Jay-Z / The Blueprint 3

The Blueprint 3 (Explicit)

The Blueprint 3 is the eleventh studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released September 8, 2009, on Roc Nation. It is the final installment in The Blueprint trilogy, preceded by The Blueprint (2001) and The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse (2002). Production for the album took place during 2008 to 2009 at several recording studios and was handled by Kanye West, The Neptunes, Jeff Bhasker, Al Shux, Jermone Harmon, No I.D., The Inkredibles, Swizz Beatz, and Timbaland.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 476,000 copies in its first week. It became Jay-Z’s eleventh US number-one album, breaking the record he had previously shared with Elvis Presley, and produced five singles that achieved chart success. Upon its release, The Blueprint 3 received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone named it the fourth best album of 2009.

The Analysis:

What We Talkin’ Bout—-Kicking right off with a musical sound that carries through most of this release. Jay enters with the familiar and welcome flow that he has always delivered. the song has many messages mixed in with a foolproof flow and a chorus that was designed to stick in your head…..proving to everyone that Jay still is the king of the New York scene…as well as the rap scene in general!

Thank You—-Full of slight irony and a bombastic bass beat, Jay almost breaks his arm patting himself on the back…but I guess that is what the rap game is all about. Jay never fails to mention himself as a King, a Hero, a legend….but we made him so…and we keep him there. This has a great shuffling beat that is contagious as hell…one of my favorites!

D.O.A. [Death Of Auto Tune]—-Meant as a backlash to the constant release of pop and rap songs featuring the annoying yet ingenious Auto-Tune, Jay delivers a song that is full of actual instrumentation and a clear and smooth flow that needs no alteration of any kind. After a bit, this becomes a bit erratic and annoying…but really is important because it is an honest address to the decline of talent in the rap game in this new era of music making!

Run This Town—-Featuring an irresistible chorus from R n B Diva Rhianna, this another of those tracks that will live in your brain….FOREVER. The beats are classic Jay…the vocal delivery is as smooth as silk…you cannot deny that this dude knows all the tricks, has the hooks and makes music for the masses…..the shuffle beat gets me everytime!!!!

Empire State Of Mind—-The only thing better than a genius delivering an impeccable record is the combination of two separate musical genius minds coming together and delivering one of the catchiest songs ever written in the history of rap and/or pop music! Alicia Keys adds so much to this song and the contrast between the two voices makes this a permanent favorite…this is incredible…one of the most popular tracks of 2009…it still plays well three years later…this is PURE GENIUS!

Real As It Gets—-With a classic cameo from Young Jeezy and that rough vocal of his, i am always surprised how well the entire plays with the backdrop created by Jay. There is much boasting and typical rhetoric, you still cannot deny the thought that is put into the layers and layers of music and beats that are delivered. the music works as well for Jeezy as it does for Jay….fantastic!

On To The Next One—-Featuring the masterminds of Swiss Beatz, this track has an almost MIA hype to it that becomes addictive from the first listen. There are some nice old school moments of the song….the breaks and the erratic backdrop sounds are classic. This is a genius at work…the wordplay shows through the entire track…just brilliant!

Off That—-The reigning King of Rap allows nice cameos on this release from the up and coming kings…like Drake….This just shows that Jay knows he runs the game but does not own the game. This is remarkable…the beats are faster than you would expect and the deeper tone from Drake serves as a fantastic contrast.

A Star Is Born—-J. Cole lends his smooth vocal to the hook of this song and takes a general track to a whole new level. the erratic beats are fantastic and the rhymes pay tribute to all those coming up and those who are emerging as well as those who reign…this is fantastic…name droppin like a Mutha!!!!

Venus VS. Mars—-Finally tackling a track all by himself, Jay delivers a flow that is classic although the music is a bit more sedate and a bit gloomy. this is kind of different for me…not really my favorite track, but I love all the phrasing and word play!

Already Home—-Returning to the colab formula with Kid Cudi, Jay is back in hype mode with a musical landscape that is energetic and damn addictive. Cudi delivers a vocal that is a bit flat for me…it seems to ride over the energetic beats and makes me wonder if he was even listening to the music when he was recording. Jay on the other hand hits his inflections with the bass beats like a freakin’ master. this has high points and low points….Jay could have handled this alone with no problem!

Hate—-Another guest appearance from Kanye, this release just set us up for the monumental Throne CD!!! This is kind of bit of a silly track, but could have fit on the later release fairly well. this time period kind of caught West in his down swing…but he still manages to fit with jay masterfully. This is exquisite…a bit aggravating but still listen worthy on any given day! This really is a big poke in the chest at Southern Rap!!!!

Reminder—-Returning to the flow solo, Jay delivers a track that is worthy of anything he ever put on any Blueprint release. Laughing at those who think he has passed his prime, Jay just reminds us that he is far from retirement age….watch your back younglings’!

So Ambitious—-With a guest appearance from the ultra smooth Pharell Williams, this track still fails to live up to my expectations…I rather expected a masterpiece from these two powerhouses. Williams never gets the chance to live up to his true potential, but still the track is CD worthy. This is nice…but not what I expected.

Young Forever—-With the elusive Mr. Hudson sampling the classic Forever Young chorus from Alphaville, this track is another masterpiece that one is lucky to have once in their career rather than as many times as Jay has had. This is rather brillinat…reminding us that despite his age….Jay still manages to run the game with no problem…delivering classic release after classic release….Jay Z is Young Forever…and he has no problem reminding us of that!!!!

**** out of 5







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