Time To Build: The Making of Jay Z’s ‘Blueprint’


*THIS TEXT ORIGINALLY APPEARS IN XXL MAGAZINE’S 2009 OCTOBER ISSUE*
It’s the album that both changed the sound of hip-hop and helped spark one of the greatest rap battles of all time. In honor of the 10th anniversary of Jay-Z’s classic, it’s the blueprint for The Blueprint.— Compiled by MATT BARONE, CARL CHERY, JACK ERWIN, KAMARIA GBORO, JOHN
KENNEDY, ROB MARKMAN, VANESSA SATTEN AND BONSU THOMPSON

THE BUILDERS’ SPOT
JAY-Z
Brooklyn rapper a.k.a. Jigga, Hova, The God MC, former president of Def Jam, founder of Roc Nation
KYAMBO “HIP HOP” JOSHUA
A&R for Roc-A-Fella, partner, with Gee Roberson, of management company Hip Hop Since 1978
LENNY “S” SANTIAGO
Former Director of A&R Roc-A-Fella
GEE ROBERSON
Vice President of A&R at Atlantic Records, partner, with Kyambo “Hip Hop” Joshua, of management company Hip Hop Since 1978, A&R for
Roc-A-Fella (for The Blueprint)
EMINEM
Detroit rapper, producer
BINK
Virginia producer
JUST BLAZE
New Jersey producer
TONE
One half of the production duo the Trackmasters
TIMBALAND
Virginia producer
GIMEL “YOUNG GURU” KEATON
Former Roc-A-Fella engineer,
SUPA ENGINEER DURO
Former Roc-A-Fella mixing engineer
Q-TIP
Queens rapper, producer, member of rap group A Tribe Called Quest
GO TO THE NEXT PAGE TO READ THE MAKING OF “THE RULER’S BACK”

Related: Just Blaze And Young Guru Talk EDM, Creating Jay-Z’s Blueprint And More
Jay Z’s The Blueprint 3: By The Numbers
Jay Z, Kanye West And Questlove Are All Involved In Chris Rock’s New Movie

  • sosa

    Mannnn i was 9 when the towers fell,and wasn’t really familar with hip hop that wasn’t a single on the radio or a video on TV.Its funny how time flies,from nelly to ja rule to ludacris and the commerial rap changes up.I found out about the blueprint when i was 15 and was a fan of hov every since.No wonder why hes still relevant unlike his contemporaries in 01′. I wish i could trap myself in those days when life was easy and simple.

  • Sean Izzle

    @Sosa:

    You got that right, I still remember september 11, 2001 like it was yesterday. I remember the clothes is wore and how the weather was since it was such a special day. That morning, everything was different. But still these 10 years that passed alot has happened. We all went from boys to young men. I love the 2000′s and will always remember it and think of it. From Nelly, Ja Rule, Ludacris, Mystikal, Eminem, Petey Pablo and all that other good commercial Hip Hop of those years to the commercial Hip Hop we have today which sucks.

  • Pingback: Killer Mike Reflects on Jay-Z’s Real Blueprint | XXLMAG.COM

  • TicNitty706

    Props to Jay and the team for making one of the best rap albums period. People take for granted these days I think what a true classic album can do for your career and legacy.

  • Sean Izzle

    To this day I still havent heard Fabolous debut- Ghetto Fabolous album and it came the same day as The Blueprint :P anyone else?

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