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Blue Print 3 is the latest album in Jay-Z Blueprint collection, I could not wait to get this album I am a big Jay-z fan, this album did not disappoint I have it on my iPod and I listen to in very frequently.
Not only does Jay-z sound great his production and beats on the album are excellent, he is a master at what he does and there are very few rap artists that bring the same quality into their music and albums as he does.
As you can see from the track listing the album features many artists, and a lot of the songs on this album have been played a lot mainstream, this is one of those albums that if you have enjoyed what you have heard of his releases on radio and Base etc then you will have all of them on one album, there are only a handful of unfamiliar tracks on here.
I would recommend to Jay-Z fans and all hip hop fans. Great listen!
1. What We Talkin' About [Jay-Z + Luke Steele [Of Empire Of The Sun]] (Explicit)
2. Thank You (Explicit)
3. D.O.A. [Death Of Auto-Tune] (Explicit)
4. Run This Town [Jay-Z + Rihanna + Kanye West] (Explicit)
5. Empire State Of Mind [Jay-Z + Alicia Keys] (Explicit)
6. Real As It Gets [Jay-Z + Young Jeezy] (Explicit)
7. On To The Next One [Jay-Z + Swizz Beatz] (Explicit)
8. Off That [Jay-Z + Drake] (Explicit)
9. A Star Is Born [Jay-Z + J. Cole] (Explicit)
10. Venus Vs. Mars (Explicit)
11. Already Home [Jay-Z + Kid Cudi] (Explicit)
12. Hate [Jay-Z + Kanye West] (Explicit)
14. So Ambitious [Jay-Z + Pharrell] (Explicit)
15. Young Forever [Jay-Z + Mr Hudson] (Explicit)
The Blueprint 3 is the latest album from Hip-Hop superstar Jay-Z and is the 3rd in his Blueprint series.
The main thing to notice is the same as all Jay-Z's albums, and that is the music behind his voice. The production values that accompany all his past work, and The Blueprint 3, are all top quality. While many people acclaim his lyrical ability, the beats and musical contributions help elevate the whole standard of the album. Most of the production on this album comes from Kanye West, but Timbaland has a few songs and the Neptunes add in one of their own.
The Blueprint 3 also has quite a few featured artists included. Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Young Jeezy, Drake, Swizz Beats, J Cole, Kid Cudi, Pharell and Mr Hudson are all part of the final product. For a 15 song collection, only 3 of the songs are Jay-Z only. While most of the other artists add something to the songs they are on, some more Jay-Z solo songs would maybe have been a bit better.
In my opinion, the best song by far on the album is "Empire State of Mind" (featuring Alicia Keys). The collaboration between 2 recognised artists of the level of these 2 was always sure to create something special. The verses provided by Jay-Z fitted in with the New York theme but it is really the chorus sung by Alicia Keys that really makes this such a stand out track. As good as it is on the album, I can only imagine how brilliant it would sound at a live concert.
Apart from this song, my favourite is the last track featuring Mr Hudson called "Young Forever" and produced by Kanye West. The low key beat in the background and the singing of Mr Hudson mesh together perfectly. Jay's verses aren't overly complicated lyrically but just seem to fit in with the rest of the song. The overall piece turns out as an easy to listen to song but yet retains the best of all aspects.
The worst song on the album, and really the only major disappointment is the song "Off That" (featuring Drake). Maybe it's just because I don't like Drake at all and think he is majorly over-rated but I just couldn't get into this song. Even Jay-Z and Timbaland didn't really perform here on either song that they did. Apparently Timbaland is keeping his best work for his next album which makes sense because neither song on The Blueprint 3 was up to his usual standard.
Overall, The Blueprint 3 is better than most of the newer Hip-Hop albums that are being released now these days but in comparison to some of the older releases from both others and Jay-Z himself, it just doesn't live up to expectation. This was Jay-Z's eleventh studio album so it's maybe only natural that his work isn't as good as it once was. You can pick this album up for less than £9 so for that price its good value but if you have already heard Empire State of Mind and Young Forever, you will have heard the best of The Blueprint 3.
Jay-Z has been the discussion of any hip hop fan and non hip hop fans alike ever since he burst on to the scene with the classic Reasonable Doubt. Ever since that album he has had success after success as well as many detractors. The Blueprint 3 signals his 11th studio album in just over 13 years.
The first thing to comment on about this album is the production, while there was many soul samples used on the blueprint and on Reasonable Doubt, this seems to be something of a hybrid between Kingdom Come and Blueprint 2. Therefore the production has no real focus and is a real mixture, not that this is a problem in itself but arguably it does hamper than aid the cohesiveness of the album.
There are some standout tracks on album including Empire State Of Mind, DOA A Star Is Born, Forever Young and the catchy We Run This Town. They are standouts with the exception of We Run this Town because the production sets the perfect backdrop for an introspective Jay-Z to capture the stage with his lyricism and mic presence. However despite this, what really makes the track Empire State Of Mind epic is the chorus from Alecia Keys.
Besides these songs, it feels very much like an uninspired album which is equally so, production wise and in terms of lyrically. There is a tremendous sense of deja vu and there does not seem to be any great effort to elevate things above mediocrity. Now that is not to say that he is a mediocre rapper, he still is able to display one line wit, but it feels flat and uninspired. He seems to have run out of hunger and inspiration and this is prevalent throughout the album.
While by no means a bad album, this is a grand disappointment and feels like another instalment of Kingdom Come and only damages Jay-Z's legacy.
"The Blueprint 3" was released in 2009 and came as the eleventh album from the Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z. It finds him moving on form the concept piece that was "American gangster" and by escaping what he brought in 2007, he is seen to move back to connecting with his fans by making a sequel to his 2002 album, who of his most well-respected pieces as he shows how even as he edges towards the age of 40, he is still relevant in the Hip Hop game.
1. "What We Talkin' About" (Intro)
2. "Thank You"
After a rather annoyingly repetitive introduction (which brings with it a subtle diss towards The Game) you find that he comes with something that a bit more impressive as you see that here he brings a joint where he rides production that was constructed by the Chicago pair Kanye West and No I.D., who bring some light work that eases you in. It isn't very impactful, but you see that he is still warming things up at this stage.
This one dropped as the first single to the album and created a massive buzz as you find that with it, he comes in powerfully with something that hits directly towards a massive proportion of the Hip Hop world by dissing those who use auto-tuning technology (the sort of thing that T-Pain brought into the game from his love for the work of Teddy Riley and Roger Troutman on the Talk Box. It is a strong on, although I don't agree with what he does with it.
4. "Run This Town"
This came as the second single and one that seemed to get more attention for the fact that it appeals much more towards the mainstream and has a feature form the Pop singer Rihanna on the hook. Personally it wasn't to my tastes and sounded a bit desperate to me where the only thing that actually stood out was the verse from Kanye West and the rest was too much of an effort to appeal to the Pop market.
5. "Empire State Of Mind"
Coming off a pair of singles, you see that here he brings a tune that I personally felt was a pure waste of time as you see that after you get over the hardcore drum line that you get greeted by, the rest of it does nothing whatsoever as you get him rhyming about lots of things that people who have followed his recent work will notice many repetitive themes in. It is very predictable and without Alicia Keys on the hook it would be nothing.
6. "Real As It Gets"
I this one you have him working with the Atlanta Trap-Rap artist Young Jeezy, and you see that here Jeezy even begins the thing with a classic line from previous Jay-Z work to get things underway before we get into what I saw as a rather lifeless track from him as The Inkredibles come with something very light track that sees the pair of them flowing about things which I didn't feel have any actual substance to them whatsoever.
7. "On To The Next One"
You see that here you have a change to the way things are done as it appears that Jay-Z couldn't help but get into one where he has to appeal to those who are likely to hate on his work (due to their age as he works with Swizz Beatz, who doesn't appear to be capable of anything other than club beats since moving on from DMX's early work). It doesn't compare to others in this style, as Hov obviously refuses to be seen as directly conforming to contemporary trends.
8. "Off That"
With a feature from the Canadian rapper and singer Drake (who is restricted to just being kept as the hookman on this one) you get a Timbaland-produced offering here. Personally, I felt that the beats weren't really saying a lot and as Timbo was said to have openly kept his best compositions for his next album it seems right. It is a lively one, but one that you could easily forget about, even with Drizzy being a part of it.
9. "A Star is Born"
You see that You get No I.D> and Kanye West coming back together for this one and you find that in this case they come out with a track that takes on the most of what the former of the two is known for, and so it wasn't really to what I tend to enjoy. You see that in this one he traces through a variety of ages in the Hip Hop world for a pretty interesting one (but it appears that his themes are running thin to do so).
10. "Venus vs. Mars"
This is another Timbo-produced track from the album and I felt that it was a big tune from the album as you se that here he makes up a tune with an interesting concept to it and its features beats that you won't be able to pull yourself away from. There are flaws in the way that you see how he evades having to come up with complex lyrics by having it built up on simple, single lines which don't have to have any sort of relevant to each other.
11. "Already Home"
Just as No. I.D. had his own production piece in "D.O.A" (Death Of Auto-Tune) as does Kanye in this one. Here you see that you get more young Hip Hop talent, this time in Kid Cudi, who comes to do his expected singing thing. From this you find that you get a pretty average one as it doesn't really have much going on in it and simply has Jay rhyming on his abilities as a rhymer and other things that everyone already knows about.
On this one you get more 'Ye beats and you see tha tin this case he brings out something that much more in-line with what came on his "808s & Heartbreak" album. It is a fresh one and one that sees the two sharing the rhymes. I believe that without the guests input with the raps its wouldn't have much to it (and this becomes more of an issue when you consider how obvious that Jay tries out Kanye's style of rhyming as they show love for their haters.
This is the final Timbaland offering on the album and one to say that he felt was second rate, I actually enjoyed as you see that here he comes with something that isn't really all that in-line with expectations of his work, but have him showing how well he can achieve when h comes in with much more straight-forward stuff. It is another not likely to stick with you for long and shows his weaknesses in rhyming as he wastes bars by listing the years from 1996 to the current day (all the years he has been active).
14. "So Ambitious"
Luckily Jay-Z manages to pack a Neptunes-produced joint into the mix (considering the fact that I was thinking that he'd just decided to forget about it this time. Here you see that, of course, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo keep coming with some heavy beats (but done in a very gentle manner) and you find that from here it leads Jigga into a fairly decent one and a track that certainly needs time to get into.
15. "Young Forever"
The album comes to a close with him clearly taking on lots more influence from Kanye West's lead as he brings a track that ha shim on the beats and Mr. Hudson as the featured guest vocalist. I personally don't like his work and I felt that it led to the creation of a straight wack track that once gain has lots of the "808s & Heartbreak" feel running through it, but this time completely flops as he tries to take thing forward with something futuristic, but clearly not attainable by himself.
This album, for me, was as I expected it to be and offer even less than his last album (even though he moves away from the Mafioso style). The few that I enjoyed were mostly down to the producers behind it as you find that his rhymes are slipping up at times (although fans are bound to deny it) and so although it may not be his worst, it s nowhere near the sort of standard that was seen on the prequel to this one.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 What We Talkin'- About Jay-Z + Luke Steele (Of Empire Of The Sun)
2 Thank You
3 D.O.A. - (Death Of Auto-Tune)
4 Run This Town - Jay-Z + Rihanna + Kanye West
5 Empire State Of Mind - Jay-Z + Alicia Keys
6 Real As It Gets - Jay-Z + Young Jeezy
7 On To The Next One - Jay-Z + Swizz Beatz
8 Off That - Jay-Z + Drake
9 A Star Is Born - Jay-Z + J. Cole
10 Venus Vs. Mars
11 Already Home - Jay-Z + Kid Cudi
12 Hate - Jay-Z + Kanye West
14 So Ambitious - Jay-Z + Pharrell
15 Young Forever - Jay-Z + Mr Hudson