Top Sites for Finding Jay-Z’s Lyrics

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is one of the most successful men in the world right now. Jay-Z owns part of the New Jersey Nets, is a major player in the world of urban fashion with his Roc-A-Wear clothing line, and is currently one of the most powerful music executives in the world.

If that’s not enough to make the average American man jealous of Jay-Z, he is also romantically linked to Beyonce. Although business savvy and determination obviously helped, Shawn Carter probably would not have been nearly as successful if not for the outstanding quality of Jay-Z’s lyrics and vocal delivery.

While he is clearly a brilliant lyricist, it is not always completely clear what Jay-Z is saying in his songs. The untrained ear may have less trouble understanding him than it would with artists such as Sean Paul or the Ying Yang Twins, but censored words and fast phrases pose problems for casual listeners. One way to ascertain the words to a song is by purchasing the appropriate CD and listening carefully for as long as it takes, but that requires time and money. Lyrics sites allow listeners to take advantage of the work of others.

There are many sites on the world wide web dedicated to providing lyrics, but not all web sites are created equal. Over the past several years, three sites in particular have proven to be among the best lyrics sites on the web. Now, I will evaluate how effective each site is regarding the lyrics that they provide for Jay-Z’s music.

The best site for finding Jay-Z lyrics is the Original Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive. If you want to find lyrics for any hip-hop artist, this site is the best. The link in the previous sentence will get you to the main page, which has a sidebar on the left with various navigation options. To get to Jay-Z lyrics, click on the hyperlink that says “Fav Artists”. That will bring you to a simple yet effective page with links to the words to almost all of his songs. The lyrics are sorted by album, starting with his debut in 1996 and including everything that Jay-Z has recorded since then.

Besides his solo albums, the site has lyrics to includes his “Best of Both Worlds” collaboration with R. Kelly and hundreds of other songs by artists from Shaq to 50 Cent to Mariah Carey that Jay-Z contributed vocals to. The lyrics to Jay-Z’s hit singles and many of his other songs were typed by the site’s webmaster, DJ Flash. The lyrics seem to be very accurate and profanity is left uncensored, but anyone who is bothered by profanity should not be looking up Jay-Z lyrics. The only disadvantage is that if your browser allows pop-up ads, you will get them from using this site.

Another good site for finding Jay-Z lyrics is Lyrics Kingdom . That site is easy to search by artist and has accurate lyrics for many of his songs. However, unlike on the Original Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive, Jay-Z’s lyrics page in Lyrics Kingdom does not include songs that he was featured on. You also need to click on “Mirror 1” before you get to the main page, and the site can be slow to load and very prone to pop-up ads. If you don’t mind those inconveniences, Lyrics Kingdom is still a good place to search for lyrics by Jay-Z and more than a thousand other bands and solo artists.

If you absolutely cannot stand pop-up ads, then top40db is the best place to find Jay-Z lyrics. The lyrics are not quite as accurate as the other sites, but special features are available to those who register for free. Those features include information about the peak chart position of each song, as well as not having to see a pesky message inviting you to sign in. Top40db, unlike the other lyrics sites, lets you know that the only time that Jay-Z had a number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was for contributing a few lines to Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker”.

It also tells you that the highest-charting in which Jay-Z is the principal artist is “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” Another advantage is that, unlike the previous two sites, Top40db allows you to search by year and song title. Unfortunately, Top40db did not transcribe the lyrics to either of those songs perfectly, and the words to “Heartbreaker” are cut off about three letters from the end of some lines. It also only has 45 songs listed for Jay-Z, while the other two sites have hundreds. Better quality would be ideal, but you cannot expect too much from a site that refuses to support itself with any type of ad hosting.

All other sites where Jay-Z lyrics can be found tend to be so full of sloppiness and pop-up ads that they are not even worth mentioning. If you cannot find lyrics to a song through any of the aforementioned sites or through a google search, your best bet would be to find an appropriate music-related message board and ask if anyone can help you.

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