jay z reasonable doubt

Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt, though a slow-burner when it first dropped in the summer of 1996, is recognized as an undisputed classic. But Hov’s debut album could have sounded slightly different had Roc-A-Fella not carefully and cleverly edited the cohesive project we all know and love. Thanks to 2DBZ, you can cast your eyes on the very original Reasonable Doubt tracklisting.

Though the changes aren’t that drastic, they’re significant. The original “Dead Presidents” would have opened the album instead of “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” while “Dead Presidents II” (listed here as “Dead Presidents [Remix]“) would have been buried as the bonus track. Mary J. Blige, Big Jaz and Sauce Money are uncredited while Memphis Bleek is listed as the guest on “Can I Live,” not “Coming of Age” (perhaps by mistake). Reasonable Doubt would have run at a much longer 18 tracks with three new album cuts, “The Hurt,” “Tell Me” and “Hot” — all of which have never been released.

For Shake‘s real rap nerd breakdown on how the sequencing may have hindered Jay Z’s magnum opus (and altered the course of hip-hop history… sorta), head on over to the Dope House.

Check it out after the jump…

What Reasonable Doubt would have looked like:

jay z reasonable doubt original tracklist

Reasonable Doubt as we know it:

reasonable doubt

Related: Jay Z Ranks His Solo Album Collection