What We Talkin' About (Jay-Z + Luke Steele of Empire Of The Sun)
D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)
Run This Town (Jay-Z + Rihanna + Kanye West)
Empire State Of Mind (Jay-Z + Alicia Keys)
Real As It Gets (Jay-Z + Young Jeezy)
On To The Next One (Jay-Z + Swizz Beatz)
Off That (Jay-Z + Drake)
A Star Is Born (Jay-Z + J. Cole)
Venus Vs. Mars
Already Home (Jay-Z + Kid Cudi)
Hate (Jay-Z + Kanye West)
So Ambitious (Jay-Z + Pharrell)
Young Forever (Jay-Z + Mr Hudson)
EXPLICIT VERSION. 2009 album from the international Hip Hop superstar and multi-media mogul. The follow up to Jay-Z's instant classic Blueprint (2001) and the critically acclaimed Blueprint II (2002); Blueprint III is the ... more »final installment in the series. The album's first single "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" has exploded since its June release, hitting the Top 5 on the overall chart. Performed live on the BET Awards on June 28th, the song's video premiered immediately following the show to great acclaim. Second single "Run This Town" with Rihanna and Kanye West will premiere at radio on July 24th.« less
EXPLICIT VERSION. 2009 album from the international Hip Hop superstar and multi-media mogul. The follow up to Jay-Z's instant classic Blueprint (2001) and the critically acclaimed Blueprint II (2002); Blueprint III is the final installment in the series. The album's first single "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" has exploded since its June release, hitting the Top 5 on the overall chart. Performed live on the BET Awards on June 28th, the song's video premiered immediately following the show to great acclaim. Second single "Run This Town" with Rihanna and Kanye West will premiere at radio on July 24th.
A Discerning Consumer | Salt Lake City, UT | 09/09/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"To be fair I don't like this rating system. Its not fair to say that 3 stars for Jay-Z is the same as 3 stars for other crappy albums. At the same time this album is not a classic and my rating reflects that. The reason I am rating this album so low is because my expectation is so high. Hova was recently on Real Time with Bill Maher where he explained how his perspective has changed not only through his own monetary success but also due to his age. His music has become more adult over time. Evolving from his younger years posting up on a corner to creating his own businesses and clothing labels. This is exactly what he set out to do, unfortunately he has lost his hunger for the rap game.
The Blueprint was supposed to be just that, a blueprint to the rap game. If the rap world collapsed and someone came across this series they would have the ability to understand where the heart and soul of rap came from and why it existed to begin with. Unfortunately this album is not cohesive, delivers no clear message and appears to be a best of the B-SIDES album. Man does it hurt to say that! There are a few examples of his previous greatness such as Empire State of Mind and So Ambitious, but for the most part this is a solidly disappointing album. I'm sure people will say I'm hating on Hova. Not true, I just expect so much. He does integrate the current state of the world into his rhymes and production style as well, discussing the state of the war in the Middle East and current pop infatuation with Auto-Tune. Death of Auto-Tune was a song with so much promise; starting off by proclaiming himself "chairman of the board" unfortunately he fails to deliver.
Would I recommend this album? Absolutely. Jay-Z is one of the best who's ever been in the game. He has had an incredibly long career and I think his body of work should speak for itself. You cannot understand the hip-hop game without understanding Jay-Z. More than music he realized the limitations of simply rapping and spent his time focusing elsewhere crating businesses and a long sustainable legacy. Unfortunately his lack of focus on his music shows through with this effort. "
Saundra E. Bunton | 09/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No one can stress enough the fact that Jay-Z is no longer the same man who hit the streets with Reasonable Doubt. If you are looking for that from Jay then you need to ask yourself two questions. 1. Why would you think he hasn't grown up? 2. Why haven't you?
Back in 1995 he was creating his music from his perspective in Marcy Projects, from the perspective of a hustler and man of the streets. He has since had 10 #1 albums and has become CEO of Def Jam, co-owner of the Nets, co-owner of the 40/40 club franchise, and husband to Beyonce Knowles. The man is a media mogul and multi-millionaire. He has friends like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. He has aged fourteen years. He has appeared on various Forbes lists. There is no way he can have the same perspective or outlook on life as he did in 1995 and his music reflects that.
If you can appreciate mature hip-hop with quality beats, a sophisticated sound, and inventive lyrics, then you need this album in your life. I sincerely appreciate this album because I love the depth and growth that this man is showing. At the end of the day he is the greatest rapper alive and nothing can take that away from him so it makes sense for him to be a trailblazer and take the game to greater heights. No one but him can do it and he does it well. I applaud him for that.
What Jay-Z is doing right now reminds me of Beyonce's I Am... album, which many people also criticized, and while I am no fan of B I had to admit that she showed tremendous growth and range with the ballad side of the release. Musicians have to take risks in order to advance the art which means so much to them. And, at the end of the day, they are people who have to grow up. Jay-Z is an adult. His rhymes are adult, his collaborations are adult, his beats are adult, his track selection is adult. And I love it."
Of course it's Hip Hop
J. Graham | St. Louis, MO USA | 09/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think this collection will open up Jay-Z to additional audiences. I've seen the other reviews here saying it's not really Hip Hop. Well, Hip Hop should be about progression of expression. Why should he continue to rap about the streets? There's more to life than running the streets, hustling in the streets, etc... His life has evolved and naturally his lyrics should reflect that. The true sell outs are 1) those making all this money for the record companies and still being involved in illicit activities 2)those making all this money and perpetuating a stereotype they do not even live (if they ever have). You can apply a "street" mentality no matter where your life takes you. If "street" equals keeping it real, hustling for a cause and keeping it harcore, then Jay-Z is all of that and more. His tastes have become more refined and discretionary. Last time I checked Street Life is not the American Dream."
BP3 is actually a Blueprint of what NOT to do with a rap alb
R.E. | Durham, NC | 09/17/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"First off, let me say that I am definitely a fan of Jigga. I loved Vol. 3, the first Blueprint, and the Black album. I even found tracks to like on BP2 and appreciated American Gangster quite a bit. Seeing him at House of Blues in Chicago performing classics as well as personal favorites like No Hook was awesome. Unfortunately, this album is.. just awful. I am extremely disappointed, and yet after at least 5 listens front to back and digging in to a few tracks I liked parts of... it doesn't change. The best strategy here is to take Jay-Z's own advice and 'buy my old albums.'
Here's the way I see it, after listening to hip-hop for about 15 years now. There are three main components to any track... beats, rhymes, and hooks. And that's the big issue here. Not a single track actually delivers high quality on all three fronts. A shocking number of tracks you will just instantly skip every time because some part of it you just can't stand to listen to. But I'll give some examples:
Death of Autotune - Some clever rhymes here, okay beat (the beat is great but the horns are terrible, reminiscent of the theme from Cheers), and absolutely awful Jay-Z "singing" on the hook. As much as I admire the purpose of this track because I hate Autotune... he's an example of someone who needs it *badly* when he tries to sing.
Hate - Um, I thought you just rapped about how we shouldn't use Autotune anymore. And then we get this track with an autotuned/pitch shifted repetitive use of the word 'Hater' throughout. Okay maybe Autotune wasn't actually used for this, but it certainly sounds like it. Having both Kanye's and Jay-Z's verses be extremely unimpressive (I've heard far better freestyles from both) doesn't help either.
Off That - Great beat, some quality lyrics from Jay. But the hook is horrible, and honestly if you are going to "feature" Drake on a track... can we have him rhyme at least one verse please? Featuring someone for a bad hook is just ridiculous. Are we still feeling bad about what happened on Renegade Jay?
Venus vs Mars - Great beat, clever rhymes. Awful, unimaginative hook. But yet, it's still one of the best tracks on this album. Seriously.
Young Forever - Great rhymes from Jay here. But to do it to the tune of an awful and well-known 80s track just kills it. I get it, he feels like he should be able to do these positive tracks. But it's not just a sample here, it's the entire horrible song with a little bit of drums added and Jay rapping over it without even synchronizing properly. To make it worse he tries to rap with a Jamaican accent for nearly an entire verse. Unlistenable, and in my eyes just embarrassing. It's so bad it makes me not want to listen to Jay-Z for a while, even his good material.
I could go on, but if you listen to it you can determine this for yourself. But as a last note, keep in mind that this thing is overflowing with features. There really is no substance here. Your best bet is to pretend this album never happened, and break out his old stuff.