Jay Z's most successful album had people running to their nearest music store upon its release; Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life was by far Jay Z's most anticipated album of all time. This album featured many of the best artists in the hip hop industry of that time; popular names such as Memphis Bleek, DMX, and Ja Rule helped bring upon the success of Jay Z's album.

 Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life compiled songs that were considered to be out of Jay Z's regular style at the time, because they were notable "meaner" than his usual style. This could be attributed to the variation of producers from his old songs; "meaner" producers in the hip hop industry were featured throughout this album such as Swizz Beatz, Kid Capri, and Erick Sermon. However, this change wasn't a bad one according to the recorded sales of the album, as Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life was Jay Z's best selling album thus far.

 Impact On His CareerJay Z-Vol 2 Hard Knock Life CDCredit: Amazon.com

Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life impacted Jay Z's career significantly in great ways. Prior to the release of this album the name Jay Z did not mean much in the hip hop industry; the listeners still knew who Jay Z was as a rapper, but artists such as Tupac and Notorious B.I.G dominated the charts. However, with the release of Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life, the name Jay Z become a staple in the hip hop industry, as well as billboard charts. As proof of this, many years later this album is certified as 5 TIMES PLATINUM; if this isn't enough to prove the significance of the release of Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life then nothing will!

 Album Sales

In addition to significantly impacting Jay Z's career, Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life also greatly impacted his record sales! This platinum album has sold over 5.7 million copies in the United States, and 7.9 million copies worldwide! These numbers would even drop the jaws of the most famous artists in the hip hop industry. With these numbers being stated, it can be said that Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life blatantly skyrocketed Jay Z's career to an entirely new level; this album took him from goodness to greatness.

 Hit Singles

Although this album was full of amazing songs produced by some of the greatest names in hiJay Z-Vol 2 Hard Knock Life-Back Of CDCredit: Amazon.comp hop, and featuring some of the most dominant artists in the industry, not all of them made it to the top of the billboards. According to the billboard chart records, the most popular songs were Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem), Can I Get A..., Money, Cash, Hoes, and Jigga What, Jigga Who These songs are believed to have gotten so popular because they appealed to the entire listening community rather than merely a specific group. Most of them have peaked at the top of the billboards, and others closer to the bottom; however, they were all the hit singles of Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life regardless of their chart position.

 Track Listing

1. Intro: Hand It Down


Produced By: DJ Premier

Featuring: Memphis Bleek

 2. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)


Produced By: The 45 King

3. If I Should Die

4:55Jay Z-The Hits Collection Volume 1Credit: Amazon.com

Produced By: Swizz Beats

Featuring: Da Ranjahz

4. Ride Or Die


Produced By: Steven Jordan

5. Jigga What, Jigga Who (originator 99)


Produced By: Timbaland

Featuring: Big Jaz and Amil

6. Money, Cash, Hoes


Produced By: Swizz Beatz

Featuring: DMX

7. A Week Ago


Produced By: J-Runnah

Featuring: Too Short

8. Coming Of Age (Da Sequel)


Produced By: Swizz Beatz

Featuring: Memphis Bleek

9. Can I Get A...


Produced By: Irv Gotti and Lil' Rob

Featuring: Amil and Ja Rule

 10. Paper Chase


Produced By: Timbaland

Featuring: Foxy Brown

11. Reservoir Dogs


Produced By: Erick Sermon

Featuring: The LOX, Beanie Sigel, and Sauce Money

12. Its Like That


Produced By: Kid Capri

Featuring: Kid Capri

13. Its Alright


Produced By: Damon Dash & Mahogany Music

Featuring: Memphis Bleek

14. Money Ain't A Thang


Produced By: Jermaine Dupri

Featuring: Jermaine Dupri

Some fans say that the featured artists and producers made this Jay Z's best selling album, others say that it was his short break from the hip hop industry prior to its release; I believe that it was simply Jay Z's time to shine and Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life exemplified this. Regardless of speculation, Jay Z worked extremely hard on producing and releasing Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life, and his hard work paid off through its nearly record breaking sales! Pick yourself up a copy of Jay Z’s most successful album at a discounted price from Amazon.com