It’s Jay Z’s 44th birthday and, presumably feeling quite pensive, he’s decided to critique his own back-catalogue in full.

There are a few surprises thrown in to the mix, with Hov feeling his debut Reasonable Doubt is even better than touchstone releases, The Blueprint and The Black Album. Also, Magna Carta Holy Grail comes in at a middling number 6.

Jay gives some reasons behind the ordering too, calling American Gangster “cohesive”, saying that Blueprint 2 has “too many songs” and pleading not to be shot for 2006 “comeback” Kingdom Come.

See the full list below, posted on Jay Z’s own Life+Times website.

1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic)
2. The Blueprint (Classic)
3. The Black Album (Classic)
4. Vol. 2 (Classic)
5. American Gangster (4 1/2, cohesive)
6. Magna Carta (Fuckwit, Tom Ford, Oceans, Beach, On the Run, Grail)
7. Vol. 1 (Sunshine kills this album…fuck… Streets, Where I’m from, You Must Love Me…)
8. BP3 (Sorry critics, it’s good. Empire (Gave Frank a run for his money))
9. Dynasty (Intro alone…)
10. Vol. 3 (Pimp C verse alone… oh, So Ghetto)
11. BP2 (Too many songs. Fucking Guru and Hip Hop, ha)
12. Kingdom Come (First game back, don’t shoot me)


[via CoS]