on 29 September 2001
After reading reviews and comments on U.S.A forums i was really excited about the realease of this album, and i was not dissapointed! For this album Jay drops his Roc-A-Fella rap team and his usual commercial super-producers and instead goes solo for all but 1 track and uses BINK, Kanye West and Just Blaze for production (He does 1 track with TIMBO.) This has def. worked for him, the beats are full of emotional samples and the lyrics are very personal! Forget Bling Bling! Here is my track breakdown : 1: The Rulers Back-This is sort of the intro to the album my least fave. 2:Takeover- One of the best songs, Jay's diss to Mobb Deep and Nas great sample of a classic rock song by 'The Doors' also hot production by Kanye West. 3:IZZO (H.O.V.A)- The 1st single nice hip pop style song. 4:Girls,Girls,Girls- A good track about all of Jigga's Ladies nice sample and good production by Just Blaze (Hooks sung by Q-Tip, Slick Rick and Biz Markie) 5: Jigga that N***a- Hot club joint with production by TM. 6: U don't Know-One of the best sample uses iv'e ever heard and a hot track. 7:Hola Hovito- One of the other commercial tracks with great production by Timbaland, cool lyrics and great hook. 8:Heart of the city (Ain;t No love)- Great production by Kanye West incorperating a great sample of a bobby BLUE bland song (One of my faves on the cd). 9: Never Change- Yet another hot sample and great lyrics and hot production by Kanye West. 10: Song Cry- A personal song about an ex girl of Jay's nice song! 11: All I need- Good production by Bink and nice lyrics and flow. 11:Renegade Feat. Eminem- Probly the best track on the album great flow by Em and Jay and eerie production by eminem. 12: BluePrint(Momma Loves Me) Nice slow song representing Jay's life story! BONUS TRACKS 13b (Found at 4:05mins into the track)- Lyrical Excercise(Breathe Easy) Good hardcore track made for the streets. 13c (Found straight after 13b)-Girls, Girls, Girls Remix-A great RMX of girls ... New sample new lyrics and a great new beat, i prefer this to the original G,G,G! Overall this is Jay Z's best album in a very long time definetley worth buying for anyone who even considers liking rap music.
Tracks: 13 with 2 bonus-overall 15 songs
Overall Score- 5/5
on 19 September 2009
I have been considering Jay-Z's collection of albums, and I have come to the conclusion that the Blueprint is the best, it is awesome. The album starts with 'The Rulers Back' a very uplifting track, one of those tracks were you think 'Hm i'll listen to the opening track' and you end up listening to the whole album. The follow up (and Nas diss) of 'Takeover' is admittedly not as good as the response track of 'Ether', nonetheless Kanye's production shines on this track (and throughout) with the doors sample being very effective. Next you have 3 singles 'Izzo', 'Girls, Girls, Girls' and 'Jigga that Nigga', the latter being one of the best tracks on the album. This track and 'Izzo' are brilliantly energetic and happy songs, Jay's verses in the first verse of 'Jigga...' being a perticular eye opener. The middle chunk of the album just spits out verse after verse after verse, Kanye impressing again on 'Heart Of The City'. The last two tracks are definitely the best on the album, Eminem's appearance on 'Renegade' simply sensational, probably one of the best songs rap has ever seen. The last song 'Bluprint (Momma Loves Me)' is in three parts, the first being slow and slightly emotional about Jay's upbringing. The second part you can't help but feel that Jay is being extremely arrogant at the beginning, but then again he has everyone right to. This part is equally as amazing as 'Renegade'. The last part more or less another version of 'Girls...'. All in all, brillIant
on 7 February 2004
Following the platinum success of Jay's debut album "Reasonable Doubt", big things were expected. What followed was a series of albums that never quite lived up to the buzz that had been created, leaving many hip-hoppers scratching their heads as to what may have gone wrong. Many thought Jigga had crossed over to a market more in line with commercial "hip-pop" than his debut which boasted quality lyrics, delivery, flow, production, street-orientated subject matter and even an appearance by the late great Notorious B.I.G. (the result of which was arguably one of the finest collaborations in Hip-Hop history). Make no mistake, The Blueprint is not only an answer to those headscratchers and critics alike, but a testament to Jay-Z's progression as a rapper and proof that he truly is a top contender for the "King of New York" crown.
The first thing I noticed when reading the inlay of this album was the lack of guest appearances. As purchasers of previous Jigga material will know, Hova liked to share the mic with various guest rappers. Non moreso than those from the Roc-a-fella camp such as Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek. Indeed the previous offering (The dynasty) was not so much a Jay-Z solo album as a Roc-a-fella showcase. Not this time though. Jay keeps the majority of the limelight for himself. There's also a distinct switch in production style.
The Blueprint is executively produced by the usual Roc-a-fella trio of Jay, Dame Dash & Kareem Burke. However, the small handful of producers used on this album really does breathe new life into Jay's game. Especially with the addition of rookie producers (at the time) Just Blaze and Kanye West. The introduction of sampling soul material and fusing it with Jay's lyrics and flow-switching delivery is pure genius.
The album opener "The Ruler's Back" really does set the tone accurately. For what essentially is an intro, there is fire interwoven in his lyrics and the sample of Jackie Moore's "If" rings with authority. Even at this stage it's evident that the jiggaman has a new confidence about him, not only in terms of voice tone, delivery and flow, but also in the clarity and certainty with which his lyrics are hammered home. Almost at times as if he were in general conversation with the listener, surely a rare skill by anybody's standards.
Jay brings it back to the streets with "Takeover" on which he addresses his feud with fellow rappers Nas and Mobb Deep. It's hard not to enjoy the comedic straight-to-the-point jabs that Jigga lands on the afore mentioned, over a thunderous beat whilst sampling The Doors "Five To One". Listen out for the almost sly David Bowie reference too.
For those who enjoy Jay's commercial sound though, fear not. Hova definately does not disappoint on tracks like "Jigga that N***a" or the Jackson 5 sampling lead single "Izzo (H.O.V.A)"
Jay expresses his love for the female population on the album's second single "Girls, Girls, Girls" in a humorous fashion. Though uncredited on the reverse of the CD case, the chorus features cameo appearances from Hip-Hop veterans Biz Markie,
Q-Tip and Slick Rick.
If you're a REAL Hip-hop head into skilled wordplay and hard production then you'll check for the Just blaze produced "U Don't Know". Jigga takes the opportunity to reclaim the streets with this one, as well as schooling you as to how he got where he is today. This is Jay-Z "The business man" and he ain't into joking when it comes to commerce - this track makes that crystal clear. You'll also appreciate the track that follows. What Jay-Z album would be complete without a Timbaland production? Well, The Blueprint sees Timbo and Hova teaming up once more on the bouncy, hi-hat laced "Hola Hovito" which is a certified Jay-Z anthem for your party, your car, your walkman and so on.
One of the album's standout tracks, for me, comes in the form of the Kanye West produced "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)". It boasts a fantastic use of a Bobby Blue Band sample, which is also exercised as the basis for the chorus. Jay takes the opportunity to address his "haters" on this track and in doing so makes you wonder why they bother.
The soul sampling continues to wow the listener on tracks such as "Never Change" and "Song Cry", the latter being one of the most personal, open and indeed touching tracks in Jay's catalogue. He reveals feelings that you sense have been locked away for quite some time. Even rappers have an emotional side. Well worth a close listen.
Jigga reps for the Roc-a-fella camp on "All I Need" which paves the way for the Eminem featured and produced "Renagade". It's difficult to describe the sheer brilliance of this track in words and do it justice. Jigga and Em lace two verses each with their trademark (and very different) flows. And to say it works is an understatement. Originally this track was recorded by Eminem and fellow Detroit M.C. Royce Da 5'9". With all due respect to Royce (I am a fan), you get the feeling that slim made the right choice when he decided to polish up the production, remove Royce and let Jay present some of the more negative aspects of his life, past and present. If you've ever heard "Don't Approach Me" by Xzibit featuring Eminem, this is almost like a new and improved "part II" of that with Jay in Xzibit's place.
Despite the track listing, the album doesn't end with "Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)", listen for the two excellent hidden tracks "Breathe Easy (Lyrical Exercise)" and "Girls, Girls, Girls (Remix) providing a brilliant ending to a brilliant album.
In a nutshell, this is a certified Hip-Hop classic. 13 (+2) tracks of pure Jiggaman magic. Don't hate him for his past mistakes, Jay has redeemed himself. Hand the King of N.Y. his crown and take a bow.
on 26 May 2006
after jay z had dropped reasonable doubt, a classic in every sense, and in my lifetime, a very underrated good album,it seemed he had fallen off, he dropped hard knock life vol, 2, which lost major points for having a guest appearance on every song, and the terrible(and i hate to say it) vol.3, jay z obviously took a long look at his mistakes, and made 1 hell of an album, this is album is a(as is the title) a blueprint for modern rap, jay z hired some brilliant producers for this, such as just blaze, the then unknown kanye west(this album made him the most wanted producer aside dr dre) and timbaland, and is lyrically excellent on it too, this album is extremely complete, as in, jay z is not afraid to show his soul to the world, and he raps about a variety of different things, the mood of this album is very soulful, and has beautiful samples on it, and, as i said before, the lyrics are brilliant, and after listening to this, you actually realize the lack of realy lyricism in alot of modern(commercial) rap, the album kicks off with the rulers back, the title is very self explanatory, jay z spits nice lyrics over nice production, the producer of this uses trumpets very nicely, the takeover comes next, arguably the best song on the album, which is a lyrical bashing of nas and mobb deep, nice doors sample, and jigga really comes ferocious on this, next is a track everyone knows, the radio hit h to the izzo, even though it is a radio hit its still a very good song, jay z basically talking about the struggles of hustling, next up is girls girls girls, another radio hit, and a very funny description of all jay zs girls, not my favourite track, but still worth a listen, after that its jigga that nigga, a track designed to get the club bouncing, very good timbaland beat, jay z has some very nice punchlines, and flows well, next is u dont know, a classic track, great just blaze beat, one of his best, and jay z comes hard rapping about his environment, and some very clever verses about, well, hustling, next is hola hovito, another radio track, very good timbaland beat, jay z basically adressing haters, next is the brilliant heart of the city, very good uses of samples, and jay z adresses haters on this, and pays tributes to some of his influences, never change is next, a great song basically about the struggles of hustling and crew loyalty, brilliant sample, yet another great track, song cry is a classic love song, apparently about a real life ex girlfriend, jay z is very personal on this, next is all i need, a good song repping the rocafella click, not my fav, but listenable, renegade, is arguably the best song on the album, jay z is lyrically at his best, and eminem is very good on it too, jay z spits very intelligent and introspective lyrics about the ghetto, and the stuggles of the ghetto, next is blueprint(momma loves me)jay z paying tribute to all the people who helped him in life, familiy and friends, overalll this album is terrific, order it now