The Blueprint 3 11th album
Over 13 years in the public eye, Jay-Z has gone from former crack-dealer to the most respected person(not just rapper)in the music world. The journey from MC to CEO has, perhaps inevitably, taken some of the edges off Shawn Carter.
Many rappers have a faster flow (rhyme), but few have more clarity, or make as much sense. Timbaland and Kanye West are among his producers, Blueprint 3 has a dynamic rang, from the tightly looped electro chant of Off That to the anthemic club pop of Empire State of Mind featuring Alicia Keys.
A thread that runs the length of the album is Jay-Z addressing all of his critics. Shots are fired in all directions. Dame Dash and Jaz-O are addressed on “So Ambitious” Cam’ron and Jim Jones are on the receiving end of a particularly venomous verse on “Thank You” (I was gon’ kill a couple rappers, but they did it to themselves/ I was gon’ do it with the flow, but they did it with their sales). Not to mention “Hate,” “Thank You,” and “Reminder,” all of which Jay dedicates to his detractors, there are even some throwaway subliminals for The Game and Joe Buddens.
At 40 years old, Jay-Z comes across as a well-rounded, sophisticated and with more wit, charm and verbal assault. Such qualities may be taken as a sign of weakness among young but Hov’s Blueprint 3 is a mainstream rap album & suggests Jay-Z still has the skills to shake off the pretenders.
Here is the track list. The only bad song is Venus Vs. Mars. I don’t know how that made it to on there but its bad. Just skip it.
1. What We Talkin’ About (Jay-Z + Luke Steele of Empire Of The Sun)
2. Thank You
3. D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)
4. Run This Town (Jay-Z + Rihanna + Kanye West)
5. Empire State Of Mind (Jay-Z + Alicia Keys)
6. Real As It Gets (Jay-Z + Young Jeezy)
7. On To The Next One (Jay-Z + Swizz Beatz)
8. Off That (Jay-Z + Drake) Listen
9. A Star Is Born (Jay-Z + J. Cole)
10. Venus Vs. Mars
11. Already Home (Jay-Z + Kid Cudi)
12. Hate (Jay-Z + Kanye West)
14. So Ambitious (Jay-Z + Pharrell