Entertainment Weekly - 11/28/97, p.85
"...His phrasing shifts often, and he mixes jokes with visceral descriptions, stealing the spotlight from guests like BLACKstreet, Puff Daddy, Babyface, and Foxy Brown. We've heard these gangster tales before, but Jay-Z shows you don't need to do anything new, as long as you do it better." - Rating: B+
Q - 12/00, p.1443 stars out of 5
- "...Calls on Blackstreet and Puff Daddy....It couldn't fail: the epitome of mainstream hip hop, and intentionally so."
The Source - 12/97, p.1804 Mics (out of 5)
- "...Jay-Z emerges victorious....IN MY LIFETIME VOL. 1 just might be a new beginning for one of rap's most promising careers."
Personnel: Jay-Z, Foxy Brown, Lil' Kim, Too Short (rap vocals); Babyface, Karen Anderson, Kelly Price (vocals); Teddy Riley, Stevie J (various instruments); Chad Hugo (saxophone); George Fontenette (keyboards); DJ Premiere (scratches); Earth (background vocals); BlackStreet, Sauce Money.
Producers include: Premiere, Teddy Riley, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence, Daven "Prestige" Vanderpool.
Engineers include: Eddie Sancho, Teddy Riley, S. Ghenea.
Principally recorded in New York, New York.
Jay-Z's critically acclaimed debut album REASONABLE DOUBT earned him much respect as an MC. At the time, it was one of the few albums to contain not only true displays of lyrical skills but slammin' beats all the way through. After experiencing blow-up success with his first release, Jay-Z follows with IN MY LIFETIME, VOL. 1, the first in what would be a three volume set.
IN MY LIFETIME, VOL. 1 introduces the hip-hop audience to a more diverse Jay-Z. Still lyrically gifted, Jay-Z has experimented more this time, sampling popular records such as "You Belong To The City" on "The City Is Mine," and collaborating with superstars such as Babyface on "(Always Be My) Sunshine." In addition, there is still a dose of that hard-core underground Jay-Z music on tracks like "Streets Is Watching" and "Friend Or Foe '98."