It’s hard to believe that twenty years ago, Jay Z was one in a hundred aspiring rappers hoping that his debut album would get some notice. It’s famously reported that, when he first pursued a career in music, his goal was to get just one album that would reach gold status. Then, Reasonable Doubt came out and erased any doubt that Jay was hip hop’s Chosen Son and destined to change the game forever.
The importance of the 20th anniversary of the release of the album, and the fairy tale of what he’s achieved since, isn’t lost on Jay Z, who is commemorating the occasion with all the fanfare it deserves. On Saturday afternoon, he released RD20, a documentary on the making and impact of Reasonable Doubt, exclusively on TIDAL.
Then, there is the Los Angeles pop-up shop called APT 4B, named after his humble abode in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects, where he lived before he was crowned the King of New York. The store, which opened on Saturday and will remain up until July 10, is selling Reasonable Doubt merchandise like T-shirts, hats, cassettes, and more, as well as pieces from Jay’s partner Kareem “Biggs” Burke’s denim line Fourth of November. Fans will also be able to interact with kiosks featuring exclusive content and get a peek at “Reasonable Doubt”-inspired emojis.
“The partnership between Biggs and I began in the spirit of independence 20 years ago and nothing has changed,” Jay Z said in a statement. “For the pop-up shop series, we’re working directly with store owners, supporting entrepreneurship in our communities. The shops bring to life the inspiration behind ‘Reasonable Doubt’; the fans and respecting the culture.”
But the most meaningful marker of this important day came straight from Jay’s deepest thoughts, channeled through his little-used Twitter account, recognizing the impact the album had not only on hip hop, but on Shawn Corey Carter:
This album literally saved my life…….. I can't thank you all enough.