Sean Carter (better known as Jay-Z) released his long-awaited album "The Blueprint 3." The album starts off immediately by addressing issues on life, questions about the music industry and even gets philosophical in the intro track, "What We Talkin’ About."
The album’s first radio single, "Death of Autotune," is a strong statement to artists that use autotune to stop using the process because it is ruining hip-hop and tells potential users to be creative instead of doing the same thing everyone else is doing.
Jay-Z also steps into his traditional pattern of strong and passionate metaphors in tracks like "Thank You," where Jay-Z admires himself and tries to be bashful on the chorus by thanking himself.
In "Venus vs. Mars," Jay-Z talks about the goodness of the love bug until it is stepped on by the big foot of deception. The gloomy but subtle beat is what really brings out the essence of Jay-Z’s lyrics. In "Reminder," Jay-Z reminds everyone why he is, the way he is and questions: "How can someone criticize me when you haven’t accomplished half of what I have done."
"The Blueprint 3" has many features on this album. It was a catalyst for the most part, but for his second radio single, "Run This Town," it wasn’t. Jay-Z has Rihanna and Kanye West who lyrically deliver on the single, but the flow of this song carries a suit more for Rihanna and Kanye then it did for Jay-Z. The tone of the single sounded like it should have been titled "Run This Town," Rihanna featuring Kanye West and Jay-Z (in that order) than its original title.
On the other hand, Jay-Z evens the tempo with "Empire State of Mind" (featuring Alicia Keys) where he takes pride in being from New York. Young Jeezy also got a spot and delivers on the gutter track "Real As It Gets," Swizz Beats also got a good look on "On To The Next One," (as well as production too) Pharell supplies his motivational chorus on "So Ambitious," and Kayne helps Jay-Z address the haters on "Hate."
"The Blueprint 3" also consists of new featured talents that brought the heat: J. Cole on "Everyday a Star is Born", Drake on "Off That", Kid Cudi on "Already Home," and the British song-writer Mr. Hudson in "Young Forever."
Overall, "The Blueprint 3" was an album that needed to be released, not as a plan for Jay-Z to remain relevant in the music industry, or to even profit off of it, but more as a guideline for future hip-hop artists of how to take your music to the next level. Think of this album as the big warning sign for hip-hop and what might be left of the golden era of rap if no one wants to step up and follow the blueprint.
"The Blueprint 3" sold over 465,000 copies in its first week and became the number one album on the Billboard charts. This is Jay-Z’s eleventh consecutive number one album and beats Elvis’s record for the most number one albums for a solo artist in music history.