The Blueprint

4.8 90
by Jay-Z

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As if there were any doubt about his status, Jay-Z reaffirms his title as a hip-hop honcho with The Blueprint. Whereas 2000's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia was a family affair, for his follow-up Jay-Z offers a solo manifesto on ruling the rap game. Once again, the prolific rapper spares no expense when it


As if there were any doubt about his status, Jay-Z reaffirms his title as a hip-hop honcho with The Blueprint. Whereas 2000's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia was a family affair, for his follow-up Jay-Z offers a solo manifesto on ruling the rap game. Once again, the prolific rapper spares no expense when it comes to heavy-hitting production, using the same sample-heavy formula on this, his sixth disc in five years, as he did on his winning debut, Reasonable Doubt. The Jackson 5's nostalgic "I Want You Back" anchors the summertime radio anthem "Izzo," just as "Hard-Knock Life" lifted vocals from the musical Annie. And it appears that his continuing success might be going to J-Hova's head. On Timbaland's "Hola Hovito," he boasts: "I'm Michael, Magic, and Bird all rolled in one/If I ain't better than Big, I'm the closest one." Although he's been embraced by the Total Request Live set, Jay maintains his street cred on battle rhymes such as "Renegade," produced by and featuring rap bad boy Eminem, and "Takeover," on which Jay-Z attacks rival MCs over a stomping Doors sample. Bootleggers and rap rivals, beware: Jay-Z's on the warpath, and nobody's gonna break his stride. Ryan Crosby

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
When Jay-Z dropped "The City Is Mine" in 1997 and claimed New York's hip-hop throne upon the Notorious B.I.G.'s demise, many smirked and some even snickered. Four years later in 2001, when he released The Blueprint, no one was smirking and no one dared snicker. At this point in time, nobody in New York could match Jay-Z rhyme for rhyme and nobody in New York had fresher beats -- and many would argue that Jigga's reign was not just confined to New York but was, in fact, national. Yes, Jay-Z had risen to the top of the rap game in the late '90s and solidified his position with gigantic hits like "Big Pimpin" and "I Just Wanna Love You (Give It 2 Me)." Furthermore, The Blueprint's leadoff single, "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," dominated urban radio numerous weeks before the album hit the streets, generating so much demand that Def Jam had to push up the album's street date because it was being so heavily bootlegged. So 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 Kanye 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.

Product Details

Release Date:


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jay-Z   Primary Artist
Slick Rick   Vocals
Biz Markie   Vocals
Q-Tip   Vocals
Michele Mills   Vocals
Victor Flowers   Organ
Josey Scott   Vocals
Stephanie Miller   Vocals
Keon Bryce   Vocals

Technical Credits

Eric Burdon   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer
John A. Lomax   Composer
Alphonso Mizell   Composer
Jimmy Douglas   Engineer
Timbaland   Producer
Poke & Tone   Producer
Damon Dash   Executive Producer
Shawn Carter   Composer,Executive Producer
Eminem   Producer
Jean Claude "Poke" Olivier   Composer
Kanye West   Producer
Kareem "Biggs" Burke   Executive Producer
J. Smith   Producer
Jason Noto   Art Direction
Marshall Mathers   Composer
DJ Head   drum programming
Gimel "Young Guru" Katon   Engineer
Della Valle   Images
S. Black   Composer
M. Price   Composer
D. Walsh   Composer
D. Gibbs   Composer
A. Green   Composer
J. Morrison   Composer
R. Lemay   Composer
R. Johnson   Composer
Robby Krieger   Composer
F. Perren   Composer
D. Richards   Composer
L. Parker   Composer
B. Miller   Composer

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The Blueprint 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z has done it again...but this time to the 10th degree. With 13 tracks and 2 bonus tracks, Jay-Z leaves listeners wanting more design angles of his Blueprint. Each track has its own distinct sound and ride factor. Track 8-HEART OF THE CITY has to be one of the tightest sampled beats ever made, definately a classic banger. Jay-z's lone collab with Lyrical Specialist Eminem is a keeper. Both of their lyrics are spewed out over a dark track produced by Slim Shady himself. Also hip-hop heads check out the track titled ''TAKEOVER'', Jay-Z answers the latest disses by QB's Prodigy and Nas. The Third verse is the killer...I've always been a Nas fan since Illmatic--given that he has fell off the past 2 albums...after hearing this song I will never support Nas ever again. Trust me its that bad. Long Live the KING OF RAP..JAY-Z. This is another Classic, potentially the greatest in my opinion. From '96 Reasonable Doubt until 2001's BLUEPRINT Jiggaman has never left his fans unsatisfied. Oh yeah, There is no way any other rappers out there right now could ever say they are competition for Jay, no way no how!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-z's biggest fan right here most cd's you buy you usually gotta listen to them, before you buy them you aint gotta do that with Jay-z's cd you already know its gonna be a hot mix fa sho
Guest More than 1 year ago
this cd is definitely a new classic!! it is the slickest!! Jay really let it rip on this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been listening to Jay-Z since 1996 when Reasonable Doubt dropped and since then he has outdone everybody in the industry, consistent, always drops something hot, and the stories are real, so real my wifey bounces to them and she isn't a big rap fan. Jigga has the Blueprint to this game, and if he isn't the best then who?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once again Jigga proves to all the fake toy rappers that Jay-z is that deal..Without a doubt the whole album is blazin'...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Blueprint was hot it was one of his hottest albums Jay Z has come out with since his old one The Hard Knock Life Volume 2. Girls, Girls, Girls, was the best track because the beat makes you just want to spit a verse and the lyrics make you say that¿s tight once you hear what he said. Izzo was also one of the best tracks on the album because it brought praise to all that Jay z has accomplished not coming from that much and now being one of the rap games hardest hitting and lyrically profound rappers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The is just another hot joint by the Jigga Man if you don't have it by now cop it the girls, girls, girls rmx is my personal favorite Holla Back
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z is the only rap/hiphop artist that's really doing a superb job in the industry. I recommend buying all his albums.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think hova is nothing but the best.i mean you can hate the guy but you could at least respect his street smart flows.he is undoubtedly the king of the rap game and mayor of Ney York.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Those who are tired of the radio/ video formula of hip hop pop hit that have been hitting our airwaves will enjoy the new installment from the King of New York, Jay- Z. J- Hova questioned his claim on this thrown back in 1996 when he ask ''who really is the best, Biggie, Jay- Z or Nas.'' With the untimely departure of the Nortorious One, the mantle was left up to Jigga and Nasty Nas. Jay's Blueprint leaves no doubt that he has no intention of removing his Air Force One's from the mantle of Hip Hop rolaty. This album gives us less gimmicky hooks and canned, ''producer of the moment'' tracks and takes back to well basically, ''The Blueprint''. This bluprint is Jay being Jay, Shaun Carter is ghost writing his a** off throughout this album. Lyric after lyric, no less more entriguing than the last. Another refreshing aspect of this album, is that is not Roca- fella member shares the mic with the God on this one, basically, Jay had a point to prove. Jay does it all on this one, especially sparing with the Kings of Queens in what will turn out to be an epic Hip Hop battle of heavywieghts that will compare to LL and Kool Moe, Jay vs Nas. Nas, the ball is in your court, Brooklyn and Queens, Blueprint vs Stillmatic... Hova vs Nasty, hip hop world, it on. Jay Z has claimed the thrown, we will review Stillmatic next time and let you know if Nas took down the gate. peace, darudeboy
Guest More than 1 year ago
jay is back with a bang and he continues to show that he is the biggest name in hiphop at the moment he is basically holding up the rap game single handedly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is what Hip Hop stands for. The most complete pice of work to date for Jay-Z This album exceeds a record companys dream and a local rappers imagination. Jay cant be touched for this album alone.. All hail the KING!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
jay you are the best ,iam your biggest fan,i love your songs and the way you are,everybody calls me jay-z because i look like you and i use to be just like you. wear like you and talking about you everyday and nigth
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z's new album is the best of the best. Every track on the album is Jigga's best work yet. Takeover addresses some hating rappers for their side talk... Jigga blasts them on a major album. I'm getting 3 copies =)
Guest More than 1 year ago
His best joint since Reasonable Doubt. Jigga sounds hella -confident right now. It show's in his flow. He done brought da drama now spittin' at cats by name. Great Buy - worth the cheese for the cd!
Guest More than 1 year ago
JAY is the BOMB!!!!! he like went from ashy to classy. and the blue print is off the hook man!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh man, I'm speechless! A Jay-z fan since the original reasonalble doubt album. This man doesn't stop. This album goes to a whole new level, and as long as I'm breathing, his cd's will continue to spin in my cd player. Love you Jay!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z has totally outdone himself on this album. His albums get better and better. No one in the industry can compete on this level. He only competes with himself!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jigga can't be touched This is the best Jay-Z since Reasonable Doubt. Young Vito is on another level.Second G.O.A.T after BIG. Prodigy and NAS can't beef wit HOVA
Guest More than 1 year ago
it starts out hella tight, reminiscent of Volumes 2 and 3, but then just drolls onto the same basic beat for about the last 6 songs w/the exception of #11, but still a good overall album, madd beats on the first 7 tracks
Guest More than 1 year ago
Im not a Jay-z fan, but I have heard all of his other Cd's. Reasonable Doubt was the best untill ''The BluePrint''. You have to give the man credit, hate him or not, this CD is tight! I mean there is not one song you can or want to skip over. EVERY SINGLE SONG is nice. HOVA you have outdone yourself this time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Blueprint is one of Jay's best works. His lyrics are tight and the beats dope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
jigga u r the man.i try my best to come to your shows,but it's not easy.anyway blueprint is a hot cd.but my all time is reasonable doubt,i listen to it all the me you,pac,and big r the best. we don't need nelly and the rest of these cats.i love u jigga a true fan 4 life