After being leaked last week, the new album from Jay-Z was released 3 days earlier than expected. The album was moved from September 11 to September 8 and is now available in stores and online. It’s safe to say that this is Jay-Z’s best work since the Black Album, possibly even better than that album. With collaborations from Drake, Kanye West, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Kid Cudi, Young Jeezy, Pharell, and Mr. Hudson, The Blueprint 3 is the biggest rap album of the year.
The album takes a lot of inspiration from jazz, soul, r&b, and isnt nearly as rock friendly as some of the tracks were on the Black Album. Jay does a good job of mixing up a lot of musical styles while putting his own touch of style and flair. As a lyricist, Jay-Z is one of the best and every song on this track is perfectly well crafted includes rhymes from its many guests. This record coming out on the 8 year anniversary of September 11th is certainly rooted in New York City. Empire State of Mind is a tribute to all of NYC’s boroughs with an emphasis on Jay’s birthplace, Brooklyn. “A Star is Born” talks NYC and name checks Diddy, 50 Cent, Nas, and many other of NYC’s finest rappers.
Let’s face it, if you bought a Jay Z record in the past you know the level of quality to expect. The Blueprint 3 is a coming of age for Jay Z. He’s comfortable in his style and place in the rap game, his beats and collaborations are by some of the best in the industry, and the amount of singles on this record will keep in the American collection for quite some time. There’s literally something for everyone on this record, even some well crafted product placement to companies like BlackBerry and Apple. But Jay’s corporate image doesnt take away from his rough background. “Hate” responds to his critics and opposition, of course it would make sense that America’s #1 most hated Kanye West would contribute the beat and rap on the track.
The Blueprint 3 is quite possibly one of the best rap records of 2009 if not the best. After almost a two decade long career, Jay Z is still the king.
Key Tracks are, “On To The Next One” feat. Swizz Beatz, “Empire State of Mind” feat. Alicia Keys, “Run This Town” feat. Kanye West and Rihanna, D.O.A. (Death of Autotune), “Already Home” feat. Kid Cudi.