The Blueprint: Plans for a Takeover


XXL Staff’s Favorite Blueprint Tracks

Vanessa Satten, Editor-in-chief — “Never Change”
Jayson Rodriguez, Executive Editor — “Breathe Easy (Lyrical Exercise)”
Eric Grode, Managing Editor — “Song Cry”
Carl Chery, Digital Content Director — “U Don’t Know”
Mark Lelinwalla, Senior Editor — “Heart of the City”
Jesse Gissen, Digital News Editor — “Renegade”
Adam Fleischer, Music Editor — “Renegade”
Amber McKynzie, Associate Editor — “Hola’ Hovito”
Ralph Bristout, Editorial Assistant — “Heart of the City”
Samtubia Edwards, Video Director — “Never Change”
Shaheem Reid, Editor-at-Large — “All I Need”

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  • that nigga

    “Instead of inheriting the crowd”. You meant CROWN, get your fuckin writing skills up. And “The rap sovereign withstood challenges far and wide, from 50 Cent to Lil Wayne”, but got lyrically ETHERED BY NAS!!!

    • SC

      It does say inheriting the CROWN. Get your fuckin reading skills up.

  • jimmyjam33

    thts all people have now, oh ether was beter than takeover blah. Blueprint was far better than stillmatic, and ether was barely better than takeover, he gave jay z a full song, jay gave him a verse, and atleast jays disses were fact, nas was just saying shit. truth stings more. thanks jay z for ressurecting nas shit pile of a career and getting his street cred back up.

    • WiseGuy

      Nas > Jay…but The Blueprint is a classic and Stillmatic is damn good too but I would have to say the BP is better. The Lost Tapes, from Nas however, is probably better than the Blueprint. It’s definitely superior to the BP lyrically but as an album altogether it’s an argument. As far as their battle goes, Jay got DESTROYED. If you look at the early stages of their careers Nas owns Jay on every level. Jay was always a step behind Nas. Nas was 18 with a record deal putting out product that had the streets on fire while Jay was like 24 still begging labels for attention. Then he made his own label and put out a debut album that was clearly influenced and inspired by Nas and Illmatic amongst other things (he even sampled Nas and wanted he and AZ to be on track 13 “Bring It On”) and by this time Nas was once again a step ahead blowing up worldwide with one of the biggest albums of the year It Was Written. This article was right when it said that Jay had been chasing the ghosts of Pac & Big for a while. Nas didn’t have to chase their ghosts cuz he was actually competing with them on their level when they were here, something Jay can’t say. Calling Nas’ career a shit pile is silly and an insult to hip hop culture and rap music. Name a rapper that he ain’t influence and Ether has way more truth than Takeover and it’s just flat out better lyrically, Jay has a way of stating opinions like they’re facts to give people the illusion that what he’s saying is true. Take another listen to Takeover there’s very little fact in the lyrics, more like allegations. And yea Jay only gave Nas a verse but really Nas did the same. If you look at Ether the only verse where he really went in on Jay was the last one, the first verse was like a warm up and the second verse was like an extension of the first one and even if you ignore the first two verses in Ether that last verse by itself is still crushing the 3rd verse on Takeover. Both of them are Gods in the world of hip hop but Nas is The Last Real Nigga Alive he’s kinda like what the Undertaker is in the WWE; the last outlaw, the last of his kind. I think they both have about 3 classics a piece; for Nas it’s “Illmatic”, “It Was Written”, and “The Lost Tapes”. For Jay it’s “Reasonable Doubt”, “The Blueprint” and “The Black Album”. And as far as their current work goes Nas still owns Jay. Nas is growing as an artist with each project where as Jay stays in his comfort zone because of his fear of failure. Nas’ “Untitled” album and his “Distant Relatives” record with Damian Marley are both unbelievable and far greater than “The Blueprint 3″ and defintely “Watch The Throne” which sounds like a straight mess. “American Gangster” was incredible but “The BP2″, “Kingdom Come” and “The BP3″ were just good, safe and obvious. Nas’ main concern as an artist is artistic growth, I think Jay is concerned with that too but he’s more concerned with playing “the rap game” and that’s kinda weak to me. I’m a huge fan of both of them but Nas is about a trillion times more courageous and brave as an artist.

      • slimskull


      • blackricktheruler

        Once u said Ether had more facts then Takeover u lost all credibilty.

      • jimmyjam33

        only like a 3rd of ur comment was good. takeover was all fact, nas career was a shipile back then, he released two shit albums and a slightly above average one, and its only slightly above average by todays standard, back then it was written got shitted on all the time for being nas first sell out album and a way below par follow up to illmatic. even today nas resorts to publicity stunts to sell albums. yes he does care bout number, the whole hip hop is dead, nigger album thing was all for the album sales. he about as real as anyone else. seriously.

      • Diddy Stroll

        #DEAD where do you get your fax from Wikipedia?

  • TicNitty706

    Can’t pick one but I picked Heart Of The City. That beat and the lyrics Jay kicked always was one of his stand out songs.

  • Q-Breezy

    Birdman and Wayne can talk about sales and whatnot all day. Put every carter in a blender and they will never see Blueprint

  • truth dosage

    So, Complex magazine’s website is known for these kinds of posts except they actually do work. Not just drop a few lines about what they think of each song. They interview the artist and producers involved and provide INTERESTING FACTS AND INFORMATION, not silly comments from 3rd rate writers at xxl.

    “We dont believe you, you need more people”

  • Fireforreal

    How many Rapper can make a classic album ? How many can make a few classic albums and the rest of there albums are really good to the point even your worst albums are better than most peoples albums that year ? How many Rappers can make a album you will still play 5,10,15 years from then ? That is why The Blueprint is a classic. It is good lyrics,good beats,no bullshit appearences and straight up hip hop. Sounds simple right ? well why is hip hop so wack today ? each year it only gets worst.

  • Fireforreal

    Oh yeah I thinkthe best 2 songs are The Takeover and Heart of the city. I wish he would do a Takeover 2 and just put the nail in Waynes coffin because that migga has been wack since he released the Carter 3 his rhymes have gotten lazier each appearence. We know your a martian we get it. I wish Nicki would Battle wayne I think she’ll eat his ass alive lol

  • Sean Izzle

    There are many many albums you just cant pick one favorite or several favorite songs, its impossible thats why we all love music right XXL? And all these top 10 favorite lists are really stupid IMO.

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