For the record, I’m a huge Jay-Z fan. The Blueprint is one of my favorite hip-hop albums ever, so I was expecting a lot with this last installment of the trilogy. Instead, I was disappointed to find out that only one song off The Blueprint 3 would’ve been good enough to make the original Blueprint. The soulful New York city feel from the Blueprint has been replaced by a synthetic Casio pop sound.
Despite the eight years in between The Blueprint and The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z’s subject matter has changed very little. The young, hungry hustler turned rapper has been replaced by the complacent rapper turned CEO.
I was hoping that Jay’s involvement with the election of Barack Obama and philanthropic efforts like Water For Life would change his outlook from the materialistic, cocaine game glorifying rapper that he was into a positive force for change but that is not the case. At least not in his music. To make matters worse it seems that his passion for the music has declined. His flow seems uninspired and overall the album hurts the legacy of the original Blueprint like The Matrix movie sequels diminished the legacy of the original Matrix.
RATING: 6.4 of 10
BEST RHYME: Death Of Auto-Tune
WORST RHYME: Hate ft Kanye West
Here’s a track by track review of the album:
“What We Are Talking About”
This music sounds like elevator rap. Jay’s flow is on point but the hook is annoying. Though he does have one line about stepping our game up in the age of Barack Obama “We have witnessed the future predicted by Martin Luther and you choose to sit in front of your computer shooting youtube up” he’s still not talking about anything but his drug dealing past and his money.
I’d much rather he used a DJ Premier style sample for the horns rather than the Casio sound on this track. He addresses 9/11 on the song which is a change of pace from the “I’m rich I used to be a drug dealer now I live in the lap of legitimate luxury” theme through out the rest of the album.
“Death of Auto-Tune”
I love the beat for this song and Jay’s flow is as good as it ever was. Still I don’t quite get the message of the song. Jay believes that auto tune is ruining rap and the correct way to fix it is to make motherfuckers commit felonies and get violent, take people’s chains and run with BMF? “This **** make jackers wanna go n commit felonies Ah, get your chain tooken
I may do it myself, I’m so Brooklyn Yeah, just get violent,….. Get somebody from BMF to talk on this Give this to a Blood, let a Crip walk on it”
“Run This Town ft Kanye West and Rihanna”
Decent song, though not as dope as other Rihanna collabos like “Umbrella” or “Live Your Life.” Kanye outshines Jay on the song by actually rhyming about something and adding some wit to the situation. “It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow, To everybody on your dick, no homo, I bought my whole family whips, no Volvos, Next time I’m in church, please no photos.”
“Empire State Of Mind”
Jay should’ve got Primo to the beat and had Nas featured on it for this one to continue the New York state of mind theme like Alicia Keys did with Nas Primo and Rakim in 05. The Casio piano makes the song less authentic and soulful than any of the songs on the first Blueprin,. Once again Jay reminisces about his drug dealing past and his luxurious present but does a decent job of paying tribute to the various boroughs of New York.
“Real As It Gets”
Typical Young Jeezy synth song but isn’t half as dope as “Go Crazy.” The beat sounds like they stole it from Garage Band. Why are you still talking yayo Jay Z? Plus it’s not one of Young Jeezy’s better hooks. A bad song in general. It definitely won’t make the dope boys go crazy.
“On To The Next One”
The beat is a typical Swizz Beatz beat. Most of Swizz’s beats border on catchy and obnoxious and this one is on the obnoxious side. Jay is talking about anything just cars, money and jewelry. Swizz has shown an ability to make catchy hooks recently but this one is just repetitive and annoying. After about a minute into this song, I was on to the next one.
Did Jay just use Drake for the hook because he was scared that the Young’n would “murder him on his own shit” like Eminem did? Why isn’t Drake at least singing on the hook? All he’s doing is chanting the hook, which is a waste of talent. The beat is uninspiring and Jay is not rapping about anything important. He doesn’t seem comfortable on the beat at all and it shows in his choppy flow.
“Star Is Born” ft J. Cole
The beat is okay. Jay gives a nice recap of past rising stars in hip-hopcoming star and the people who endorsed them. This serves as a nice introduction to J Cole, who gives a good performance without outshining Hov. Hopefully J Cole’s coming of age doesn’t lead him to becoming “one hit away” for the rest of his life like Memphis Bleek.
“Venus vs Mars”
This is not the heat that Timbaland gave Hov for “Big Pimpin” or “Hola Hovito.” It sounds like something he threw away for Magoo’s solo album. Again Jay doesn’t seem comfortable on the beat so his flow doesn’t seem natural. I heard Jay might be taking this song off the album which would be a good move.
I’ll give props to Jay Z for letting the up and comers get some shine on his album. Already showcasing rap’s biracial saviors, Drake and J Cole, Jay gives some shine to new jack Kid Kudi. The song is not bad but it is not memorable either.
“Hate” ft Kanye West
I think they should play this song during interrogations of terrorists. The beat is slow and boring and both Kanye and Jay’s flow are infantile and irritating on the ear.
The beat is okay and it seems like Jay got his flow back. Again he’s talking about dealing drugs (yawn). The beat is alright, but the hook is very annoying. Sounds like a throw away track from the Dynasty.
Pharrell did the beat on this one. It seems like a typical Neptunes beat– not excellent but not awful either. This song would’ve been fine for Blueprint 2 which came out 7 years ago but it seems out of place on an album in 2009. It’s time for Jay to change producers and go.
The song and the hook (which features Kanye’s protege, Mr. Hudson) are straight out an eighties pop song. Once again Jay’s flow doesn’t seem natural. Maybe he should try writing his stuff down now.
What did YOU think of The Blueprtint 3? If you’ve listened to it, let us know in the comments!