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The Blueprint 3 Review

jay z blueprint3 cover The Blueprint 3 Review

It was supposed to be released 9/11/09, but the release date was bumped up to 9/09/09.  So now that it’s here, what do we make of Jay-Z’s 11th studio album?  To sum it up, it’s no classic… but it is a great album.  Let’s get into a track-by-track breakdown:

1. What We Talkin’ Bout – I don’t like to throw the term, classic, around loosely… but this is a classic intro.  Jay’s flow is on point.  The beat grabs you immediately, setting Jay up perfectly to go in.  The lyrics are even more compelling as Jay let’s the listeners know on this track that the subject matter of his music has changed.  He’s a grown up now.  Deal with it. 5/5

2. Thank You – The beat is okay.  Overall, this isn’t the greatest song in the world.  But Hov’s last verse literally saves and makes this song.  4/5

3.  D.O.A. – The reception to this song when it first dropped was mixed at best.  I think Jay does his best Biggie impersonation on this one.  Jay ended the throwback jersey trend with one line.  He dedicated a whole song to the auto-tune trend.  The jury’s still out on whether he succeeded or not. 3.5/5

4. Run This Town – This song is a great collabo.  I like how Jay switched up his flow on this and approached the song at a different angle.  And of course you can’t lose with Rihanna on the hook.  Too bad Kanye murdered him on the last verse.  3.5/5

5. Empire State of Mind – I’m not from NY, but if I was from NY, I would be pleased with Jay’s ode to the Big Apple.  4.5/5

6. Real As It Gets – This is a banger.  Great beat.  Jeezy on the hook and he’s goes hard with his verse.  Perfect complement to Jay on this one.  5/5

7. On to the Next One – This song had to grow on me, but it’s become one of my favorites.  “N*ggas want my old sh*t, buy my old album… I don’t get dropped.  I dropped the label…”  Then he goes on to brag about having Oprah chilling with him in the projects.  With Jay being a rapper, and Oprah’s not-so-good-rapport with rappers, Jay gets a +1 just for accomplishing that feat. 4/5

8. Off That – Worst song on the album.  I seriously think Jay just got a throw away Timbaland track meant for Justin Timberlake or Nelly Furtardo, then threw Drake on the hook just because of Drake’s buzz.  I think he should have let Drake spit on this one, but why risk getting killed on your own song by a rookie? 2/5

9.  A Star Is Born– Very creative song.  I like how Hov pays homage to his peers in hip hop on this one.  Guest rapper, J. Cole, held his own too. 5/5

10. Venus Vs. Mars – Of course you have to have a female joint, right? I like Jay’s approach on this one.  Good concept and his wordplay is good on this one.  But it’s mediocre. 3.5/5

11. Already Home – Along with track #1, this is one of the best songs on the album.  Kid Cudi (who has to possess some kind of talent… I’m just not sure what it is yet) actually fits in and does a good job on the hook of this song. 5/5

12. Hate – This song is… different.  Hov and Kanye go back and forth on this one and actually pull it off.  Their flow and word play on this song is crazy.  And of course Kanye adds the laser sound effects to his flow.  You just have to hear it. 4.5/5

13. Reminder – Nice beat.  Horrible hook.  If you lose the hook, then this song could have been a 4. 3.5/5

14. So Ambitious – Nice laidback, Pharrell track.  But this is no Allure. 3.5/5

15. Young Forever – At first listen, this sounds like Beach Chair off of Kingdom Come. The content is decent, and it’s a relevant song being that Jay is almost 40 years old.  His last verse sounds like he copied Lil Wayne’s signature, slow roll, flow.  3.5/5

Overall, this is a pretty good album.  It’s not a classic.  It’s not horrible.  It’s just good music.  I give it a strong 4/5.  You can pick and choose your favorite tracks, but there are more good songs than wack/mediocre songs on here.  I think this was Jay’s first step in a new direction.  He is giving us a “blueprint” of what his music is going to sound like… more mature subject matter, mixed in with hints of his old self, and more risk-taking.