"I've never looked at myself and said that I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people. I've always wanted to stay true to myself, and I've managed to do that. People have to accept that."
If there is one thing we have learned about JAY-Z throughout his career, it is that he has always been — for better or for worse — true to himself. Take a look at his prolific body of work, and even in his failures, Shawn Carter has always managed to do it with a style and aplomb only he's capable of. On every album, you hear his dedication to his story, his relentlessness to his brand, and his obsession as not only the best rapper in the game, but in all of history. JAY-Z has never cared about whether or not you like him — he already knows you do.
With the release of 4:44 — his 13th solo studio album (and 16th studio album overall) — coming this Friday, we took the time to listen to and rank every album ever released by JAY-Z.
"Allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is..."