Very few rappers can boast Jay-Z's longevity. Hip hop, as the first word in its name would indicate, revolves around the concept of new and innovative. Like in the world of pop music, it's impressive how swiftly an artist falls by the wayside in hip hop after commanding the charts a year prior. To retain your spot at the top of the hip hop heap takes a shrewd awareness of trends and a propensity to adapt to them. Jay-Z, however, hasn't changed much since his debut album Reasonable Doubt.
Although he's actively eschewing the more toxic tropes in his lyrics as of late, Jigga hasn't altered much of his style on the flow and delivery front. A large part of Jay-Z's decision to remain resolute in his flow can be attributed to how much his rhyme style changed before Reasonable Doubt. In the video linked above, you can check out Jay's tongue twister style at around a minute and fifty seconds. If you arrived at Jigga's work after 96, the video and his delivery might be a shock for you.