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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Blueprint

JAY Z

2001

The Blueprint

Album Summary

The Blueprint is the sixth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released on September 11, 2001, through Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. Its release was set a week earlier than initially planned in order to combat bootlegging. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2001 at Manhattan Center Studios and Baseline Studios in New York City. Contrasting the radio-friendly sound of Jay-Z's previous work, The Blueprint features soul-based sampling and production handled primarily by Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Bink, as well as Timbaland, Trackmasters, and Eminem, who also contributes the album's sole guest feature. At the time of the album's recording, Jay-Z was awaiting two criminal trials, one for gun possession and another for assault, and had become one of hip hop's most dissed artists, receiving insults from rappers such as Nas, Prodigy, and Jadakiss. The album is also famous for both its producers Kanye West and Just Blaze's breakouts as major producers. West produced four of the thirteen tracks on the album, including the songs "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" and the controversial "Takeover", which included diss lyrics aimed at rappers Nas and Prodigy, while Just Blaze produced three tracks, "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Song Cry", and "U Don't Know", also including the hidden bonus track "Breathe Easy (Lyrical Exercise)". The Blueprint received universal acclaim from music critics, with praise being directed at Jay-Z's lyricism and the production. It is considered one of his best albums and has also been labeled as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. Despite its release coinciding with the September 11 attacks, it sold over 427,000 copies in its opening week and debuted at number one in the US, holding the spot for three weeks. It was later certified 2x Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. In 2019, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” being the first entry created in the 21st century.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.31

Votes

5470

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
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Sat Feb 20 2021
3

I'm addicted to buying unbelievably expensive custom helicopters (yeeeeeeaaahhhh) In a brief moment of lucidity I went to the helicopter dealership and told them "Do not, under any circumstances, sell me more helicopters" I was back there half an hour later, wearing a fake moustache, and I said "Hello gentlemen, I am Ray Z, a man you have never met before. Give me 10,000 helicopters covered in diamonds"

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Thu Jan 21 2021
2

A couple of good tracks but I'm not a massive fan of his style. I get it you have lots of money now but didn't always.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
1

Didn't seem genuine. I would describe it as the panhandler who drives home in his Mercedes. Music was very good, it just fell about whenever Jay Z opened his mouth.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

First thought is that this sounds nostalgic, even though i have never heard it before. I like the opening groove on ruler's back, so richly textured, though the trumpets and brass is cheap sounding. The Takeover is one of those great follow-up tracks with a Fame callback. so good. Dude every track is incredibly crafted. I think that the track Renegade is the weakest one on the album

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Sun Nov 07 2021
5

Not quite my subgenre, but I think this is a nearly-pristine hour of pop rap. The Kanye tracks have a special sparkle, but there is a ton of variety and very few low points. Eminem shows up and fits in well, though Renegade's subject matter rings hollow next to the lyrics and production of Takeover.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Honestly really enjoyed this album, haven't listened to a lot of Jay-Z before, but I thought it definitely was a classic, great album. Also, interesting that this is basically the last NYC rap album before 9/11, releasing right on the day.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
3

The only thing larger than the production values is that mans ego. Braggadocio is not my favorite means of expression.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
2

Ok. Nothing different from most rap talking about being with lots of women and drugs.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
5

Just incredibly good, obviously a foundationally important album. Renegade is astonishing. I could have listened to another hour of this, and I need to hear it again to pick up more from it.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
5

This is the sound of a newly-crowned king. Jay-Z is on top of the hip-hop mountain, and he’s executing anyone who challenges for the throne with precision. He’s telling the stories that made him king and cementing his legacy for generations to come.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

There aren’t any fancy beats on this album and it works well. The beats set the mood but otherwise stay out of the way of Jay-Z’s lyrical flow. Jay-Z’s style feels almost conversational. I appreciate that he doesn’t necessarily rhyme each verse. I admire the reverence he pays to those that took care of him growing up on Blueprint (Momma Loves Me). The distorted beats on Takeover are well placed to get my head bobbing. While I like Eminem’s appearance on Renegade is good on its own, it doesn’t really fit sonically with the rest of the album. I also recognize the Izzo (H.O.V.A.) line “Can’t leave rap alone, the game needs me” from its inclusion on Eminem’s Business from his album The Eminem Show. This is an album I will be listening to more in the near future.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

Jay-Z is a lyrical genius (U Don't Know has some great lines), and his knowledge of pop culture is ridiculously extensive (check out The Ruler's Back). It makes it a lot of fun listening to his lyrics and what reference he'll slip in for a rhyme. His beats and mixes are cool too, easy to get into and move your head (or more) to. It's also surprisingly soulful (Never Change and Song Cry have their tender moments). I was surprised this was his 6th album - then saw he put out 6 albums in 6 years. Damn. One of the greatest rappers of all time and a damn good album (especially considering no massive hits on it).

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Wed Dec 29 2021
5

Genre: East Coast Hip Hop 5/5 When it comes to rap album classics, The Blueprint is one of the true icons of the genre. From the beautiful and timeless chipmunk soul production, to Jay-Z’s quick wit and lyrical talent, this album is a sure fire hit for any hip hop fan. While I’m not sure it’s my favorite Jay-Z project, The Blueprint is still a force to be reckoned with. It became, for rap music at that time, exactly what its title suggests it is: the blueprint.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Jay-Z was always big but this is before everyone's grandparents knew who he was. H to the Izzo is a classic. Takeover is ruthless. Girls, Girls, Girls is funny as shit. I like the reminder that before Jay-Z hung out with Obama he stabbed a guy in a club a month after this album came out. Definitely gets a little repetitive (drugs, girls, etc) but I like that each song has a structure and arc and sticks to a subject unlike most rap today. The middle of the album is little weaker and I was excited for Renegade but it was kind of whatever. Still, I think its great. 4.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

I can really see why people like this album. Every song is a head bobber Jay-Z has a great flow and some pretty entertaining bars (Pack heat like the oven door). But for me it just doesn't captivate. Jay-Z says up top that these are his thoughts but he must only think about money, hustling, women and hip-hop because there isn't much else he raps about on the album. I hate to say it but the Eminem feature was actually a welcome change of pace from Jay-Z's rapping. Not that what he does isn't impressive but for me this album is more about the beats. Kanye and Blaze's production really steals the show for me and I actually think I would enjoy an instrumental of this album more. I could easily recommend this to any hip-hop fan but for me it won't stay in my rotation. Favorite songs: Girls, Girls, Girls, Heart of the City, Song Cry, Renegade,

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Tue Feb 16 2021
2

Suuuucks

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Fri Feb 05 2021
2

Pop rap. Good music, guy is a great producer and can assemble a good beat/sound. The ego though, dude - just shhhh... If I could give a 1/2 star I'd error a bit higher - as is, enjoy your 2 stars, schmuck.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
2

Not for me.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
2

Classic and appreciate his talent but not my cup of tea

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Wed Mar 10 2021
2

The lyrics are just not relatable for me.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
2

I’m not sure how Jay Z got to be a billionaire. The production is pretty great tho.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
2

Good beats, bad lyrics

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Wed Mar 24 2021
2

there's a reason i haven't listened to this before

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Wed Mar 24 2021
2

i hate this

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Tue Mar 30 2021
2

Love the music, but Jay Z's voice is a snoozefest

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Fri Apr 16 2021
2

The album was pretty average, in my opinion. A few songs were good, but most weren't. I struggled to finish the album. I don't think I'd ever revisit it properly again, not even the songs I liked really.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
2

People who spend 45 minutes rhyming about how much money they have and how much tail they pull make me roll my eyes. I find it nearly impossible to look past that to any artistic interest or cultural significance.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
2

Really don't like this - Jay-Z strikes me as an rapper with pretty limited skills, stuck on boring obvious content. Don't understand his status

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Fri Feb 05 2021
1

I grew up on the suburban streets of Beavercreek I DONT RELATE

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Tue Feb 09 2021
1

Idk, I don't see the appeal.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
1

I never saw the appeal to Jay-Z. I find this record, and the rest of his catalog, trite and mediocre.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
1

Pretty terrible.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
1

70s-soul and pop infused, via garage rock / grind house filters. Bonus points for Osmond's sample in "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)." Interesting music / samples. But, it's RAP. Not enough melody. Too much swagger, cussin', and misogyny. If only there were more (any?) melody, and lyrics and not spittin'.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
1

20 years have passed, since this was released, and I must say, it still does little me. I spend my time trying to zone out his voice. And the drumbeat. Somehow I got to the end Not for me. Never again

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Thu Oct 14 2021
1

The point where I tuned out of commercial hip-hop Don't like this production at all. Rapping is good. No thanks

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Wed Nov 04 2020
5

C’mon. Classic.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Classic, probably Jays best work

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Tue Mar 09 2021
5

“God MC, me, J HOVA” with beats from Ye, Just Blaze, and that one Eminem. Issa classic

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Pivotal

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

Undeniable HOVA

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

More familiar with The Blueprint 2 prior to this, but still so good. (And H to the Izzo is the worst song on this album tbh.)

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Old school bangers

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

CLASSEEK!

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Best so far

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

How can I give this album anything less than 5 stars?? The Blueprint just shows the magic that is Jay Z.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

None needed

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Fri Jun 18 2021
5

Vraiment un bon album de jay-z. Renegade a elle seule fait monter la note mais l’album est tellement buen construit et c’est un classique du rap. 4.95

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Great album.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

A classic of the genre.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
5

Hova!

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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

Classic, filled with bangers.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

Schwächste: Jigga That N. Beste: Takeover Spasigste: Izzo

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

One of my all-time favorite albums. Period.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
5

Jay's second best album, but still a 5. Only critique is Girls, Girls, Girls hasn't aged well but otherwise the album is really strong from beginning to end.

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Sun Oct 03 2021
5

Never been much of a Jay Z fan, but I think this album had changed that. It is top tier hip hop in every category. Just a monolith of excellence.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

There's no denying the absolute badassness of this one. Izzo alone rockets it up the list.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

Classic. I wore this out back in the day. Fun to listen to again.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

cold asf

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

Classic Hov. Love Eminem’s verse on Renegade and never change

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

Great stuff, I don't know his discography that well but he sounds at the top of his game here. I like that this was, in part, a response to being dissed by a bunch of other rappers. I think we know who got the last laugh.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

God MC, me, Jay-Hova

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

It is a pure joy listening to someone this on top of their game

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

Classic. No skips.

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

Classic. Stonewall classic full of hip hop nosebleeders. Love it!

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

The title is apropos. It is The Blueprint for where Hov went next in his career. Some great singles and highlights mixed with underrated b-sides. A few fillers along the way.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

Loved it!

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Listened to it a couple of months back for the first time... checks out

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Wed Apr 20 2022
5

Maybe his best. Great beats, he can definitely spit it (but taking on Nas? Sheesh...) And a nice Em guest spot.

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Mon May 02 2022
5

I don't even know what makes this so good, but it's so good. It's pure swagger, and they use real instruments. The music itself is much more complex than most rap music, and Jay-Z is just so . . . smooth, I guess is the word. I kinda hate that a lot of the credit goes to Kanye West, but whatever - he knows how to produce an album.

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Tue May 17 2022
5

I wish this was a bad album so I could make a joke about it being the worst thing to happen on September 11 of 2001 but unfortunately it's really good. The production is great on almost every song (some are very early 2000s) and all of the features are excellent too. renegade and u don't know are my favs

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Mon Jun 13 2022
5

It's been a long time since I came back to this album. Historically, I've always preferred Reasonable Doubt to this album. However, listening to this after getting a better understanding of the history of hip-hop, it's really hard to deny how incredible The Blueprint is. It has plenty of hits, but it also features a lot of the production styles that would be featured during the next decade of rap music. The name The Blueprint ended up being prophetic in that sense. I don't hand out 5 stars to many albums, and I wasn't anticipating doing it for this album, but I can't think of a single argument for why this album doesn't deserve it 5/5

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

fadão

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Thu Jun 23 2022
5

New York, 2001. So many so-called kings of the borough but only one looked as if he needed something to prove. And, for that, he laid out the blueprint and wound up making history. Not even the world shifting, beyond tragic events of the album's release date could halt JAY Z's inevitable trajectory as the true successor of Biggie's throne. Some may call this his greatest album (though others before or since have the right to assume that position) and it cannot be denied that The Blueprint set in motion a chain of events that would end up defining its makers and its genre for better or for worse.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
5

Loved it.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

so cool

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Hard to believe this is 2 decades old. Every song on this album is a masterwork and a breakthrough for rap that changed the game and level set the bar up into the sky. Triumphs. Ain't no love in the heart of the city is one of my favorites. All the references and shoutouts. Marvin Gaye, Jim Morrison, and many hauntingly beautiful samples I didn't know before I looked them up like Bobby Glenn's 'Sounds Like a Love Song'. The Blueprint is an album in my general rotation even today that I listen to when I'm feeling frustrated by everything and I want to rise above the chaos. Renegade is awesome. Eminem fits right in. Girls, girls, girls is the weak link in the album that I don't think will stand the test of time. Beasties did it on License to Ill and it doesn't hold up.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

The Rulers Back cheia de ideias, riff, vocais. Jigga That Nigga fantástica! Hola Hovito tem um synth muito bom. All I Need tem uma percussão interessante.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

Best Tracks: Takeover, Izzo (H.O.V.A.), Girls Girls Girls, U Don't Know, Hola' Hovito, Heart Of The City, Song Cry, All I Need, Renegade One of the best non-experimental rap albums. Production is insanely good. Jay-Z is good not great, but I don't think anyone could make something bad with these beats. Not a bad song on here.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

Great album. Great production and Hov is at his best with his lyricism.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Amazing!

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

8/8 blues printed

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

Classic. Nothing else to tell

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

fav tracks: Song Cry, U Don't Know, Girls Girls Girls

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

classic jay-z rhymes with funky, hype and svelte backing. gotta love the digs at Nas, though maybe the digs at women haven't aged as well

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

Amazing album. Standouts "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)", "U Don't Know", and "Heart of the City".

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

Jay-Z’s finest album and a hip hop classic. The record is packed full of catchy hooks, nostalgic soul samples and wicked beats, all created to let Jay’s rhymes shine, almost float over the top (Kanye’s influence all over this album, take a bow). Thematically, there’s a lot of score settling and bragging which could tire but there’s enough humour and wit throughout to keep it engaging. Jay also shows respect to the old school, with allusions to classic lines from hip hop’s past throughout and guest spots from Bizmarkie (RIP), Slick Rick (a huge influence) and Q-Tip on Girls, Girls, Girls. The album doesn’t fall into hip hop’s usual trap of being absurdly long and as for collaborations there’s only one in Eminem who, let’s be honest, on this track, murders Jay on his own $#!+, just like Nas said. But it’s a welcome change from albums stuffed with guest stars spitting weak verses and the absence of protégés Memphis Bleek and Beanie Segal is a relief (has any successful rapper discovered any decent rappers cause I ain’t heard any. The Outlawz? Junior Mafia? D12? Please…). Jay fouled up the formula on the tedious double album follow up imaginatively titled Blueprint 2 (with an impressive Roots collaboration on Blueprint Unplugged and an ill advised Best of Both Worlds collaboration with, er, R Kelly in between). Blueprint really captures Jay’s verbal dexterity and his whip smart lines brilliantly who perhaps for the first (and only?) time lives up to his billing as best rapper alive.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

What an album this is. Magnum Opus. Favourite song - Takeover and Song Cry One for a run - Izzo One for Karaoke - Girls, Girls, Girls

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Like this way more than I recall. At the time, I was more into MF Doom, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and Eminem. Kind of avoided Jay-Z, but this reminded me that I need to listen to more of his catalog.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
5

"The Blueprint" is the sixth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z. Of note, it was released on 9/11/2001 to combat bootlegging. It had quite a list of producers including Kanye West, Just Blaze, Blink, Timbaland, The Trackmasters and Eminem. The album was noted for being soul-centric and sample reliant which was a shift in rap at the time from more keyboard driven. Yeah, the sampling which is more soul-based and the lyrics are both excellent. High, high production levels here. The albums has received and continues to receive a lot of very high critical praise and the Library of Congress also selected it to the US National Recording Registry for its "cultural, historically or aesthetically" importance....the first album of the 2000's. Jay-Z comes out thanking everyone for their purchase on "The Ruler's Back." A soul intro. Free and easy sounding. The horns gives this almost a theme from "Rocky" vibe. "Takeover" just has some creative sampling. "Five to One" by the Doors with Jim Morrison screaming "Come on" and a distorted sample of David Bowie's "Fame" making it purposely sound like "Lame" as Jay-Z discusses rappers Prodigy (Mobb Deep) and Nas...lol. "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" was the first single and samples The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." Nice easy groove. Jay-Z raps about helping other blacks with his record label and how drugs ruin lives. The mood lightens up with the second single "Girls, Girls, Girls" with some hilarious backing vocals by Q-Tip, Slick Rick and Biz Markie. Also, a great sample chorus of "High Power Rap" by Crash Crew and a sample of "There's Nothing in This World That Can Stop Me from Loving You" by Tom Brock. The song is about Jay-Z's (Ahem) promiscuous lifestyle. "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" has a great beat and soulful feel. You got to watch your back. A Bobby Bland sample. "Song Cry" was the fourth single and is just a great slow, melodic ballad. My favorite song on the album. About infidelity and neglect. Jay-Z at his most vulnerable. A sample of Bobby Glenn's "Sounds Like a Love Song." The only guest appearance on the album is Eminem on "Renegrade" and he just kills it. A song he orginally wrote with Royce da 5'9". Jay-Z has the first few verses as tells about his fatherless upbringing. Eminem then takes over and goes after the hypocrisy of the public outcry against him. This album is consistent and an enjoyable listen throughout. Not a dull moment. Its critical appeal has only grown extremely high over time. An obvious high recommendation.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

I listened to this A LOT in college. Before Kanye turned into a crazy person, he was an all-time great producer and I'm pretty sure this is the first album I heard him on.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

Jay-Z’s Comeback masterpiece. This is one of those albums just click. Up there with the best hip hop albums

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Sun Nov 20 2022
5

Great Jay-Z album - not sure if this is because of the excellent choice of sampled songs (samples are based on great songs) but of course the way these songs are sampled by Jay-Z / Kanye West is very smooth as well.

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

I mean, being a hip hop fan this is an easy 5 stars. certified classic

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Amazing album.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Interesting samples and great flow. Very good album.

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Mon Oct 12 2020
4

fantastic with a few duds

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Thu Oct 29 2020
4

Não manjo do contexto do álbum... mas as letras das músicas fazem um álbum que começa com rixas entre músicos e ostentação pra mensagem social forte. Muito bem produzido, gostei de "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Heart Of the City" e "Song Cry" - "Renegade" é rap com lirismo sensacional, letra foda e potente. Dela até o fim é impecável. As letras das últimas músicas só reforçam o valor dele, se eu não tivesse acompanhado com elas, teria dado nota muito menor.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

I prefer The Black album, but still an outstanding piece of work

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

Fedt album med gode flows og tekster.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

Varför har jag inte lyssnat förrens nu ?

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Sat May 15 2021
4

A great rap album, with many noteable hits including izzo, Girls, Girls, Girls. Would listen to again.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Great album, again was unfamiliar with Jay-Z's albums but will definitely get this one

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

The man emanates class. Lyrics are awesome, production quality supreme and guest names/ collabs add weight to this album.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

Good shit

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Very good rap album, lots of references in this album either to or from other rap works I've heard before

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Surprisingly enjoyable, didn't think I'd like but big into Izzo and Girls (x3). Nice use of samples.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

he's a legend and this album is legendary.

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Sat May 22 2021
4

Can hear Kanye all over the production but my favourite was Timberland on Hola Hovita. Girls is a classic and Eminem's verse on renegade is unsettlingly good.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

oldy but goldy

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Pleasantly surprised quite enjoyed. Nice beats and tunes

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Deece

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

all I hear is 70s samples. catchee. good - better - good.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

Iconic album by one of the great hip hop artists of all time. Jay-z is a talented lyricist with top notch beats and gorgeous productions. Eminem kills his verse on Renegade, classic.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

this album came out when i was in high school, and never listened to it, since, sadly, i was just not interested in rap/hip hop. listening to this album now, i am sad that it took so long to listen to this one, it was some great beats, and lyrics, making for one insane album.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

Beats

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

En interessant crossover fra eastcoast-bling rap a-la P-diddy til Kanyes "Chipmunk soul". Det er ingen diskusjon om Jayzs enorme talent innen lyrikk. tekstene hans er imponerende. Ekstremt mye bra låter, mange av dem produsert og mixed av en up-and-coming Kanye West. Noen av albumets høydepunkter er Disstrack-klassikeren "The Takeover" produsert av Kanye med samples fra "fame" av David bowie, der de kreativt nok endrer utropet "Fame" til "lame" og "Shame". andre av kanyes sanger som "never change" og "heart of the city" er enormt bra. "song cry" "IZZO" er de beste låtene som ikke er produsert kanye på albumet.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

A great album for #100! Of course, Jay-Z is an all-time great in hip hop, but I've never really gotten into his albums. I tend to prefer him as a feature, as I just don't think his style is dynamic enough to hold my interest for an album's length. The same principle applies here, but this one is elevated by fantastic production, especially from the young Chicago phenom named Kanye West--that guy's going places. Back-to-back, Kanye samples The Doors and the Jackson 5. Who else has that kind of gall? Jay-Z is an undeniably great rapper, but I just don't find his rapping engaging (much like his protege J. Cole). Still, he does a great job over these amazing beats, and the album is a classic for a reason. Also, I just learned that this album was released on 9/11. New lore just dropped. Favorite tracks: Izzo, Never Change, Heart of the City, Renegade. Album art: Not sure if this is Jay's most iconic, but it's gotta be up there. This blue filter is immediately recognizable. Jay definitely making the case that he's big pimpin'. 4.5/5

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

I hadn't listened to this album before but knew Izzo from Linkin Park. Still a classic on here and I enjoyed most of the songs but there is always something that holds me back from loving Jay-Z. He loves to brag and I think that's great if you have the skills to back it up. He is no Kendrick. But I find out most of his raps aren't written down so even though I listened to the album twice, now I need to go back again. I really enjoy the album overall but don't have too many favorite songs. CLASSIC album cover.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Amazing how many of these songs I remember lyrics to. I just spit this shit one take - these are my thoughts.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

I’d never listened to a jay-z album all the way through before. Clever and masterful lyrics. I feel like I need to know more to put it in context with the genre.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Juicy production! Some classics in here, but not my favourite J album.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

Love a bit of Jay-Z

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

it has a reakky good vibe

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

This is the first album where I recognize numbers from my own childhood. It is good to listen every album twice. Then every song is better.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
4

Not gonna lie. Every time jay says “jewels” I think he’s saying jews. It’s the blueprint. Not much more to say. It’s a great album. I think it falls short of 5 stars for me because you have albums like mm food. And some of the lines sound dated but it’s easily 4 stars.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Bababooey

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Sat Feb 13 2021
4

Classic Jay Z

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Nice album, arrogant dude 😁 7/10

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Fri Apr 02 2021
4

Girls girls girls

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

Just amazing. I get kind of tired of rap bravado and self aggrandizing tho.

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Sat May 01 2021
4

Steht für sich

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Sat Apr 17 2021
4

I enjoyed some of the songs, but not really my thing.

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Clearly really influential for a lot of artists, like Kanye.

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Thu May 06 2021
4

It was good many classic songs

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Good. Never listened to the album before. H to the issa

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Mon May 31 2021
4

Bangers! Bästa låtar: Izzo Girls, Girls, Girls Song Cry All I Need

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

- intro super cool - pleasantly surprised since I don't listen to Jay Z - overall, I enjoyed listening while working

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Tue Aug 17 2021
4

This was a very nice album. I like the older hip-hop songs, but this kind of more "modern" hip-hop is so recognizable for me that it's almost impossible do not listen to some songs with a "home" feeling. The first songs are the best and the last ones are a kind of repetitive, but in a whole analysis, this is a great album.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

Really enjoyed the fun beats and the swagger

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

Fan riktigt bra asså

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Wed Sep 08 2021
4

So. Good.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
4

The album was released on September 11th and it sounds like the last album of the late 90's/early 00's optimism. The samples and the beats are huge and lush with Kanye's tracks being standouts for his use of samples. Its an album that both the final chapter of 90's rap but also starting the transition as to how rap was going to go for the next decade. Essential listening for those wanting to get a better understanding of hip-hop.

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Sat Sep 18 2021
4

Cool album. Some tracks lack in production/mixing, in my opinion.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

First time that I have listened to this album, and I quite liked the sound of it.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
4

Love that drumroll intro and the beat kicks in and then... "uh huh, uh huh, wooo!" The uhs and woos are my least favorite Jay-Z thing. But "The Ruler's Back" was quickly redeemed with smart lyrics, good flow, and the horns! This week, the high school girls soccer team I coach sent a playlist to me that they wanted played on the PA before their game. It took them three attempts to send me a list that wasn't completely inappropriate. The themes of too many of the songs were either drugs, being misogynistic, or both. The lyrics were uninspired, uncreative, and overfilled with curse words and the n-word seemingly just because they could. And that's before we even start talking about the generic beats. Sure, they were inappropriate for a soccer game crowd that included their younger siblings. But they were also just trashy songs. Jay-Z's might be the last great crossover megastar of good mainstream rap music. He carried the legacy of 90s rap into the 21st century, and those attempting to reach those heights in the last decade (Kanye, Kendrick, Chance, all making great music) are more polarizing in both style and personality. There is still good rap and hip hop today, but it doesn't get the attention that far inferior tracks and styles get. (I'm lookin' at you, trap music. This is mostly your fault.) As for "The Blueprint" - just as I was getting tired of it, finding it a bit repetitive, in comes the funk, then some soul, then the "ain't no love in the heart of the city" sample. The Eminem verse in "Renegade" was the biggest departure for the album - I like Eminem (though certainly not as much as I used to) but it was kind of a jarring shift from the style of the rest of the album. It's not in my top 10 or probably even 20 rap albums (Jay's just not my favorite - see the opening comment about the "uhs," though I didn't notice them as much as I thought I would at first), but it is very listenable and consistently high-quality. I started with what I like least about Jay-Z, so I'll end with what I like best. Well, it's really more Jay-Z adjacent. Danger Mouse made a mash-up album of Jay-Z's "Black Album" and the Beatles' "White Album," called "The Grey Album." It's fascinating. If you've never heard it - https://soundcloud.com/blainepwilson/sets/danger-mouse-the-grey-album

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Sun Oct 03 2021
4

I just don't like Jay-Z's flow very much, but I do think this is a critical piece of rap history. And Em's infamous verses on Renegade also standout for me, as well as production by Kanye, Timbaland, and Just Blaze.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Great production. It’s obvious that Kanye West has had a large hand in the production of this album. Jay-Z is really at his best here. The flow is good, the lyrics are punchy and memorable, and he’s still trying to establish his place at the top. Essentially, he still has to work for it. The only drawback of this album might be its length. The standout track for me was the Kanye West produced ‘Takeover’

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

// Favs: Girls, Girls, Girls / U Don't Know / Heart Of The City / Song Cry / All I Need / Renegade Score: Strong 4

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

An album that doesn't sound 20 years old. Jay Z's lyrics are on point as always and the sample heavy backdrop is as smooth as silk. Nice wee cameo from Eminem too👌

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

I could sum this album up as "Smoove 70s grooves with cool rapping." That theme goes across most of the album, right from the first track. Izzo is real catchy but I don't think I've ever needed Genius lyrics more. All the diss stuff in The Ruler's Back and Takeover was a little lame to me (but I liked the Bowie "Fame" callout in Takeover). Girls Girls Girls was amusing, and gotta like a song that name-drops Deuce Bigalow. It was at this point that the phrase "smoooove grooves" kept popping into my head and stayed there for pretty much the rest of the album. Basically from U Don't Know On I enjoyed every track. Calling it a 4 rather than a 5 because I think the bragging and dissing brings it down.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

I have to admit that I've never given Jay-Z a proper listen until now. This is a great album. Amazing grooves throughout and the lyrics are awesome. I'm going to have to check out the sequels to this when I have more time to listen.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

Hard to believe that this album is 20 years old. I have "The Blueprint 3" because of "Empire State Of Mind," and a fe other tracks. It's funny because I mentioned Jay-Z and my kid was like "I don't know who he is." Kind of surprising, but he's a rock guy. Anyway, the flow here is a BEAST. And then putting Eminem in the one song, godDAMN. This is a great album, 20 years on. There's a reason he made 2 sequels to it. Hard for me to blast this in the house, though. The language does make it difficult.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

Very much enjoyed this album. JayZ is a bit of a blind spot for me I know I quite like a lot of his stuff but have rarely listened to it.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

solid. bit dated, but a 4 all day.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

Really enjoyed it. Hadn't listened end-to-end. The sounds still hold up, the lyrics are edgy classic Jay-Z. Maybe a bit overproduced in sections but overall a fun listen.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

I like it, feel like a lot of newer stuff references it. Lots of samples too

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

love the classic sound, good production and some classic songs on this one

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Sat Nov 20 2021
4

Seminal hip hop. HOV delivers word play and diss tracks in his signature drop rhythm speech .

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Really interesting.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Fab

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Thu Nov 25 2021
4

I’m no hip hop aficionado but it’s a good album.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

Not bad, a little dated at this point

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Mon Dec 06 2021
4

Went in with low expectations but this is a corker. Uplifting, confident, great sound.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Same feelings as The Marshall Mathers LP but better

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

Probably Jay’s best album from his era of dominance. Lyrically and with beats this album has many songs that are solid and stand the test of time. He also has songs that go right after other rappers. This album covers all the basics and excels in them too. 8.4/10

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Fri Dec 24 2021
4

Awesome album. Great lyrics that touch on a bunch of topics throughout Jay’s life make every song stay interesting. Some standouts for sure, and some songs that don’t hit quite as hard , but it’s all quite good. 8/10

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Fri Dec 31 2021
4

Dutty riddims - Eminem popping up was tasty

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

Another triumph by Kanye lol… great album, very start of the century, Jay Z really was the best rapper alive back then

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Sun Feb 13 2022
4

Good hip hop album

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

I don't consider myself a Jay-Z fan, particularly, but I thought this was decent. Could definitely hear the Kanye influence on production after I read about that. Lyrically it's the usual braggadocio etc which doesn't do much for me, but as far as that brand of rap goes, he's pretty good at it. Takeover is a great diss track. 3.5

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Mon Feb 28 2022
4

Would it be extremely white of me to suggest that the best track is the one that features Eminem? So be it. Not sure I understand why this is on the list but The Black Album isn't. Best track: Renegade

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Sat Mar 19 2022
4

Muy bueno

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Mon Mar 21 2022
4

I find it fitting this album is called The Blueprint, as much of early to mid 2000s pop music will copy these techniques. I swear I've heard the sound effects in "Song Cry" in like a million pop songs of the era and it's really annoying, but here it's done right. Furthermore, we begin to see a shift toward more soulful styles. Production is polished and clean. Jay Z's vocals are smooth and clean and mixes well with the studio additions. Amazing early work by Kanye. Apparently, this album marked a shift back toward samples as opposed to the keyboard-dominant Timbaland style. No bad tracks, I was pretty satisfied listening to them all which is pretty rare for me, especially in this poppier subgenre of hip hop. Nice surprise track with Eminem, although I think his performance and volume overshadows Jay Z.

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Sun Mar 27 2022
4

It's among Jay-Z's best and an album I've liked for a long time, but I just can't give it a 5. There's just a couple songs that aren't quite up to par and it doesn't have enough 5 star songs to my ears. It's still very good though and I wouldn't argue with anyone for giving it a perfect score. Side note: I do love that Takeover inspired Nas to bite back with Ether, one of favorite diss tracks of all time. The album gets no extra points for that but I "appreciate" it.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
4

It feels as if this album was made recently, but it has stood the test of time. It represents a great era in HipHop.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
4

This is an album in which Hov both talks the talk (he REALLY loves to brag), and walks the walk. The production and sampling are immaculate and diverse, and Jay and Co. rap at the top of their game. Still not sold on Jay’s constant “uh uh uh huh” ad-libbing though.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

I don't enjoy much of the lyrical content myself but there are some nice samples, catchy beats, and interesting rhymes. I can see why it's got its fans.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

Although I am generally a fan of hip-hop, I have never had any inspiration to check out a JAY-Z album. So, this was a first, and there wasn't anything surprising for me here. Production value was high, beats and samples were catchy, rhymes were easy to understand, and the themes consistent with the genre. It was a good album and I enjoyed it today, but I didn't feel like I had been missing anything and don't think that this will go into regular rotation.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

It's still not my favorite genre, but this has its charms and merits.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Niełatwo było ocenić. Z jednej strony nigdy jakoś mnie Jay-Z nie kręcił. Tak samo braggi szeroko pojęte również nie - na wstępie zatem byłem mocno sceptyczny. Ale po odsłuchaniu muszę przyznać, że pod względem ciekawych bitów i latania po nich chłop sobie radzi. Biorąc pod uwagę to (oraz rok wydania) jest to dobra płyta tego wykonawcy i jest to uzasadniony klasyczek na scenie. Jest tu pare słabszych kawałków, ale też sporo naprawdę solidnych. Czy wrócę? Nadal nie jestem fanem, ale myślę, że słaba czwóreczka tu się nada

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Mon May 02 2022
4

Jay-Z's has always just been too cool. Strong 4.

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Mon May 23 2022
4

An incredibly strong offering. Hate him or love him, Kanye West's fingerprints are all over this thing, and it only makes Jay Z stronger. His flows complimented with Kanye's "chipmunk soul" style beats is a deadly combination. The only time Jay shares the spotlight, I think it's stolen from him, especially since the beat on Renegades compliments Eminem's style a bit more than it does Jay Z (both put in fantastic verses, though). "Takeover" is an absolutely vicious diss. Favorite tracks: "Takeover", "Izzo", "Heart of the City"

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Tue May 31 2022
4

Loved it. First Jay-Z album I've listened to in full. Poor Nas

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Entertaining album with a couple of standout songs. Second half of the album was weaker and could have been 10-15 minutes shorter but definitely more up my alley in terms of the faster, darker beats of the early 2000s

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Jay Z sticks it to the industry and the culture that worked against him, with slick Kanye production. One of the classic hip hop albums.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

5/30/2022 - ALBUM #123 Today's Album: "The Blueprint" by Jay-Z - Now I am going to preface before saying anything, that I think this is a pretty good rap record. Many of the beats are very fun and memorable. A lot of the guest performances are great and liven up the album and overall the songwriting is pretty dang good. However, I think that everything I like about this album has absolutely nothing to do with Jay-Z. In terms of technical ability, I don't negate his ability to rap with a fairly solid flow and his lyricism is often pretty funny, but I get really tired of hearing the same delivery on every song. He speaks in this very 90's rap sort of gangster-yell, where every syllable is emphasized and I wouldn't have a problem with it if he ever changed it up, but it gets pretty grating over the whole track list. Even on one of the best songs here, Izzo, the really fun and charismatic beats are just being sort of botched with this really ridged and uncharismatic rap performance from Jay. Speaking of the beats, not only does he produce none of the tracks here, but all of the tracks that are worth listening to are produced by Kanye or Eminem. All of the tracks produced by Kanye sound like lesser versions of the tight and soulful beats all over his debut album, College Dropout, which came out only 3 years after this album and feels lightyears ahead of it. Now, this was a very transitionary time for rap music as the gangster rap of the 90s started to lose over more publicly appealing pop outfits, so this album falling right in that cusp made it hard for it to stand out against all of the fantastic work that's come before and all of the innovation that would come after. I also have to note that Kanye wouldn't be where he is today without Jay-Z and a lot of what rap would become would not be possible without Jay-Z. All I am saying is I don't believe that he is the biggest talent showcased on this record and for as innovative as it may have been at the time, the fact that the best verses on this album come from the song that's pretty much just an Eminem song with a Jay-Z feature is pretty telling for the quality of this project. Overall, there are a great handful of tracks on this album and it really is a great project overall, but Jay-Z being the weakest part of a Jay-Z album is sort of a problem. Listen to this one if you like Kanye's early work and want to get a good idea of what the rap scene looked like when he came up, but the highlights really will be the only songs worth checking out if you're not a huge rap fan. Highlights: The Ruler's Back, Takeover, Izzo, Hola' Hovito, Heart Of The City, Never Change, Renegade Score: 7.5/10 Important and grand, but held up by other artists' talent.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
4

4.0

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

Enjoyed that. Cracking use of samples and lyrically excellent.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
4

4/5

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Mon Jul 18 2022
4

Jay-Z solid performance is carried by the outstanding production on this album. Boy are there some catchy hooks.

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

flawless production, awesome flow and the doors sample in “the takeover” blew my mind. a great album and definitely a reflection of the time of its release, awesome suggestion of an album i probably wouldnt listen to on my own as i was never a huge jay z fan!

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

It’s very good, but I can’t heal feeling that the ideas at the foundation of so many of the lyrics (basically “I Am the Greatest”, with a healthy side portion of “and you all suck”) has an awfully shallow bottom. The excellence of the lyrical flow, as well as the beats and sampling, carry it through though.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

Jay-Z has never been my favourite rapper and I don't think this album has aged particularly well but it's a perfect example of the exactly what hip-hop wanted to be at the start of the decade. Lyrically HOV is on the top of his game and he has a presence. This album is him declaring he's on top and I find it hard to argue against that. The beats are not particularly but they do suit the grand ambitions and the NYC identity of the album. Overall just a great listen. He's still not personally one of my favourite rappers as I don't find his music particularly exciting or suprising but he is incredibly dependable and I have to give him credit for that.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

Fantastic album.

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Sat Aug 20 2022
4

Iconic album, but with a few good songs

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Sun Aug 21 2022
4

Pretty good

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

JAY Z no es mi tipo, pero con este álbum puedo ver definitivamente porqué gusta tanto, y porque es considerado un tipo referente.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Great album.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

J'eu très peur en lançant cet album de rap des années 2000, au vu de la situation actuelle du générateur. Mais cet album de JayZ était des plus agréables, tel est pris qui croyait prendre.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

Jay Z est un sacré artiste de rap music. Je voulais vous partager une frustration. Vous savez sans doute que je déménage assez régulièrement ces temps-ci et qu'un objet m'handicape beaucoup lorsque je dois transporter mes affaires : il s'agit du grimoire de Robert. Celui-ci pèse environ vingt-cinq kilogrammes et m'oblige à un effort surhumain pour faire avancer ma valise sous le regard plein de pitié des passants. J'ai donc réclamé à Robert qu'il sorte son grimoire en format poche et vous tiendrai au courant de sa réponse. Celle-ci s'annonce cinglante.

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