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Jay-Z’s debut album Reasonable Doubt is still considered by many to be one of, if not his best albums, and the lyrics on songs like “Regrets” are a big part of that.

Even though the personal recollections of the third verse allowed that rare glimpse into Jay-Z’s personal life, something about that second verse is endearing to me. Maybe it’s the way he plays with his flow at the start or attempts to take a snap shot of an emotion as he wrestles with a difficult choice,  it’s the template for what made The Blueprint and The Black Album high watermarks of his catalog.

As sure as this, Earth is turning souls burning

in search of higher learning turning in every direction seeking direction

My moms cryin cause her insides are dyin

her son tryin her patience, keep her heart racin

A million beats a minute, I know I push you to your limit

but it’s this game love, I’m caught up all in it

They make it so you can’t prevent it, never give it

you gotta take it, can’t fake it I keep it authentic

My hand got this pistol shakin, cause I sense danger

like Camp Crystal Lake and

don’t wanna shoot him, but I got him, trapped

within this infrared dot, bout to hot him and, hit rock bottom

No answers to these trick questions, no time shit stressin

My life found I got ta live for the right now

Time waits for no man, can’t turn back the hands

once it’s too late, gotta learn to live with regrets

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