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3 Irresponsibly Early Comments on THE BLUEPRINT 3

September 4, 2009

jay-z-the-blueprint-3-album-cover-540x540Some people might say that it’s too early to insightfully review Jay-Z’s new album The Blueprint 3, seeing as it was leaked to the internet four days ago and won’t hit stores until next Friday. Those people are probably right, but then again, I reviewed Eminem’s Relapse a few days after it leaked. Hell, I even reviewed Dr. Dre’s Detox, and that record doesn’t exist yet. After all, what good is the internet if it can’t provide us with premature, inappropriately vehement opinions? (Be sure to leave yours in the comments section!)

So, without further ado, here are my three comments on The Blueprint 3, each referring to one of the album’s performers:

1. Jay-Z is very consistent.

jay-z1“I know what y’all niggers asking yourselves: ‘Is he gonna ever fall off?’ [Brief pause] No.”

–Jay-Z, “A Million and One Questions”

That line was on Jigga’s second album, and it only gets more relevant with each new LP. In a business where most acts don’t remain in the public eye for more than a few years, Hova has been putting out successful albums since 1996. They aren’t all classics (though several of them are), but they all at least have worthwhile moments, and none of them have significantly diminished Jay’s stage appeal. He always puts effort into his lyrics, and, though he can be vulgar, he always maintains a sense of class. One spin of BP3 confirms that this pattern will not be broken anytime soon. (From “Thank You”: “Now a balcony, opera, black tux binocular/Black lux, stop it, I shouldn’t be so popular!”) Jay-Z’s critics will note that he isn’t branching out into deeper, more substantive subject matter, but he’s still got flow and he’s still charming, and at this point, that’s all he really needs.

So if Jay-Z’s performance is consistently good, then the relative quality of his albums depends largely on the quality of their beats. Which brings us to:

2. Kanye West, not so much.

Ziegfeld Theater“Always said if I rapped, I’d say something significant/But now I’m rapping about money, hoes and rims again”

–Kanye West, “Breathe In, Breathe Out”

I guess this makes me a hater, but fuck it: What the hell happened to Kanye West? A few years ago he was producing mind-bustingly good beats, spitting catchy rhymes infused with political and social commentary, and criticizing the President on national television. Now he’s reduced to touring with Lady Gaga, rambling in all caps and chuckling at his own dick jokes. Even Kanye’s best beats on BP3 (“Thank You,” “Run This Town,” “Hate”) don’t come close to the work he was doing pre-808s and Heartbreak. I respect that the guy wants to explore new territory, but so far his synth-AutoTune experimentation hasn’t risen above self-indulgence. Well, I guess that’s not true; he does indulge others as well. For example:

3. I am trying not to hate Mr. Hudson.

mrhudson300“Should time bring me fame or a touch of bling/Imagine that, getting paid to sing”

–Mr. Hudson, “Picture of You”

Really, I am. Kanye’s not making it easy for me, though. I first heard about the British singer through the news that Kanye would be producing him, and “Picture of You” confirmed my fears regarding that collaboration. Kanye sees Mr. Hudson as exactly what Kanye himself now wants to be–namely, a European bro. I’m trying to withhold judgment because I don’t actually know that Hudson is as shallow and douche-y as his relationship with Kanye suggests, but “Young Forever,” BP3‘s I-love-the-80s closer, isn’t helping matters. Prove me wrong, Mr. Hudson. Prove me wrong.

And I guess that’s it. Oh, you wanted to know what I thought of the album? Come on, it hasn’t even come out yet!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2009 6:59 am

    “I sip fine wine and spit vintage flows”

    Can’t Knock the Hustle
    Reasonable Doubt

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