A brush with prison life last year -- Jay-Z was found not guilty of stabbing a suspected bootlegger -- hasn't put the New York MC on the straight and narrow. If anything, Jay sounds even closer to the streets on his hard-hitting new album. Between repeated shouts of "not guilty" and a surprisingly intense duet with Eminem, Jigga again proves himself one of hiphop's fiercest lyricists by launching into a war with virtually every other name MC in New York. Over old soul and Doors breaks, Nas and Mobb Deep both suffer brutal verbal beat-downs. Retaliation is virtually guaranteed, suggesting that Jay-Z's real future might lie in hilarious battle rhymes rather than crowd-pleasing anthems like IZZO.