

Feelin' It

  • "Pastures" by Ahmad Jamal


  • "Go Back Home" by Allen Toussaint
  • "Murder Was the Case (Death After Visualizing Eternity)" by Snoop Dogg

22 Two's

  • "Blue Wind" by John Kaizan Neptune

Can I Live

  • "The Look of Love" by Isaac Hayes

Ain't No N*gga

  • "Seven Minutes of Funk" by The Whole Darn Family
  • "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)" by Four Tops

Friend or Foe

  • "Hey, What's That You Say" by Brother to Brother

Coming of Age

  • "Inside You" by Eddie Henderson

Cashmere Thoughts

  • "Save Their Souls" by Hamilton Bohannon

Bring It On

  • "1, 2 Pass It" by D&D All Stars


  • "It's So Easy Loving You" by Hubert Laws and Earl Klugh

Can I Live II

  • "Mother's Day" by The 24-Carat Black