Album Review: Jay-Z - The Blueprint III

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 9:48 AM

N*ggas make the same shit. Me, I make the Blue Print…

Artist: Jay-Z
Album: The Blueprint III
Release Date: 9.11.09

The Good: What We Talkin Bout is the opener and perfect introduction to the album, separating Jay-Z’s artistic depth from his surface-level counterparts and setting the tone for everything that follows. Critics and detractors of this album will say things like “Jay-Z has nothing new to say” or “The beats could have been better”. To quell that, I offer this: check out Jay-Z’s evolution as a man and an artist laid out perfectly on Off That (featuring Drake) and On To the Next One (featuring Swizz Beatz). Mr. Carter makes it known that he’s already done what’s being done right now and that’s what puts him ahead of the competition and in a class all his own. If your focus for listening to this album is the beats and production, you’ve clearly missed the point: check the album cover, and start again. Think of Empire State of Mind as Jay’s answer to Jeezy’s Put On - so much more than today’s typical flashy tracks, he shows love for his city while still acknowledging the struggle. Musically, Real As It Gets (featuring Young Jeezy) has a triumphant synth keyboard line that sounds very regal. Take note to how the notion of hip-hop beef is put to death on A Star Is Born. There’s an unprecedented amount of love on this track for the other heroes of the game and it’s only reinforced by the amount of love Jay showed in the features for his own project. Not only does he recap the best in the game on this song, but he uses this album to set up slots for the best newcomers to showcase their talent and prepare the hip-hop world for a revolution (including a hot standout verse from rising star J. Cole). There’s a respectable craftiness as Jay addresses his haters on Already Home (featuring Kid Cudi) and Hate (featuring Kanye West). Lyrically, Jay-Z is as adept as ever, as proven in his lighthearted wittiness on Thank You, his mastery of metaphors on Venus vs. Mars and his blunt delivery on the singles D.O.A. and Run This Town.

The Bad: For all it’s greatness, The Blueprint III is not flawless. Although the sample on Young Forever is great, lyrically I was not impressed with Jay’s delivery on this track and it’s one of the cuts that does disappoint. Likewise, Reminder was not really memorable – by this point in the album it’s like beating a dead horse, just using a more blunt object this time around.

The Bottom Line: Now here’s a project that’s deeper than rap: I present to you The Blueprint III. This is an album about progression, success and succession. It’s undeniable that Jay-Z is the best in the game, but there's an air of torch passing here as well. The features on this album seem to have been carefully selected and are a reflection of the future of hip-hop. This album is a game-changer, a challenge to all rappers and artists to return hip-hop to it’s origins and go back to creating MUSIC. The songs aren’t built around the hooks; rather, the hooks are built around the message that the song delivers. The first step to re-building something is to create a blueprint. Consider that first step taken.

Sound-Savvy rates The Blueprint III with 4.5 out of 5 platinum headphones.

6 comments and counting...

  1. Sherrod Said,

    4 platinum headphones... Though he deserves it, I feel like he's getting a ton of credit because of who he is... Don't get me wrong I like it, but it's not a classic..

    Posted on September 2, 2009 at 12:39 PM

  2. First of all...WHADDUP MACK! It's been a minute.

    Secondly...Global Grind linked you? That's a real good look, you moving on up!

    Thirdly, yet another well written review. I completely agree with the review, and has nothing further to say.

    Posted on September 2, 2009 at 1:44 PM

  3. Dominique Said,

    OH MY GOODNESS thank you someone who finally gets the point of this album i thought i was the only one

    Posted on September 2, 2009 at 1:49 PM

  4. Martini Said,

    Now, I had reservations about his album. #1- The unoriginal #2 I'm ready for him to retire and MEAN IT #3 It's another damn I was skeptical. Soon as the first track played I was rocking in my seat. Second song, I was mouthing the chorus. There might be one or two songs that just didn't move me; and that's ok. But for the most part I think Jay did his thing with this album. Certainly not the best but it was a good album.

    Posted on September 2, 2009 at 5:54 PM

  5. Sincere Said,

    What up Mack! I agree with your review 100%!! While this is not his best album it is still a dope album and one of the best I've heard in a while. He's a lyrical genius and I totally agree on the methods he used to build the songs. To understand and love Jay's music you have to understand that it's not about the hottest single, it's about the entire body of work. The body of work is what makes him great not the singles or radio hits. ya know?

    Posted on September 2, 2009 at 7:06 PM

  6. mr. nichols Said,

    what's good bruh? i've only the album one time so far. and i'm gonna let it sit and give it a go again. on first listen, it's better than i thought it would be but not as dope as i wanted it to be. the first five songs are incredible, sonically, lyrically incredible. on to the next one even caught me off guard with how catchy it is. i think the weak links all come from timbaland. the hook on reminder is painfully horrible. and off that, while i appreciate the concept, doesn't really do it for me, especially since i think drake was underutilized. but in any case, i'm gonna check it out again this weekend. peace.

    Posted on September 4, 2009 at 11:23 PM


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