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Jay-Z: In My Lifetime Volume 1 (Northwestside)

Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, 25 October 1997

THE FIRST WORDS you hear are spoken by Jay-Z himself, assuming a parodic Italian-American accent, imagining himself as a dying Al Pacino in Carlito's Way, about to tell his story in flashback. "Somebody's pulling me close to the ground", he says, but the only person holding this former hustler turned rapper down is himself. For his second album in 12 months, he chronicles a bleak world where the struggle for drug profits breeds senseless deaths, champagne and company the only consolations.

Total word count of piece: 245