Ranking Jay-Z albums by sales
(Credit: Alamy)


Ranking Jay-Z albums by sales

Jay-Z is one of the wealthiest rappers alive. As the co-founder of Roc-a-Fella alongside Dame Dash, the Brooklyn legend (real name Shawn Carter) built an empire that saw acts like Jadakiss, The Diplomats, and Kanye West shoot to fame.

Born and raised in The Marcy Projects, a public housing scheme located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn, Carter was raised by his mother. Brooklyn was a musical hotspot during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Surrounded by hip-hop music since his school days, Carter surprisingly did not immediately gravitate towards music as he saw it as a long-term investment and wanted quick money.

Instead, during the late 1980s, Carter sold crack cocaine to earn quick money but still remained connected to local Brooklyn artists such as Jaz-O, The Notorious BIG and Big Daddy Kane. Carter Jaz-O’s protege and ended up becoming Big Daddy Kane’s hype-man. He went on to feature on his track ‘Show and Prove’ from Kane’s 1994 album Daddy’s Home.

Having built a small buzz as Big Daddy Kane’s hype-man and frequent collaborator, Jay-Z remained relatively anonymous until he founded Roc-A-Fella Records alongside Dame Dash. Through his local Brooklyn school connections, Jay-Z landed a 1996 collaboration with The Notorious B.I.G. for his debut album Reasonable Doubt, which he released through his label. Ever since then, Carter has been on an upward trajectory.

Jay-Z managed to remain relevant for over two decades, and with a tenacious work rate, Carter released full bodies of work annually for six consecutive years until 2003. However, the Reasonable Doubt musician continued to release projects until 2017, when he put out 4:44.

Carter has released 13 full-length albums, with his breakthrough being Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. Jay-Z has a catalogue that is arguably the most extensive and highest quality in hip-hop. Unlike other high-calibre lyricists, there is not one Hov project that has been mocked or received poorly by critics.

Since his debut, Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z has had fluctuating record sales. Below You can see his album sales from lowest to highest-selling.

Jay-Z album sales ranked:

  1. Vol2…Hard Knock Life, (1998) – 6,200,000 sold
  2. Watch The Throne, (2011) – 5,550,000 sold
  3. The Black Album, (2003) – 3,451,274 sold
  4. The Blueprint, (2001) – 3,217,450 sold
  5. Magna Carta…Holy Grail, (2013) – 3,184,000 sold
  6. Vol. 3 Life & Times of S Carter, (1999) – 3,110,000 sold
  7. The Blueprint 3, (2009) – 2,404,500 sold
  8. Kingdom Come, (2006) – 2,259,442 sold
  9. The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse, (2002) – 2,122,685 sold
  10. 4:44, (2017) – 2,060,000 sold
  11. The Dynasty: Roc-La-Familia, (2000) – 2,060,000 sold
  12. American Gangster, (2007) – 1,110,000 sold
  13. In My Lifetime Volume 1, (1997) – 1,060,000 sold
  14. Reasonable Doubt, (1996) – 1,060,000 sold