Editors’ Notes As sleek as the leather interior of a luxury Lexus sedan, Reasonable Doubt enacts the glamorous dreams of every young rapper with the cool demeanor and acumen of Don Corleone. Age 27 when his debut was released, Jay-Z was much older than most rappers releasing a debut album and the depth of his life experience brings a gravitas to Reasonable Doubt that few rappers could achieve in 1996. “Regrets” is a song of a man re-examining his past, not grabbing at the flash of the future. But unlike the wizened admonishments of a rapper like Scarface (whose influence looms large on Reasonable Doubt), Jay-Z would never sound younger than he does here. He had spent years honing his rhyme craft, and he moves through every song with swiftness and self-assurance. Listening to him is like watching a rookie point guard slip past veteran giants. Reasonable Doubt is the one album Jay-Z created before having to contend with multi-platinum pressures and superstar responsibilities. It remains his most consistent album because it was the only time Jigga made no compromises. The young rapper had been waiting 27 years to tell this story, and there isn’t a measure misplaced.