"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..."

Unfinished Business

JAY-Z & R. Kelly

Released: October 26, 2004

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / Jive

No. 15

Magna Carta... Holy Grail

JAY-Z

Released: July 4, 2013

Roc-A-Fella / Roc Nation / IDJMG

No. 14

Kingdom Come

JAY-Z

Released: November 21, 2006

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG

No. 13

The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse

JAY-Z

Released: November 12, 2002

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG

No. 12

In My Lifetime, Vol. 1

JAY-Z

Released: November 4, 1997

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam

No. 11

The Blueprint 3

JAY-Z

Released: September 8, 2009

Atlantic / Roc-A-Fella

No. 10

The Best of Both Worlds

JAY-Z & R. Kelly

Released: March 19, 2002

Atlantic / Roc-A-Fella

No. 09

The Dynasty: Roc La Familia

JAY-Z

Released: October 31, 2000

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG

No. 08

Vol. 3... The Life & Times of S. Carter

JAY-Z

Released: December 28, 1999

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG

No. 07

American Gangster

JAY-Z

Released: November 6, 2007

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG

No. 06

Watch The Throne

JAY-Z & Kanye West

Released: August 8, 2011

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / Roc Nation

No. 05

Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life

JAY-Z

Released: September 29, 1998

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam

No. 04

The Black Album

JAY-Z

Released: November 14, 2003

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG

No. 03

Reasonable Doubt

JAY-Z

Released: June 25, 1996

Roc-A-Fella

No. 02

The Blueprint

JAY-Z

Released: September 11, 2001

Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG

No. 01