Diamonds in the air for yet another classic CD from the semi-retired Jay-Z that was released on Friday, September 11, 2009. A legend such as this man can not seem to deliver anything less than perfection. A highlight of the Blueprint 3 is that it features many popular artists. This is a commendable act for Jay-Z to share his flavor with his fellow icons.
A major highlight track is “Empire State of Mind” featuring. Alicia Keys. A dynamic duo to say the least, they give us an ode to New York,; the place where dreams are made through streets that make you feel brand new, and where the lights inspire you. Keys belts out, “Let’s here it for New York” and—I say, “Let’s here it for these two artists.” With lyrics from websites like “killerhiphop.com”, this track will make you breathe deep for the big city.
Take a moment of silence for the death of T-pain—I mean Auto-tune. Unfortunately, the next highlight D.O.A (Death of AutoTune) (in which Jay-Z specifically calls out rapper T-Pain), is a source that has supposedly upset T-Pain. T-Pain has responded back by saying, “Jay-Z is 59 years old, what does he know about what’s hot?” at one of his concerts. The clip can be found on YouTube. This track does not pose a question as to rather it is a hit or not, but the real conflict begins with the reoccurring sense that “real music” or raw talent is dead. Everybody loves T-pain, but are rappers singing too much? More importantly, would people still buy the albums if artists did not conform to “what’s new/hot?” D.O.A will make you think about the current state of hip-hop which is already up for debate, but every once in a while a track like this one will come along and remind us that true hip-hop is still very much alive.
Next, “Run this town” featuring singer Rihanna & rapper Kanye West is without a doubt, the new club anthem. When this song comes on, hands go up, voices get louder, and people sing-along passionately with Rihanna. If you have a nightlife, you know what I am talking about. “Real as it Gets” featuring Young Jeezy is one of those “real recognizes real” cuts. It gets some airtime in the club and it is one of those songs that everybody loves because it is a “represent where your from” song.
“On to the next one” ft. Swizz Beatz has an awkward beat that ironically makes the song what it is. It just makes you want to move, and that is the very core of what makes a song a hit. “Off that” featuring Drake is upbeat and futuristic. It can’t really be described any other way. This track is a standout because it talks about how they are “off” all the minuscule things in life that do not contribute to having a successful future. Drake says, “You can’t bring the future back”. In other words, what you do or have done in the past/present determines your where you get in the future,. If you miss the boat, too bad because it is already gone, and it is not coming back. “A star is born” featuring new and upcoming artist, J.Cole, who will be performing at the “Koncert Talley Party” on September 25th, 2009, is another masterpiece. The lyrics include shout outs to rising icons and successful artists. It notes that “everyday a star is born”, which does not need to be said to be seen.
Other tracks are “Venus vs. Mars,”, “Already Home,”, “Hate,”, “Reminder,”, “What we talkin’ about,”, “Thank you,”, and “Young Forever” featuring Mr. Hudson. Blueprint 3 ends with the customary “So Ambitious” featuring rapper and singer Pharrell Williams, that inspires people to thrive on the negativity of people trying to bring you down. Pharrell sings, “The motivation for me was them telling me what I could not be.” It reminds you to continue to be ambitious no matter what hardships you endure. Know that “If you believe it, then you can conceive it.” The whole album should be highlighted truth be told. It is one of those albums you can enjoy the whole way through…No skips. You have to love the undeniable style of the great HOV(Jay-Z). The delivery of his cunning lyrics, and his determination to never actually retire. It is true, the rap game does need him.