The Black Album
The Black Album.jpg
Studio album by Jay-Z


14 November 2003


July - October 2003


Baseline Studios
(New York City, New York)
Record Plant Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
The Hit Factory Criteria
(Miami, Florida)
54 Sound
(Detroit, Michigan)
Akademie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research
(Los Angeles, California)


Hip hop




Roc-A-Fella Records/Def Jam Recordings


9th Wonder, Aqua, The Buchanans, Kareem "Biggs" Burke (exec.), Damon Dash (exec.), DJ Quik, Eminem, Jay-Z (also exec.), Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Luis Resto, Rick Rubin, Timbaland, Joe "3H" Weinberger, Kanye West

Jay Z chronology


The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse (2002)


Kingdom Come (2006)

The Black Album is the eighth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released in 2003 on Roc-A-Fella Records. It was advertised as his final album before retiring, which is a recurring theme throughout the songs, although Jay Z resumed his recording career in 2006.

Upon its release, The Black Album received widespread acclaim from critics. In its first week, the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 463,000 copies in the United States. It became Jay Z's top selling album of the 2000s decade, and by July 2013, it had sold 3,516,000 copies in the United States alone. The Black Album was promoted with a retirement tour by Jay Z and three singles that also achieved Billboard chart success, including the top-ten hits "Change Clothes" and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder".

Track listing[edit | edit source]

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "Interlude" - - Just Blaze 1:21
2. "December 4th" Jay-Z Boyd, Carter, Powell, Smith Just Blaze 4:33
3. "What More Can I Say" Jay-Z Bell, Carter, Chambers, Gamble, Gonzalez, Johnson The Buchanans 4:55
4. "Encore" Jay-Z Carter, West Kanye West 4:10
5. "Change Clothes" Jay-Z Carter, Hugo, Williams The Neptunes 4:18
6. "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" Jay-Z Carter, Mosley Timbaland 4:05
7. "Threat" Jay-Z Carter, Douthit, Kelly 9th Wonder, Jay Z 4:06
8. "Moment of Clarity" Jay-Z Carter, King, Mathers, Resto Eminem, Luis Resto (add.) 4:24
9. "99 Problems" Jay-Z Carter, Henderson, Landsberg, Marrow, Pappalardi, Rubin, Squier, Ventura, Weinstein Rick Rubin 3:54
10. "Public Service Announcement (Interlude)" Jay-Z Carter, Levin, Smith Just Blaze 2:53
11. "Justify My Thug" Jay-Z Blake, Carter, Chavez, Ciccone, Kravitz, McDaniels, Simmons, Smith DJ Quik 4:04
12. "Lucifer" Jay-Z Carter, Perry, Smith, West Kanye West 3:12
13. "Allure" Jay-Z Carter, Hugo, Williams The Neptunes 4:52
14. "My 1st Song" Jay-Z Carter, De La Fuente, McCarrell Aqua, Joe "3H" Weinberger 4:45


  • Track 3 features additional vocals performed by Vincent "Hum V" Bostic
  • Track 4 features additional vocals performed by John Legend, Don Crawley, Leonard Harris & Kanye West
  • Track 5 features additional vocals performed by Danee Doty
  • Track 7 features additional vocals performed by Cedric the Entertainer
  • Track 8 features keyboards performed by Luis Resto, and guitar and bass performed by Steve King
  • Track 11 features additional vocals performed by Sharlotte Gibson
  • Track 12 features bass performed by Keenan "Kee Note" Holloway

Credits[edit | edit source]

  • A&R: Lenny S.
  • A&R Administration: Rob Mitchell
  • A&R Direction: Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua, Darcell Lawrence
  • Art Direction & Design: Robert Sims
  • Engineer (Mix): Darrell Thorp (track 11)
  • Engineer (Assistant): Chris Steflene (track 11)
  • Marketing: Shari Bryant & Amber Noble
  • Mastering: Tony Dawsey
  • Mixed by: Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton (track 2, 4, 7, 10, 12-14), Supa Engineer DURO (track 3), Jimmy Douglas (track 4, 6), Rich Travali (track 5), Eminem (track 8), Steve King (track 8), Rick Rubin (track 9), Andrew Scheps (track 9), DJ Quik (track 11)
  • Mixed by (assistant): Marcella "Lago" Araica (track 6), David Brown (track 7, 12, 14)
  • Photography (Additional): Lenny "kodak man" Santiago & Walik Goshorn
  • Photography (Principal): Jonathan Mannion
  • Programmed by: Jason Lader (track 9)
  • Recorded by: David Brown (track 2), Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton (track 3-5, 7, 8, 10-14), Demacio "Demo" Castellon (track 6), Steve King (track 8), Mike Strange (track 8), Andrew Scheps (track 9), David Brown (track 10)
  • Recorded by (assistant): David Brown (track 7, 12, 14)
  • Recording Administration: Andrew Huggins
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