Jay-z is at the pinnacle with this record. It is the first rap record besides Kanye West that I have been able to FULLY connect with. I love this cd. His lyrics are so catchy and so rememerable that after a couple of listens I was going wit Jay and the rhymes. The beats done by the beatmaster himself Kanye, are so hot and so soulful that they almost steal the album. My favorite songs are TAKEOVER, Jay takes shots at Nas and has piercing lyrics. IZZO, because he samples one of my fave groups the Jackson 5, and its just so damn catchy. GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS, is also so soulful and very funny and Jay describes many types of girls. I like it, because its catchy and cool and it doesnt objectify women. HEART OF THE CITY, I love it for the hook, but I have to say I didn't like this song until Jaguar Wright did it right on the Unplugged cd. VERY HOT go cop that if you ain't heard it. NEVER CHANGE is a testament to the hood life and to the streets. Its almost like the song is standing his ground, he will never change. Very easy to listen to. SONG CRY is my favorite songs on the cd and one of my faves of all time!!! THe song is so hard!! He makes the song cry cause he can't see them coming down his face. I love it, it is the hiphop power ballad! Renegade is another favorite of mine, mainly because its so powerful and Eminem (I hate to say it Jay) spits hot fire on this track. This cd is so captivating, from the beats, to the verses, to Eminem ( the only guet appearance). Thats another thing Jay basically held the cd down for himself as far as performing. How many rap cds out there have a different person on each track. It's hard to hold down the fort by yourself, but hey the king of new york did it...and did it well!!