Sunday, September 6, 2009



When you announce in your very first song that you’re part of why Barack Obama got elected to the White House it may be time to review the size of your skull and ego. Jay-Z is so preoccupied telling people what he has, who he is and what he owns that he forgot to make a good record. The Blueprint 3 should’ve been titled The Blueprint For Failure because it fails across the board with few exceptions.

For all his Hustler bravado this is essentially a pop record, an easily digestible radio friendly boring as all hell pop record. I don’t know what happened to the Vol 2 Jigga but he’s not here, not on this album.

In all my years of reviewing records I’ve seldom come across a worse opening track than “What We Talkin’ About”. Combine a lame roller rink “couples only” eighties song with Jay-Z bragging about how great he is and you might be able to conceive of how boring this song is. The album doesn’t really get much better after that, sticking mostly with paint-by-numbers bragging sessions over beats that feel like Jay-Z went to the “beat store” and bought only from the discount section.

According to Jay Z he is now the new Frank Sinatra because he’s rich, still runs with thugs and yet rubs elbows with big time celebrities. Listening to the sheer laziness of the lyrics on Blueprint 3 I can only assume he means Sinatra when he was old, cranky and forgetting songs on stage. The music here is not just sloppy it’s lazy, as if Jay Z decided to throw in everything but the kitchen sink without any plan to connect the dots.

I’m assuming part of the problem is that the king of self-delusion Kanye West, a man who asked to be called the new King Of Pop before Michael Jackson’s body was even cold, produced a large part of The Blueprint 3. You can just picture Jay Z and West listening to this album and telling each other how great they are while everybody else stands around scratching their heads.

Blueprint 3 isn’t a total loss. Songs like “Empire State Of Mind” or “Venus Vs Mars” remind us of how good Jay Z can be when he really tries and isn’t produced by Kanye. For the most part Jay Z doesn’t accomplish much on The Blueprint 3 other than to prove he’s lost his edge. The sly sense of humor and swagger is gone replaced by full blown ego.

I sat listening to the Blueprint 3 trying to understand how this was the same guy that wrote 99 Problems. I’m sure there are enough college kids who want to be “down” with Hip Hop to make Blueprint 3 a financial success but on an artistic level the once great Jay-Z has let the genre down badly.

1 comment:

  1. There were only four songs on "Blueprint 3" that I liked. I've never been a huge Jay-Z fan, but even I found this disappointing. I wrote about it here...