Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3 | Album Review

Jay-Z
The Blueprint 3
Release Date: September 11th September 8th, 2009
Atlantic Records/Roc Nation


In the late ‘90’s/early-to-mid 2000’s, Jay-Z meant everything to me as far as hip hop was concerned. Since The Blueprint and the days of KaZaA, I’ve devoured every album since it leaked on the net. All the way up to Hov’s recent release, The Blueprint 3, which made its “bootleg” debut just a couple of days ago. After lowering my expectations for the record – a knee-jerk reaction to lame single releases and leaked Timbo joints – I bashed the bejesus outta the album on Twitter all day long on Monday. Rightfully so? Maybe, maybe not. The album definitely isn’t perfect, but given a few extra spins, I see the value in much of it. Unlike Jay tracks and albums which were hit or miss for me (usually hit) on the first listen, I realized that this one deserved some extra attention. I rarely offer up album reviews in a track-by-track format because I prefer summing and sizing it up fully and analyzing it as I would a book (you never do chapter-by-chapter book reviews now do ya?). But for some reason, I feel like The Blueprint 3 deserves that kind of coverage. Lemme first begin with some problems I’ve had with the album and then I’ll follow it up with the track reviews (which may or not have addressed those problems).

First off, I don’t accept the premise that singles from Jay-Z’s albums are A) worse than the rest of the album, and/or B) should never, ever, ever be used as a barometer for the quality of the rest of the album. Sure, songs like “Change Clothes”, “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” and “Excuse Me Miss” fit the mold for said premise, but what about hit radio singles like “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)…”, “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, “99 Problems”, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”, “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”, “Change the Game” and so on and so on? Those are my joints! Again, I refute the premise that Jay-Z singles inherently suck in contrast with the rest of the record.

Second, I resent the fact that Jay-Z frequently disses the “tight jeans” crowd whilst simultaneously working with Kanye West – the metrosexual king – and the new school of like-minded cats like Drake, Cudi, Cole and Hudson. Even worse, looking at Jay’s entire catalog, The Blueprint 3 is the album which most explicitly targets the “tight jeans” crowd, what with its esthetically minimalistic album art and sparse, frosty production. Similarly, it makes no sense to me that Jay-Z would be heading the war on Auto-Tune – although really, let’s face it, he wasn’t anywhere close to being the first to bring it up – when his confidante Kanye West damn-near single-handedly made it all the rage just a year ago with 808s & Heartbreak. And again, looking at Jay’s discography, if you had to pick one album which sonically and stylistically matches up the most with 808s & Heartbreak, which one would it be? The Blueprint 3. Huh?

Finally, it’s worth asking: what relation does The Blueprint 3 have with The Blueprint and The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse? In my book, The Blueprint 3 bares closer resemblance to The Black Album and Kingdom Come. I’ll explain below. Now let’s get into the track-by-track synopsis!


01. What We Talkin’ About (featuring Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun) (Produced by Kanye West & No I.D.)
Hov jumpstarts the album with a definitively futuristic sound palate which quickly perks your ears up for a moment, before sounding dull within a couple of minutes. During this time span, Jay spits: “Ain’t nothin’ cool about carryin’ a strap/ About worrying your moms, and burying your best cat/”. Well, I guess this begs the question then: is Reasonable Doubt (specifically “Dead Presidents”) still “cool”? In my book, it’s his best album. And wasn’t that album almost entirely about such gritty narratives as described in the aforementioned bars? Yep, I thought so. I can overlook this though because after all that’s what Jay’s doing: looking to the future. So much so that he disavows “rap” as something old and played out, opting towards focusing on “music” instead. Here’s the quote: “Talkin’ ‘bout music, I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout rap/”. Well guess what, Hov? I’m talkin’ ‘bout rap. Now what? But after all, duplicity is no stranger to hip hop and its artists. I should know; I’m a 2Pac (st/)fan. And of course, speaking of hypocrisy, it’s more than a bit odd for Jay to argue that he’s “not talkin’ bout” Jimmy (Jones), Dame (Dash), Game and Jaz when… wait for it… he’s unequivocally calling them out! We all know that neither of these cats can put a dent into Jay’s career, so why even bother bringing them up – especially at this point when the Jigga-directed animosity seems to be the lowest it’s been in years?

02. Thank You (Produced by Kanye West & No I.D.)
If you would have told me that this was produced by Dr. Dre in 2006 and left on the cutting room floor of the Kingdom Come mastering sessions, I would have believed you. The drums and horns sound very Dre-esque a la “30 Something”. Like The Good Doc’s beats on Kingdom Come, it’s solid Dre style, but far from vintage. Like Jay’s bars on Kingdom Come, it’s formulaic Jay style, but far from memorable. There’s really not much to analyze here. On the one hand, Jay is thanking his fans; on the other hand, he’s flaunting the fact that he “tipped the waiter $100 to keep the ice cold”. Jay’s empathy towards his fans is (somewhat) courteous but also blatantly recession-proof. Tasteless and condescending probably describes this track best.

03. D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune) (Produced by No I.D.)
Forget the fact that the abbreviation for this track should be “D.A.” or “D.A.T.”, I can’t hate on this song (too much), especially within the context of this sequentially well-organized tracklisting. Jay’s message on the track is, sadly, too little too late. But No I.D.’s ridiculous usage of this klezmer-y Janko Nilovic sample (you’re welcome, internets) is enough to keep my head boppin’ throughout.

04. Run This Town (featuring Rihanna & Kanye West) (Produced by Kanye West & No I.D.)
Posse cuts are great. Jay’s “Bring It On” alongside Sauce Money and Big Jaz off the Reasonable Doubt album? Classic. Pop posse cuts? Not so much. Timbaland tried this out in 2007 with “Give It to Me”, the lead single off of Shock Value. The track was shared by labelmates Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake and featured some shots at Scott Storch as well as, arguably, Kevin Federline and even Prince! While “Run This Town” doesn’t contain any explicit barbs directed at other artists, it essentially serves the purpose of glorifying the star-powered trio of Jay, Rih-Rih and Yeezy, effectively shitting on the music scene with a lack of regard for casualties. In short, it’s a bragfest. They run this town. We get it. Now lots of folks have been saying that Kanye “murdered Jay on his own track”. I disagree. A statement like that means you’re essentially equating Kanye’s decent verse on “Run This Town” with Eminem’s off-the-wall-redonkulous verses on “Renegade”. Don’t go there!

05. Empire State of Mind (featuring Alicia Keys) (Produced by Al Shux)
Now this is what I’m talking about! This is a hit! I don’t even live in New Yiddy and it makes me wanna throw on my “all-black everything” Yankees fitted with pseudo-hometown pride. (Yes, it’s true, Jigga did make “the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee game”). This kind of track should be blowing up all across the city from the boroughs’ tenement buildings to Broadway and Seventh Ave. On this track, Hov wisely selected a fellow Twin Tower of music stardom to push this one to the limits. Let’s break down the fundamentals: It’s triumphant. It’s catchy. It’s full of pride. It’s got an uplifting message. Bottom line: it’s an anthem. Frank Sinatra, move ova, make room for Hova. Five tracks in, this is by far the best offering on The Blueprint 3.


06. Real as It Gets (featuring Young Jeezy) (Produced by The Inkredibles)
Call me a skeptic, but this track feels like A) it was intended to be a Jeezy featuring Jay-Z record, B) it was thrown onto the album to attract down-south listeners, and C) management decided to put a track in between the respective Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz songs and “Real as It Gets” won (or lost) the straw vote. Production on this track is lush but forgettable, and neither Jay nor Jeezy come 100% correct on the lyrical tip. Can you say “filler track”?

07. On to the Next One (featuring Swizz Beatz) (Produced by Swizz Beatz)
This first time I heard this track, I wanted to sew my ears to my eyelids. After a few more listens, I finally got hooked in. I’ve never been a fan of Swizz, and this beat doesn’t necessarily raise his stock worth for me. But it’s a scruntch-face-inducing track, and I can’t be mad at that. Not at all. I do have a bone to pick with it though. Jay begins the track with these hater-addressing bars: “Hov on that new shit, n****s like ‘How come?’/ N****s want my old shit? Buy my old album/ N****s stuck on stupid, I gotta keep it movin’/”. Okay. Hold up. This is The Blueprint 3, right? A follow-up to a classic album from 2001 and a solid effort in 2002. Right? Shouldn’t The Blueprint 3 have some continuity with these two releases (a.k.a. old albums)? Seems like Jay is setting himself up for Godfather I, II and III comparisons. I and II were great. III (like The Blueprint 3, released years after the first two installments in the trilogy)? Not so much. Same shit different toilet. And then to top it all off, he throws the “stuck on stupid” line. Wait, didn’t you self-admittedly “dumb down” your music over time to “double [your] dollars”? Well, which one is it Jay? Am I misreading these quotes? Please explain.

08. Off That (featuring Drake & Timbaland) (Produced by Timbaland & Jerome “Jroc” Harmon)
“Off That” serves the purpose of further elucidating Jay’s message on “On to the Next One”. In short he’s light-years ahead of us and we’ll never catch up. What’s an antonym for courteous? At face value, this also feels like a follow-up to “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” from The Black Album. It’s got swag status by the bundles, but it’s a weak sauce follow-up at best. Timbaland provides a FutureSex/LoveSounds-type scrap beat that’s infectious but hardly captivating. It’s quite clear that the Timbo of old woulda dropped some flames, but I guess steroids have even more severe side-effects than I thought! It’s hilariously ironic that one of the things that Drake delineates on his “Off That” list are Timbs (Timberland boots). How ‘bout Timbaland beats? Naw, they’re still on that. For now.

09. A Star Is Born (featuring J. Cole) (Produced by Kanye West & No I.D.)
Leave it to No I.D. and Kanye West when he’s in a soulful mood (apparently) to drop a gem of a beat like this. Packed with firm, bass-like keys, lavish horns and peppy brush claps, this one’ll easily make you bop and bounce around, no question. Jay sheds love to hip hop pioneers, peers and fledgling up-and-comers on this celebratory dedication track. One of those very newbs is Roc Nation’s new artist, the Fayetteville-bred emcee J. Cole, who holds his own on the fourth and final verse of the track. Will “A Star Is Born” do for J. Cole what “Coming of Age” did for Memphis Bleek? Hopefully… not(?). So far, this and “Empire State of Mind” are my favorite tracks from the album.

10. Venus vs. Mars (featuring Cassie) (Produced by Timbaland & Jerome “Jroc” Harmon)
There’s something enticing about this one. Irregardless of the track’s low-key groove, it’s got potential to receive its fair share of spins in the club. Jay’s lyrics are simple but catchy: “Shorty like ‘Pac; me, Big Poppa/ Screamin’ ‘Hit ‘Em Up’, I’m screaming ‘Who Shot Ya?’/ … Shorty like Pepsi; me, I’m the Coke man/ Body like a Coke bottle, I crush it like a Coke can/”. My only grievance is that I know that both Jay and Timbo can do much, much better than this.


11. Already Home (featuring Kid Cudi) (Produced by Kanye West)
On my first listen, these strings reminded me of Swizz Beatz’ production on Shyne’s Godfather Buried Alive album, which came out in 2004. Also released in 2004: College Dropout. It definitely feels like Kanye channeled some of that organic sound with this beat, though it’s also got fingerprints of the lush stylings from Late Registration. Kid Cudi’s chorus bored the crap out of my over-analytical self at first, but I like if after a few spins. This track is, in just one word, “fun”. It’s very fluid and features flamboyant Hov’ at his (damn-near) best. No complaints with this one. Tracks 5, 9 and 11 are keepers.

12. Hate (featuring Kanye West) (Produced by Kanye West)
Oh… no! What happened, Kanye? If “Already Home” was College Dropout/Late Registration ‘Ye, then this one’s Graduation/808s & Heartbreak Yeezy. The muffled vocals on this obnoxious beat make me think that these guys partially recorded it in the shower. Pause times infinity. Real talk, the beat is so annoying it might even be effective in getting Guantanamo Bay prisoners to spill the beans. Thankfully this track is roughly two-times shorter than most of the other songs on the album.

13. Reminder (featuring K. Briscoe) (Produced by Timbaland & Jerome “Jroc” Harmon)
How would I describe this beat? “Monster flick hip hop opera” comes to mind immediately. Patent pending. The wavering synths and piercing strings on “Reminder” are truly haunting. And I kinda like it. The weirdest thing about this track – to me, at least – is that the chorus’ vocalist sounds a lot like what Dolores O’Riordan would sound like if you hooked her up to Auto-Tune. Am I the only one hearing this? Anyways… on “Reminder”, Jay unabashedly shits on all us bloggers. And I still kinda like it. Pause times infinity (again). As much praise as I can muster about for this song, I’ve still gotta admit that it gets boring really quickly and has very little playback value.

14. So Ambitious (featuring Pharrell) (Produced by The Neptunes)
I know I’m not the only one who feels like this is a watered-down, lame attempt at recreating the second-to-last-track dynamic of “Allure” from The Black Album. Right? That was a fucking heat rock! This is the most tepid Neptunes beat in recent memory. Continuity FAIL! Pharrell can’t hold a note to help his life and after the several times I’ve played this track, I still don’t know what the fuck Jay is talking about.

15. Young Forever (featuring Mr Hudson) (Produced by Kanye West)
This here’s the victory lap… and also the trickiest track on the album to properly assess. On the one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed “Beach Chair” and “History”; sonically, “Young Forever” sits somewhere alongside these two. Not to mention it interpolates that cheesy Alphaville song which is, admittedly, a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. But this track is quite possibly the weakest conclusion to an album in… ever. On a solely superficial level, the track is cute (||) in the way it plays with Jay’s “Young” nickname. But like most of the album, there’s hardly any substance here. Jay-Z almost sounds out of breath as he’s crooning sweet nothings (emphasis on nothings) over this bubblegum backdrop. Yet another flaw is that it ends too abruptly; but most importantly, it doesn’t leave me wanting more. Scratch that. It makes me want to terrify my neighbors by cranking Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…II up to eleven. “Beach Chair” had a lot more “oomph” than this, both in sound and lyrical content. And to be honest witcha, even though it was released damn-near one year ago, I would have preferred to hear “History” all over again instead of this.


Verdict:
Gradually over time, Jay-Z’s focus has moved from the micro to the macro. No longer will he settle with “petty” tales of coke deals and ghetto strife. Barack’s his new BFF. He’s got Oprah on speed dial. Why bother? The Blueprint 3 is much less a follow-up to the heart-to-heart, soulful sounds of The Blueprint than it is a bragfest for himself and his buddies. Most rap records are like this, but The Blueprint 3 takes it to a new plateau. Over time, it seems like many musicians stop making music for the fans and focus more on impressing their friends. Jay’s done this since day one, as mentioned in his recent interview with Bill Maher. But Jay missed a perfect opportunity, in my opinion, to reach down to the level of folks who are dealing with the recession. Jay’s albums have never been directed towards proletariat audiences; his albums have always been laced with a handful of epically-braggadocious anthems and chants. Still, The Blueprint had those deep cuts like “Song Cry”, “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”, shit, even “Renegade”, songs that touched the people. Each of the songs on The Blueprint 3 – even just the song titles alone(!) – are about Jay proclaiming his dominance. Except this time, the beats aren’t up to par and Jay’s lyrical swords have gotten dull and desperately need sharpening.

The problem with making an album that’s all about brushing away the past and constantly searching for the newest, latest trend is that along the span of time, that very album will be viewed as just an old fad. Really, how long will it take before you say “we off that” to The Blueprint 3? I give it no more than a few months. Trends are fleeting; youth is not forever.

Lemme make one thing perfectly clear: it’s impossible to compare The Blueprint with The Blueprint 3 much like it’ll be impossible to compare Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… with Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…II. Times have changed. As time goes by, however, what doesn’t change is whether an album is capable of standing up to the test of time or not. The Blueprint was released exactly eight years ago. That album is still a start-to-finish classic for me. Will we be saying the same thing about The Blueprint 3 in eight years’ time? No.





83 comments:

  1. Great review really went in depth.

    What a dissapointment BP3 was. Now can we get American Gangster 2?

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  2. It gets a tick from me because it's NOT AG2, it's not BP v2.0, it's not the same shit. Fresh. New Formula! Yeah it doesn't hit hard. BUT it's a blueprint, if hip-hop/rap/music takes to this as a newer direction, more musicallity expresssion etc, then wow.

    Also does anyone else think the mixing on the album is a little odd, I think that the frequency ranges of some of the sounds collide with jay-z higher voice. It's mixed more like a pop album, there isn't that boom bap mix and the vocals often dont come out that clear. I think this is jay-z stab at an 808's

    I think the venus vs mars beat is sick, I don't like the hook though.


    I'm off to bump OB4CL-2, you know why? Cos I'm now im the mood for some lyrics distruction, when I'm out latter I'm going to want to pump BP3.

    Diversity!!!!!! WELCOME TO 2009 HIP-HOP, gone are the day's of the sigula formula/lane, nigguz do what you want ;)

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  3. it should take a rocket scientist to realize the "Hater" track is made to be hated on... duh if you can't figure that out by the first few "lines" of kanye then maybe the goofy hook will help you.

    other than that i could care less about your lengthy droning of a review , but YOU are a really good writer. it's just i wish you would chose great things to write about instead of rap albums... i know this album of all should be considered such attention but let your writing have a topic that grasps more than criticism of something that in most cases can't be defended... taking the candy from the baby is not cool. baby not happy now...

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  4. The BP3 is a great sign that todays hip hop is going down the drain.

    That's a bold statment, I know. But think about it....Jay-Z, he is soppuse to be the poster boy of rap, the "greatest rapper alive", the King of Hip Hop...and then he drops BP3..............WTF


    First he drops DOA...WoooooooooooooooooooW...a song about how artists should stop using auto-tune.....no one has ever said that before...................and WTF kind of song/single is that for an album that has BLUEPRINT in it's name!!!!!!!!!!!! Think about the original Blueprint...woudld it have a corney ass song like DOA on it...NO. Sure Jay could of dropped the song, but NOT on his album...History and Brooklyn Go hard, were both wayyyyyyyy better than that song and they wernt included on the album.

    Compare Kanye's production to ANY other songs he produced. The BP3 SUCKS ASS in comparision.

    I could go on for ages about how dissapointed I am in this album. The truth is I just don't think I care about what Jay has to say anymore. He used to be a drug dealer and gangster, and then turned rapper. And he rapped about that and it let us into his world. And then on Blueprint he just made beautiful music with insightful lyrics that made you think about things. On the Black Album he talked about his life and what he had accomplished. Then he realized he had nothing else to talk about, so he pretended to be Frank Lucus and dropped American Gangsta..and that was cool. But now with BP3...I just don't care about what he has to say...bc hes 40 and not relavent anymore. He's rich, succesfull, famous, and has a hot ass wife...none of which apply to me. HE CANT TALK ABOUT HIS STRUGGLES ANYMORE BC HiS LIFE IS FuCKING AWESOME! He's like the kid in 12th grade whose failed 4 times on purpose bc he's too scared to go to college.

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  5. good review
    i think that Brandon "No Trivia" Soderberg's revised track listing of Blueprint 3 makes for a much better listening experience
    1. "Thank You"
    2. "Already Home" (featuring Kid Cudi)
    3. "Empire State of Mind" (featuring Alicia Keys)
    4. "D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)"
    5. "Run This Town" (featuring Kanye West & Rihanna)
    6. "On to the Next One" (featuring Swizz Beatz)
    7. "Off That" (featuring Drake)
    8. "Reminder"
    9. "Hate" (featuring Kanye West)
    10. "Venus Vs. Mars"
    11. "Young Forever" (featuring Mr. Hudson)
    12. "Real as it Gets" (featuring Young Jeezy)
    13. "So Ambitious" (featuring Pharrell)
    14. "What We Talkin' About" (featuring Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun)
    15. "A Star Is Born" (featuring J. Cole)

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  6. I gotta say I do love the kanye line on haters

    pew pew pew / db9 go vroom vroom vroom

    I love the way the song takes the piss out of hating

    Also co-sign to misterchane, the song order on the album isn't the best.

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  7. @anon after moose: I'll be reviewing an upcoming book by Malcolm Gladwell very soon. Does that happen to float your boat a bit more? Follow-up: how can I be droning AND a good writer?

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  8. LOL;)

    "it was the worst of times, it was the best of times..."

    ring a bell?


    take gift of gab or .... whoever, they can be great at writing and still drone my man;)

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  9. I hear you. Still.... One man's trash is another man's treasure. One man's droning is another man's thorough album review.

    Brevity has never been my strong point/suit.

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  10. I thought this was well written. I think this is much better than Jigga Mans worst albums but not close to his best or classic albums. Somewhere in between. Its funny because he has always been a bragging emcee but this album I thought he mos def had some insightful and great lyrics. I'm surprised at all the hate. It is a mixed bag but the good for me is really good and the bad is really bad. So Ambitious should be clear what he's talking about. I think for everyone who also downloaded the album the mixes aren't all correct especially the Timbo stuff so I'm looking for the actually real copy when it comes. I think Jay has always been hit and miss but Mars v Venus, Empire, Thank You 3rd verse, and What we Talkin bout = great lyrics and made me feel really inspired and moved. Now OBFCL2 I've heard some of it and sounds like the same ol Crack/Pasta/Kilo/Fake mobster garbage. This ain't 96 no more. that's boring to listen to. Sure the beats bang but how many times can you hear the same thing over and over. at least Jigga talking some other ish

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  11. Ivan i did not get that either, he says you are droning, but also a good writer hmmm i guess who like this album and was mad you did not give it a higher rating.

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  12. ^ Yeah, that was my initial reaction as well. Ha!

    RE: OB4CLII hater. Review is coming in a few days. We can discuss it then.

    New question: Where would you rank BP3 in Jay's discography? Between which two albums?

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  13. oh and btw ivan good review

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  14. almost every song kanye has produced > the songs kanye produced on BP3

    Who else agrees/disagrees?

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  15. I agree 100% with your review, Ivan. 2.5 hits the nail on the head.

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  16. actually i felt the same way about the album ironically, and perhaps that was the straw that created the droning hay stack, because i already has had most of those same thoughts, and you kept expounding upon the same ideas.

    and to be exact i'd give it a 2.5 too and note as you did that about 1/4 of the songs were good, nothing touched 'beach chair' and probably never will from jay at this rate.

    if droning is extreme then so is brevity, there is probably some where in the middle where a more palatable review would be found.

    take it like this, you criticize the album, i briefly criticized your tactics and angles no matter how well written the writing style and word choice etc was. and for some one who criticize so many(on your blog) i figure you could take it with out labeling it sour grapes or just a :( reaction to not getting you to write a review you THINK i would want.

    i figure i'd drone a bit to be clear but not so much as to break down every moment, right.

    if it isn't crystal clear yet, i agree with your comments on the songs and album oddly and i know it was very well written, but it droned.

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  17. p.s.

    comas are so pa-say.

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  18. Passé?

    Proper spelling is SO overrated.

    :P

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  19. LOL you got it, but not as overrated as using capital letters to start sentences.

    here's some more irony, to be able to identify and appreciate good writing and even be able to do so myself but not care enough to do so, now that is sort of sad and almost pathetic.

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  20. nice review but to me i gave the album 8/10 although i have to agree on the jeezy tack ,sounds like one of his that didnt make his album ,but i thought jay was dope on thank you ,reminded me of the old jay

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  21. Spot on, this is exactly how I feel about the album. I do find "Hate" funny though.

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  22. I actually like 'Hate'

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  23. The Godfather comparisons are on-point. BP3 will go down in hip-hop history as the weak final installment of a great trilogy.

    You're right about this album being a brag-fest highlighting Jay's status right now as an icon. It's like he's beyond rap, to somewhere that his loyal fans can't relate. And I hate it.

    "A Star Is Born" is an absolute jam, true story! And you know how I feel about "Young Forver"

    Dope review, well written and analytical. I'd expect nothing less!

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  24. I love the album with the acception of HATIN. I think it shows the growth of jay Z and his creative attempts not to be trapped into the box. I will say this #1 you knew of Kanye was producing it, how it would sound. He had more of a direction this album. #2 this is a cross between Kingdom Come, American gangster, and a Kanye album. #3 the radio plays garbage and this album is definitely a few level above the foolishness played and requested on the radio.
    I will admit it took me 2 days to really absorb this album and get into it, but now I cannot stop listening to it. Give it a chance, everybody likes GUCCI MANE, Plies, and all of the other lolli pop rappers.

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  25. If Jay didnt call it BP3 then I think the reaction would be less vociferous.

    In execution this album is more Graduation 2 than BP3. The rap/pop balance is shifted a little too much over to the pop side.

    Some really good tracks on there though. Empire, Star.., Already Home are among Jay's best of recent years. Empire is an instant classic.

    We should stop yearning for another Blueprint. He's done it already. The title BP3 was more of a marketing move than a creative move. It worked though as it sucked everybody in.

    The 3 albums are a trilogy only in name. There is no common thread/narrative/style/sound.

    Im going to enjoy the tracks that im feeling and wait for his next LP. Live Nation got Jay on a long deal so there's more material to come.

    In the grand scheme of things, this album is not among Jay's best but not his worst either.

    But an average Jay album is better than most other rapper's hot albums.

    There's a quality of rapping and production value that you dont get with a lot of other rappers.

    Cut the pop tracks from this and replace with Go Hard and History. Limit it to 10 tracks and you have a genuinely good album.

    I would go to a 3.5/5.

    However I do share the fears about longevity. The Timbo tracks are already old, even though Venus is vastly under-rated. Run This Town will get no more plays from me. DOA has been out too long. Swizz track I cant get into because the Justice sample grates. Intro can only be listened to for so long.

    The Pharrell track works as a 'car' track though. It shouldnt but it does for me.

    I totally get the Cranberries thing too Ivan!


    Lasty, I dont get the whole image thing. Why do rappers and their work have to fit in a certain niche? The 'skinny jean' thing grates. If you wanna see skinny jeans come to the UK and see what the indie kids wear. A lot of androgynous/unisex kinda thing going on.

    Kanye and em are wearing regular fitting jeans. They're just not massively oversized.

    The point is why does it matter what they are doing, enjoy the music for what it is, sod the clothes.

    'Oh no Kanye looks gay, I cant listen to his shit! Oh no the dude on the intro looks like a girl! Dammit Cudi's pants are too tight. I cant feel Hudson cos he a Coldplay white due!'

    Admittedly these quotes are more from the Nah Righters but its still a worringly common thing to see written. I trust the HHIR's to be a little more open-minded.

    I dont think this album is for someone who dresses in a certain way. Actually its open to more people due to its pop slant. But it doesnt mean that the baggy jean crowd cant enjoy it.

    I dont think Jay is targeting one crowd over another. He's just making more pop-ish music to cater to more people. The usual 1-2 poppy tracks are more like 3-4 on BP3.

    He needs the mass appeal to fulfill his massive deal with Live Nation. Its just that the pop tracks arent balanced out by enough classics.

    Anyway, pointless, aimless, needlessly long post/rant over.

    Nicely written review Ivan. I can see definite improvement in your pieces since I found this here HHIR. There's more to criticism than just plain hate. You put your points across very well and I totally understand why you're not feeling BP3.

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  26. IS THIS JAY-Z OR N.O.E.????? TIME IS MONEY FT. MILWAUKEE LATEEF!

    UNSIGNED HYPE!!!


    MILWAUKEE LATEEF
    WWW.MYSPACE.COM/MILWAUKEELATEEF
    YOUTUBE: MILWAUKEE LATEEF "TIME IS MONEY" FT. NOE (BYRDGANG), "FAITHFUL TO THE END PT#2"
    MIXTAPE MILLIONAIRES VOL#2 TAPEMASTERS INC. SWIZZ BEATZ/ TRACK #7
    IVORYCOASTENTERTAINMENT.COM

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  27. Very well-writen review here, and I agree with a lot of your points. I definitely agree that this is a supremely disappointing record, and one of Jay's worst. When Jay's lyrics are on, I can listen to him talk about his stock portfolio all day; when his lyrics are subpar, he just sounds like an asshole, and unfortunately his lyrics are mostly subpar here.

    But what really lets me down here are the beats. It has to be said: Pharrell and Timbaland's best days are behind them, and Kanye probably keeps his best beats for himself these days. So what you have here is a "best beats money can buy" mentality, and because of all the star-power and the money involved, no one notices just how lazy the final product is.

    Part of what made the first "Blueprint" so special was that it was a sort of coming-out party for guys like Kanye and Just Blaze who were just starting to make a name for themselves, and who were hungry. If Jay really wants to be on some "futuristic" shit, he would be seeking out young guys who are just starting to peak and who are out to impress. Instead he just writes Timbaland a fat check and hopes for the best.

    And in response to some of the comments -- the notion that I can't hate "Hate" because it's all about haters is completely ridiculous. So Jay is TRYING to write a terrible song just to annoy his haters? That makes absolutely no sense.

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  28. interesting. i agree with the making music for friends thing. it only seems that the results, for the rest of us, have usually been good because of it. this, this...i'm not quite sure. its kind of predictable, like-we knew Kanye was producing most of it. To include NO I.D. was just a plain out good look. But, Swizz, Pharell, and these newcomers? I think the blueprint has always been 'cutting edge' new fly shit. instead, we get features on every track-to stay relevant i ask? why? if you that dude, put j.cole on, work with mgmt, whatever-but the formula for this is a bit weak. guess thats the blueprint for the industry. maybe i'm bugging but couldn't jay just rhyme over classic soul joints and pay for the whole song. that's big. how about contacting herbie hancock, yusef lateef, marsalis, talking about musicianship and not rap and all'lat. that would be dope with a contemporary like alicia keys. perhaps throw cats off and use an old Dilla beat, or whatever. Surprise us! Fuck Chris Martin(no diss, but)-you on your protege's nuts so much, skip the bull and just get Thom Yorke or Damon Albarn or something. If jay is so great he should be wanting to play with other's that can push him. Instead, we got the bully on the playground who never fucks with cats his own age. but like someone said on here, this is just a dated piece that probably won't stand up years from now. Man, Hov- we actually wanted you to rap when you were just a label exec...now? hmmmmm. What happened to only making history from now on? Aughhh! u need an artistic director and its not yeezy.

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  29. To me it seems like people aren't really listening to this joint. Doesn't have lyrics... for me this album has his best lyrics since The Black Album. I don't understand the pop either? This joint bangs in my ride and sounds Hip Hop to the bone. I also never heard him talking about how much better or smarter or ahead of his fans. I heard him dissing other artists and it's true. And he roasted other artists and critics all over the place on this record. Also who thought Blueprint2 was great?? It was like one good record and one horrible album mixed together. Ivan asked where we would put this record: Bluprint/Reasonable Doubt/The Black Album/Vol. 1/BP3/Blueprint 2...
    That's my personal list. I've gone back and listened to Vol 2 and 3 recently and they really didn't hold up for me. I'm not saying they aren't good but they have some huge songs from those albums but as a whole they ain't close to classic

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  30. lol word Ivan I feel you. It's just my personal choice. I love Blueprint. One of my favorite hip hop albums of all time. I love the production and every song with the exception of 1. Reasonable Doubt is no doubt a classic but I don't love every joint like i do on Blueprint. And believe me I had RD when it first dropped. I remember I worked at McDonalds and we had a lil radio on top of the grill and AINT NO N*GGA would play like every hour on the radio! It's just the production on Blueprint is my favorite kind of production. I loved most of the production on RD with the exception of a couple more songs than Blueprint. I've been a Jay fan since he came out. Liked your review and would've given BP3 3 out of 5 so not that different. The way you were posting before I thought you were gonna rip BP3 a new A**hole... haha.

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  31. So which album is the worst of Jay's career?

    BP3 isnt it but what's the consensus?

    Vol 1? Dynasty?

    Vol 1 had some awful pop crap on it but also some bona-fide classics.

    Dynasty was a Roc album with Jay's name on it. Some decent tracks of course but not an album I ever want to play again.

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  32. yes jay wrote a terrible song for the haters, about the haters to fuel the idiocy of the haters(he is wittingly providing them fuel ...maybe to wittingly because people don't seem to get it..)... you may not understand that because either your a hater or possibly just short sighted or plain slow.

    -yup

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  33. he's not trying to annoy the,, he is trying to be ironic which he suceeds and he's being satircle which sadly is over most idiots heads with the song 'haters'

    -yup

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  34. I agree with Ivan on this one... the only Jay album I haven't purchased = Kingdom Come

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  35. KC >> Dynasty for me.

    Just for the Just Blaze tracks. And a little Dre.

    Kingdom Come, Oh My God, Lost Ones, Minority Report, Beach Chair. Plus 44 Fours bonus track.

    Dynasty disappointed me greatly. Some Blueprint warm ups on there but a lot of dross. Give It To Me is the only track I revisit.

    And Blueprint is my fav Jay album. Love it start to finish. RD is classic but its personal preference I guess.

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  36. You must not have listened to what Jay was saying on these songs. From what we talking bout straight through the album its punchline after punchline. I'm reading these blogs and see everybody talking bout all he doing is bragging the whole album? Thats how Jay do, furthermore he's just talking about his real life the whole album not making up nothing everything he said was current events in his life. This album is definetely a 9/10. The production is a different but the lyrics on point. Yall buggin hit after hit with this album. The big hype around this album is can Jay still rap and he proves it with ease so of course he shittin on all these rappers and bloggers the whole album. Take the shit out your ears dude.

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  37. 9/10? Nigga is you smoking rocks?

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  38. I must be cause with the pressure Jay could easily just take the money and run. But no he comes back puts the legacy on the line and spits Fire. He being compared to BIG and PAC already.

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  39. Word Funk Doc... Dynasty and Kingdom Come are tied for last place lol

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  40. If you notice most rap albums the songs have no theme its just a dude spitting a whole bunch of emotions that rhyme together. All the songs on this album were thought out and have a meaning. I hear alot of critics saying Reminder is the worse track on the album. If so this album is great. I think "off That" is the worst it was so easy for Jay to make a song like that just like Jockin Jay z

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  41. How is "Hate" satirical -- are you sure you know what that word means? It's a song about haters, and it's absolutely terrible. My problem is not that it's about haters, but that it's one of the worst songs that either Yeezy or Jay have ever appeared on. The idea that Jay intentionally wrote a bad song just to give his haters something to hate is bizarre -- if you want to piss off haters, I would think you'd do the exact opposite: write a GREAT song about your haters, which would only piss them off further.

    Anyway, as for Jay's worst record, I agree that Vol. 1 has some cringeworthy pop stuff on it, but it's also got some truly great tracks too. I would nominate Vol. 3. True, it's got "So Ghetto" and of course "Big Pimpin," which are undeniably classics, and there's some great lyrical moments on there, but on the whole it's just sort of a bloated mess with opportunistic stabs at pop radio (the Mariah song) southern rap (the Juvenile song) and then just some bizarre what-the-hell-was-he-thinking? stiff ("Dope Man"). In fact, I would argue that "Vol. 3" and "Dynasty" (which, to be fair, was more like a Rocafella mixtape than a proper Jay record) sort of represented the most unfocused, scattershot point of Jay's career, which made the singularity and overall awesomeness of "Blueprint" all the more rewarding when it came out just after it.

    As for Jay's best, it really has to be "Reasonable Doubt," doesn't it? That's just a flawless record. Although "Blueprint" is that one record that EVERY hip-hop fan likes, from the super-underground guys to the teeny-boppers, so it's cool to have common ground.

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  42. Haha.. To be honest, "Dope Man" is my joint! It was back then, and I still dig it. It's him rapping to a judge PLUS he shouts out Mumia. That "destroy our dreams of lawyers and actors" line gives me chills.

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  43. already heard it its like dat heard it on youtube cant wait till the 11th!!

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  44. Vol 3 was my shit for a minute. Its my go-to CD if I want some hard Jigga (pause?) to blast out the car.

    Overall a bit messy as an album but some bangers there. Remember when Timbo was good?

    The Mariah trackwas awful though. And Amil's nasal, annoying voice. Especially when she says 'Competition is NADA!!!'.

    Vol 1 was half a classic. Some gems on that record for real.

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  45. I'm not even surprised. I used to be a Jay fan and a fan of HIP-HOP/RAP period. I told everybody months ago that Jays Blueprint 3 was gonna be weak. And so it has came to pass. This was an OK review but in my opinion you was taking it too easy on him. This album is so lame it makes me appreciate Kingdom Come! lol. This was his WORST album by far. Like many other rappers in the game, he makes pop/commercial songs to sell more records. Jigga is a "Has Been" and he washed up like he just jumped out the shower. Man i'm glad I don't listen to mainstream music anymore.

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  46. This album is NOT new or fresh at all. Kanye West has been doing this for a few years now. Jay just did it BAD.

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  47. you know, it's sad and funny at the same time to see all these hip hop elitist shun people that make pop rap music, as if they are a disease. don't let the door hit you on the way out, idiots.
    whats even more weird is that so many of you used to say you understand how things go and respect artists decisions even if you disagree with them and now your just to good for it AND cut your self off from the 30% really good mainstream music because of 70% so called crap..

    this comment really has nothing to do with you ivan, don't sweat it.

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  48. what's bizzare to one person is genius to another, the fact that giving the people that hate you something to hate just to get a kick out of them hating and not realizing it was something meant to be hated, is to ME worth the laugh on their account, to me it's not bizzare, it's funny and witty.

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  49. you've gotta understand that haters hate no matter what{so giving them the dope shit and their still gonna hate} typically so giving them something they think is serious that is really a joke and watching them all lick their lips waiting to hate on it and then doing so would, to me, be WELL worth it.

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  50. Ivan giving BP3 2.5 is being generous once you hear Rae's opus. If I had a blog, I'd print my review of OB4CL2.

    Some of those tracks on that Wu-fam joint brings back memories of The Golden Age.

    I tolerated BP3 once. Tried to give it a second chance, but, I just want to be the first to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Raekwon for cooking up those sweet beatz for the musicbrain in all hip-hop heads!

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  51. Ok...it seems as if you really dont listen to lyrics that much, As Real As it Gets : "neither Jay nor Jeezy come 100% correct on the lyrical tip." are you out of your MIND? you have no business to be writing a music review.

    - Close your eyes, you could smell / HOV's the audio equivalent of Braille/

    Its clear that your a shallow listener. So Ambitious is a triumphant track which takes a different direction than Allure. one talks about the allure of the drug game...and one talks about making it through the bullshit that retarded critics (such as yourself :))put them through. Review the lyrics...not just the melody. If not then please do us a favor and retire from this blogging...

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  52. lol... comparing raekwon to jay-z is like comparing a Ferrari to a civic si, when in fact they are both very good and interesting at what they do, they are in completely different leagues, even if they both sell on the open markets they serve completely different "purposes"..

    some people are so stupid to think they have to be impressed for something to be "good."

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  53. "they serve completely different "purposes"."

    please explain...

    ______________________________________

    "to think they have to be impressed for something to be "good.""

    That comment, IMO, comes off as not allowing someone to have an alternative opinion than yours.

    Let's say a guy tells a woman, "size don't matter, baby." He then breaks a sweat trying to impress her- only to be told, "I didn't feel anything". Now he's deflated and replies, "Well, I did my best.YOU'RE the problem"

    But for her, it wasn't "good" enough, she's had "better", in her opinion. She drops him and rolls with me.

    LOL

    But seriously,

    "Good" or "Quality" is relative to the individual making the assessment IMO, Rae's album is MUCH BETTER- especially in the music they chose for their lyrics.

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  54. "Close your eyes, you could smell / HOV's the audio equivalent of Braille/"

    ^ If that does it for you, then so be it...

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  55. from what i read it was explained the first time soul:

    if you think that means no one can have a different opinion then that guy then your confused.

    all they were saying is something can be good even if you don't think it is.

    which is true, based on exactly the logic you wrung up as if it needed to be explained again.

    why do you want to counter random comments as if there is a debate? that's really weird.

    the purpose for jay-z at this point is to continue to push hip hop into a lime light through a pop avenue, while raekwon is barely finishing his 3rd album. worlds away and it shouldn't be rocket science, wu tang released 1 really good album. i don't know how much clearer i could make it. and for the record i heard bp3 and it was cool, mostly not my cup of tea, but i bet i'll like raekwons album more because he still has a raw sound even if he's rehashing the same old shit he succeeded with the first times which isn't impressive at all.

    what's funny to me is the one track i did hear of rae' new work reminds me so much of mf doom it made me literally laugh out loud. i like that sound but it was weird...

    all in all, who cares, but i figured i'd at least respond to you once. hopefully your not the kind of idiot that responds by pointing out spelling and grammatical errors. that would be pathetic but provide for a good laugh.

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  56. it's not about which is "better" at this point. it's about, if it's even worth while to compare the two that are vastly so different.

    because no matter what everything is subjective which nullifies these rants and rituals.

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  57. My point is this:

    It's OK to compare hip-hop music regardless of what style or approach is taken within the genre.

    Whomever says that- to them- one or the other is better is an opinion that's relative to THAT individual's comparative assessment.

    In contrast, another person may say it's NOT as good- to them- or that "it" (whatever's compared or assessed) IS.

    But, there's something quite immature about the name calling when giving one's opinion. This is about music, so, there WILL be comparisons, reviews, etc., esp with hip-hop.

    As for Jay's proclivity to go "pop", IMO, like Ol' Dirty was quoted as stating in Rae's ASON JONES, I don't see that as "growth", I see it as "crossing-over" (which is an altogether touchy subject for "Blacks" in America- period) as explained in the sample on ASON JONES by Ol' Dirty. I agree with Baby Jesus 100% per cent (believe it or not).

    And if everything- as you say- is "subjective" (agreed), then, why have such a disrespectful tone to your replies over some damn songs?

    LOL

    The chance one takes when making their thoughts public is that your thoughts may get challenged BY the public or folks who have a more advanced understanding of the topic discussed.

    So, just disagree without being disagreeable, idiot.

    Get my point? (Because, I'm sure you're NOT an idiot who should give up "blogging"- oops, I mean, posting comments)

    Also, I have a pet peeve vs anons. I think they're cowardly.

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  58. The 2.5 rating is at least a half point generous. BP3 starts off OK (not brilliant) for the first few tracks but decends rapidly into dull synthesized radio pop.

    Jigga's lyrics are patchy on this, really on point at times but all too often too clever for his own good, therefore sounding forced. The beats on the whole are weak. Kayne alternating between average and awful 808s style. Timbaland is exposed as a 'one good beat in a half dozen' man, and these were in the other five.

    Don't fall for the future blueprint of hip-hop gag, it's the type of music his wife and Rihanna are already singing to.

    And don't call me a hater of Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint I and The Black Album are in my classics collection. But this album is boring and will not be bought. I wonder how many of you will actually buy it.

    Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II has been in constant rotation since I copped it on Monday. It owns BP3.

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  59. ha, soul poo poo is still it's faggoty self, going to any length to be a complete douche bag while bringing up race and fruitless points. what a fucking cry baby.

    why do you respond to anon' as if you know them, are you delusional or just a crack smoker? to assume you have a more advanced understanding of what's essentially opinion is utterly hilarious.

    if i were you anon i would definately leave this soul doo doo alone because i've seen him do this over and over again on different blogs, always wrong and always an idiot about it. i really do feel sorry for him. he thinks that all the anons that respond to him are the same one and for some reason he thinks it's someone who runs one of these blogs. LOL can you believe what the mind will think of when it has nothing better to do?

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  60. "can you believe what the mind will think of when it has nothing better to do?"

    U just proved it.

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  61. o.k. pee wee herman.

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  62. Comment section beef. lol.

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  63. No beef, just proving that disagreeing by being disagreeable is unnecessary.

    Folks who have no sense of respectable discourse are always THE FIRST to resort to personal attacks.

    U hit first, I hit back, that's all.

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  64. I believe the album is solid. Its not a classic like the original Blueprint but still solid. You can tell Jay is going in another direction with all the space age beats but theres still original Blueprint feel songs like As Real As It Gets and Empire State Of Mind. The only thing I have a problem with is calling the album Blueprint because it got alot of us excited and hearing it is letting us down and getting harsh reviews. But like always Jay is solid. It will grow on us and like Jay said "Hov on that new shit, n****s like ‘How come?’/ N****s want my old shit? Buy my old albums". Overall I give it a 3.5/5 stars.

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  65. Jay Z went pop. he can do concerts with hanna montana now!

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  66. 2.5 = perfect rating IMO

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  67. ALL BLOGGERS WITH COMMENTS PLEASE I COME IN PEACE LETS SEE IF WE CAN KILL YOUR AMNESIA BY THE TIME I LEAVE
    you dont actually "listen" to good hip hop do you? this is not a tribute to to blueprint or blueprint 2 its is THE blueprint 3, the NEW blueprint for rappers who wanna actually say something and last for more than 2 albums. Regardless of what any foolish bloggers say on the internet HOV and everyone that actually matters knows this was a masterpiece. lyrically i havent heard anything this far over listeners heads/knowledge in my entire life of listening to real rap not soulja boy DJ unk and gucci shit. anyone that says this is not one of the best hip hop albums in the past 5-10 years clearly just doesnt know what jay is talking about through this cd.

    H.O.V I GOT MY OWN LANE ALREADY

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  68. As a woman I was glad he didn't go hard on every song. I love the fact that he has a pop feel on several tracks...that is the new shit. This man doesn't sell drugs, shoot people or pimp women. What the hell do we want him to rap about??? What he used to do??? Are you listening to this man? He told you he not on that any more and frankly I'm glad. Thanks for growing up Jay. These fools still think hard rap is synonymous with good rap.

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  69. 4. So Ambitious (featuring Pharrell) (Produced by The Neptunes)

    "after the several times I’ve played this track, I still don’t know what the fuck Jay is talking about."

    If the reviewer doesn't understand what Jay is talking about on this track. He probably should'nt be doing reviews.

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  70. If the commenter doesn't understand that I'm talking about the fact that Jay-Z sounds like he's blabbering all over the track, he probably shouldn't be commenting.

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  71. I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS...
    let me just say.I read the full review and i have to say, your criticism is not constuctive which makes this review sound a-bit personal.For example, the way you shit-on 'So Ambitious' which I think is one of the best songs on the album,you talk about the production and how it relates to 'Allure' but failed to mention Jay's lyrical content and how it blends with the track to give it that 'Reasonable Doubt' feel.
    On D.O.A it sounds like you did'nt want to admit you liked the track but found your self head nodding to it.Jay's not the first to address the auto tune error but hes done it the best.
    I agree with you on the Jezzy featured track 'Real as it gets' and 'Haters' which I feel is the WORST track on the album. But, overall your review makes you sound more of a 90's Wu-Tang,Ill-matic,2pacalipse,Ready-to-die,J.Dilla,MFDoom type hip-hop head who rebels againts uptempo beats and rappers that sing.

    Blueprint 3............ 3(1/2)/5

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  72. not 2 sound like a hater. an opoinion is an opinion. ppl crtique jay with a magnifying glass and everyone else with reading glasses. what makes OB4CL so classic? honestly? the subject mater doesnt change and i know 4 a fact half of yall dont understand that code language raekwon drops. dont get me wrong, i can c y ppl dig it, im just saying...u cant expect so much from 1 man and b content with rae doing nothing diff. than what we r used 2 and glorifying him so much 4 it.

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  73. the Reviewer is really not a hip hop die-hard but some odd dude with no degree of taste. This guy is a jerk to put in quit frankly

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  74. BluePrint III has been labulled as the greatest album as one of the finest albums... by Real deal reviewers not some people bored on their living room couches shooting comments on the blog.... All bloggers with comments I come in peace... let me see if we can kill yo amnesia by the time we leave.

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  75. Great review and equally great blog Ivan. Now, I don't hate The Blueprint 3 but can understand why some people think it's trash. It's certainly a better offering than Kingdom Come, but lacks the lyrical dexterity and hunger of American Gangster or the first Blueprint album. My favourite tracks, based on lyrical ability and production, are:

    Thank You - Great beat, nice lyrics. All three verses contain the clever wordplay that you'd usually expect from Jay. Gotta dig that bass too.

    Empire State of Mind - Just a winner all round. Elite production and nice lyrics.

    What We Talking About - I probably like this because I'm a big synth head and those deep, almost haunting chords from Frederick Mercier's song "Spirit" draw you in. I can also appreciate what Jay was trying to say on this one.

    Young Forever - Again, it's those almost New Wave esque synths, which are nicely complemented with a thumping 808 and addictive snare sampled from 2Pac's "Ambitionz Az A Ridah" (true story). I like the lyrics though, they're positive in a whimsical sort of way and at least ensure that the album goes out on an uplifting note. But yeah, could have been slightly better.

    In conclusion, I'd put the album between "Kingdom Come" and "The Blueprint 2". Whilst it's better than the former, it fails to act as the classic blueprint for future hip hop generations to look back on with admiration. However, it's certainly a well-tailored pop effort which has no doubt propelled Jay even further into the mainstream aurora, but it's just a shame it wasn't the rap classic that we might have hoped for.

    Oh, a last word on the production....anyone else feel that Just Blaze was missing on this occasion? I think Jay needs to think carefully about who he's choosing to cook up the materials for his next album, rather than saying "if Kanye makes an album's worth of beats, then I'll do an album with them", which I believe he has pretty much said recently. I feel that some of the blame for this half-baked album was down to some of the lazy production from Timbaland and Kanye; not so much No I.D, who was almost certainly responsible for the dope drums on "Thank You" and who's production on "Death of Auto-tune" was sterling to say the least. Wouldn't say no to No I.D next time, ha ha!

    - Anonymous, England.

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  76. "The Blueprint 3 takes it to a new plateau" So true.

    Only tracks I liked were Empire, A Star Is Born, Already Home, DOA for the beat(shout to No.I.D.), and Young Forever for the chorus, though it doesn't make for a good album.

    This should be called 'Kingdom Come' pt. 2.

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  77. Anonymous who commented just above me: I wish Jay would've had Just Blaze production too. His remix of 'Reminder' is kinda catchy. Hopefully Blaze will deliver the goods on Jay Electronica's album a la 'Exhibit C'

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  78. if you like jay-z, check out FACE. he is another brooklyn rapper who just released his first demo and is releasing his first original album later this year. he's got a lot of talent and needs the fan base to get started in the industry. listen to his songs for free at www.facethamusic.com SIGN UP

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  79. I dont understand people. I really don't.

    When Jay-Z dont give the lyricism that you want u complain. But when he does, yall fail to realize it. "Thank You" is one of the most lyrical tracks on BP3. I bet a couple years people are gona back track(Like they always) and realize that Jay-Z had Classics on this album

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