The rap game has long been a sport for the brash upstart, but if you've been paying attention in 2016, you'll notice that some of the more buzzworthy moments came from a guy closer to AARP membership than the legal drinking age. That man is none other than Jay Z, who has been gifting rap enthusiasts with feature verses on a pair of the hottest records to emerge so far this year: Pusha T's "Drug Dealers Anonymous" and Fat Joe and Remy Ma's "All the Way Up."

The high-powered Brooklynite has built himself into being one of the more highly respected artists from a business perspective, not to mention his knack for weaving spellbinding lyrics into his music. Over the course of the past two decades, he has proven time and time again that he's one of the greatest to do it, one album at a time, and has made a solid case for himself to this point.

Many rappers may possess hits or elite lyricism, but fail to marry the two and create a solid body of work, an art that Jay mastered during the earlier portion of his career and eventually carried him to immortality as an MC and a bona fide hitmaker. As far as discographies go, few are able to stack up to Jay Z's, in any form or fashion, as he's the rare rapper that can boast about having upwards of five classic albums to his credit.

To mark his celebrated career, XXL took a deep dive into all of Hov's solo albums to determine which one truly stands head and shoulders above the rest and has the distinction of being his best work to date. Where does your favorite Jay Z album stand up?

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