The Blueprint

Jay-Z


Vinyl LP

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2008, Def Jam Records

VINYL FORMAT. When Jay-Z opens The Blueprint dropping rhymes about "runnin' this rap sh*t," it's not so much arrogance as it is a matter of fact. And by the time he brutally dismisses two of his most formidable opponents, Mobb Deep and Nas, less than ten minutes into the album, there's little doubt that Jay-Z's status as the top MC in the game is justified. But that's just one song. There are 12 other songs on The Blueprint -- and they're all stunning, to the point where the album seems almost flawless. Besides rhymes that challenge those on Reasonable Doubt as the most crafted of Jay-Z's career to date in terms of not only lyrics but also flow and delivery, The Blueprint also boasts some of his most extravagant beats, courtesy of impressive newcomers Kayne West and Just Blaze. Moreover, if the rhymes and beats alone don't make The Blueprint a career highlight for Jay-Z, the minimal guest appearances surely do. For once, listeners get exactly what they want: Jay-Z and nothing but Jay-Z, over beats so loaded with marvelously flipped samples the songs don't even need big vocal hooks. Besides, when you're already the top MC in the game, there's no need for crossover attempts. Uneven albums like Hard Knock Life were the crossover attempts, and now that Jay-Z is "runnin' this rap sh*t," a fully realized masterpiece like The Blueprint is the glorious result. -All Music Guide

Tracklisting

Disc 1
1 Ruler's Back
2 Takeover
3 Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
4 Girls, Girls, Girls
5 Jigga That N***a
6 U Don't Know
7 Hola' Hovito
8 Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)
9 Never Change
10 Song Cry
11 All I Need
12 Renegade
13 Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)



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