Jay-Z: Blueprint 3 Review

Alright it isn’t often I do album reviews on here.  It also isn’t often (well too often) that Jay-Z drops a new album.  Well to be technical the album drops Sept. 11th, a homage to when his album Blueprint dropped – same day as the World Trade Center toppled.

Thankfully this is the internet, and we don’t wait for album release dates.  The album leaked a couple days ago and I decided to wait and really let it marinate.  I was REAL worried…the songs that had slowly leaked were not my style at all.  I went into this album with low expectations.  I will be honest if you are one of those people that say “Rap sucks now!”, you will hate this.  It is unapologetically fresh.  It isn’t like anything Jay has dropped before, long time fans might feel left down.

I will break down my feelings song by song (note: the order of these songs might be wrong since I don’t have the retail album).

1. What We Talking About (intro) – This is a good start – the beat is definitely not typical Jay-Z, kind of spacey and pretty techno.  Jay sounds good over it though – he obviously isn’t vintage Jay-Z but he spits decently.  This beat would be home on a newer Kanye album for sure.  He takes some shot at internet gossipers I think – well people talking shit about him in general. Decent opener.

2. Thank You – Yeah this is what I’m talking about.  This song will be more palatable to older Jay-Z fans.  The beat is a little more classic hip-hop.  Jay also flows real nice on this – reminds me of his Friend and Foe days.

3. D.O.A – This beat is ridiculous. No I.D. really blessed Jay on this one.  This is a cool song but I have played it so much already.  Also, Slaughterhouse ripped this bet apart on a recent freestyle.  I do find it weird Jay takes a shot at autotune but ends up having some autotuned parts on the album.  Whatever though, that isn’t enough for me to dislike the song.

4. Run This Town
– A Kanye beat that sounds pretty good.  This is obviously Jay’s attempt at a radio hit.  It has a Kanye beat, verse and Rihanna hook, that should equal hit.  For a radio single this is pretty damn good – reminds me of T.I.’s “Live Your LIfe”.  Some people hate Rihanna, but I don’t mind her on a hook.  Kanye definitely out raps Jay-Z on this though (never thought I would say that), his verse is fire.

This the life that everbody ask for/
This a fast life, we are on a crash course/
What you think I rap for, to push a f*cking Rav 4?/

5. Empire State of Mind – This is that feel good music.  I dunno how to explain this song – the beat is pretty unique – it will remind you of classic Rat Pack music, but it has this drum pattern that defines “head bobbing”.  Then Miss Alicia Keyes blesses the song with the Hook of the Year.  Jay flows on this beat well too – I have heard people not feeling his flow on this album, but dude does not seem out of place over these pretty unique beats.  if I was from New York this would be my ANTHEM.


6. Real As It Gets – This track features Jay and Young Jeezy reuniting for a collabo.  Jeezy’s Go Crazy remix with Jay is one of my favourite songs of all time.  This kind of reminds me of that a little bit.  The beat is real cool – another anthem like feel to it.  Another good hook too – for an album that is getting a lot of internet flack for it’s hooks – this is yet another example of a good catchy hook.  I also love Jay’s opening bars – cool flow.

7. On to the Next One – This is where the album takes a horrible turn for some peoplte.  Not me.  I am one of the biggest Swizz Beats haters ever.  I can’t stand dude – but laely for some reason dude has been more hit than miss to me. This is pretty classic Swizz – minimalistic, repetitive beat with a weird vocal sample.  It works though – a lot of times it doesn’t for him – this time it does.  Jay is just OK on this track though.

8. Off That
– This is not my style – I am not sure why Jay messes with Timbaland anymore.  I don’t hate this song though – just think he could have used Drake more effectively than just on a hook.  It has grown on me a bit – reminds me of Dirt Off My Shoulder but a step down.  This is also another example of Jay kind of coming off “Old Man-ish”.  Like in DOA, he seems like he is on some “Those durned kids” *shakes fist*

9. A Star is Born
– DOPE.  One of the album standouts.  I LOVE Jay on this – I love how he shouts out all his contemporaries. Like his part about Eminem, his TI “tried to literally shoot up the charts line” and I love when he shouted out The Wu.  Then bam out of nowhere comes J Cole.  If you don’t know this kid, you should.  His Warm Up mixtape is one of the best things to come out this year.  I have mentioned him on this blog before too!  Anyways – although I like this album, and love Jay – it does say something when the best verse on a Jay-Z album is courtesy of an up and comer.

10. Venus vs. Mars
– Another Timbo beat…another fail.  I would probably like this if it  wasn’t for the hook.  LAME LAME Hook.  The beat is actually kid of cool…actually I don’t know – sometimes i feel it, other times it is an instant skip. Jay has some good lines on this but it just sounds too dated.

11. Already Home
– I was worried about a song with Kid Cudi – but unlike Jay’s use of Drake, I think it was genius leaving Cudi on hook duty- yep another great hook on an album apparently filled with horrible ones.  Best beat on the album, best song as well.  jay kills it – sorry people can say he sounds old, but he ride this beat as well as anyone.  This song makes me want to raise my arms in victory.  Love this shit.

12. Hate – Worst song ever.  This is horrible – horrible beat from Kanye, an even worse verse from him. Jay’s flow on this is weak – but I know he had to rhyme like he did to match the ponderous pace of the horrible beat.  Oh and Kanye doing a “pew pew pew” in a middle of a verse is a low point in the history of rap music.  Top three worst Jay-Z song ever.

13. Reminder – Hey Timbo thanks for another lame beat – just a heads up it isn’t 2002 anymore and Jay-Z isn’t missy Elliot.  That isn’t fair because the beat is passable – another HORRIBLE hook though.  Jay sounds nice on it – if someone edits out the hook for me, I might like it.

14. So Ambitious – I like this – but then again I actually like the Pharrell and Jay-Z combination.  This is in the vein of Excuse Me Miss and the AWESOME Allure (from the Black Album).  I like it more than Excuse Me, but less than Allure.  Decent song though.

15. Young Forever
– This is the ultimate – love it or hate it song.  Did you like Beach Chair from Kingdom Come (WORST Jay-Z album) because this is similar in theme.  I like it – and if it is the last song on the retail album – great placement.  It samples Alphaville’s super familiar “Forever Young”.  Now I have seen people complaining about this song as Jay-Z grasping to his past and youth.  I disagree this is Jay reflecting on his life.  He won’t be young forever..he will forever be YOUNG HOV!

This album will make his traditional fan base squeamish.  A lot of people won’t “get it” and for a lot of the people who do, they won’t like it anyways.  The lows on this album are LOW – and the highs while impressive aren’t classic Jay.  The album works though.  I would rank this behind Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint, Black Album, and Volume 1 – but I think it is on par with AG and his other efforts.

Although this is impossible to predict, I think people will look back at this album, years down the road and like it a lot more than they did on first listen.

3.5/5 Is my final score.  An above average from Jigga.

Difficult Takes a Day, Impossible Takes a Week


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The Man The Myth The Legend


  • Lmtorres83


  • TheBlueGod

    I totally agree with you. The album overall has a good vibe to it.
    But yeah, the bad tracks are BAD.

    The first time I heard Hate I was like what?!?!
    It was horrible, but for some reason it grew on me...

  • Yeah it is weird - although I don't LOVE hate - I don't hate it as much - probably still dislike it. But other tracks like Off That and Venus vs Mars that I wasn't feeling - actually grew on me.

  • thaking

    its funny how you think jay fans will be disappointed when you pretty much say you like every song except about 3 or 4. and the ones you dont like arent bad. ppl will not hate this album its fire. star is born, empire state of mind, on to the next one, so ambitious, DOA, run this town, thank you, venus vs mars is crazy nuts how he spits lyrically rea the hook may need help but its not always about the hook id rather prefer great lyrics.

    If your a true Jay-z fan you will love the album its different from the 1st one but it shows growth as an artist. "new classic"

  • I think that a lot of older fans of Jay-Z will be put off by the overall sound of the album. That doesnt mean I don't like it - it is just a hunch I have.

    I do think there are some very bad songs on this album - like Hate is horrible - but that is purely opinion.

    I wouldn't call this a new classic personally, but it is definitely an interesting album and it works for me.

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