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Jay-Z's 1998 album "Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life"
Sure, "Vol. 1" had guests like Foxy Brown, Babyface, Blackstreet, Teddy Riley, Too $hort, Lil' Kim, and Puff Daddy, but it was "Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life" that gave Jay-Z his first top 40 hit and his first of many Grammys. With help from memorable tracks like "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" and "Can I Get A..." it is still his biggest selling album of his career and was his first Billboard 200 No. 1 in a long string of No. 1s to follow. Pictured is the rapper at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards