While critical opinion of the new Jay-Z album is a little mixed, no one can deny that it’s making history: Magna Carta… Holy Grail is the first No. 1 album made solely by a rapper over 40 years of age. While Jay still has a ways to go before becoming the new Sinatra, it’s still awesome to see an MC make it to his All That You Can’t Leave Behind (or, depending on how you feel about MCHG, his Undercover) phase. The next albums from Nas and Eminem will be their first since passing to the other side of the big 4-0, and no amount of Young Jeezy’s, Dro’s, and Joc’s are gonna keep time from running and passing, passing and running.
In the spirit of “40 is the new 30,” join us as SPIN pulls up a beach chair and celebrates the greatest hip-hop albums made by rappers who’ve got more rhymes than they got gray hairs.