Blueprint 3: The next Curtis?

Speaking of Jay-Z, I see he’s been copping a lot of pleas lately as to why there’s yet to be a Blueprint 3.

My bad, if you’re a big fan of Jay-Z’s recent material. I know it was kinda unfair the way I got on him yesterday. Nullus. Why should it make any difference to me if he is a closet case? And for all we know, he might not be. But it seems obvious to me that he’s reached a certain impasse in his career, in which he can no longer just pull an album out of his ass the way he used to.

It used to be the case that you’d hear Jay-Z was working on a new album, and the motherfucker would be on store shelves before your sorry ass could even wash your one good pair of pants, or buy another pair, if you had it like that. You got the idea he would have one of his bag handlers pick out an album’s worth of decent beats, he’d go into the studio one day, ramble for an hour or so, and that would be it.

Though, to his credit, I’m sure the process was more involved than that. It may have taken up to a week.

So how come it’s taking so long for Jay to knock out the Blueprint 3? I’m not sure exactly how long he’s been working on it at this point, but it’s gotta be at least six months now.

I doubt it’s a matter of Jay no longer being capable of going into the studio for a week and pulling an album’s worth of raps out of his ass. He’s definitely lost a step since even the Black Album, let alone back in the ’90s, but I’m at a loss for how that would affect the frequency with which he releases new material. If anything, you’d expect that he’d be able to put out new albums even more often, since he’s not putting as much thought into them.

Word on the street is that Jay basically finished the Blueprint 3 last fall, around the time “Jockin’ Jay-Z” came out, but then decided to shelve it, because it didn’t have enough songs that sounded like “Swagger Like Us.” Or, as I recall, the official excuse was that “Swagger Like Us” came out so well, and he wanted the entire album to be that good, not necessarily an entire album of M.I.A. samples. God forbid.

Anyhoo, I took this to mean that he went into the studio with Kanye, Kanye gave him a bunch of junk like “Jockin’ Jay-Z,” and, who knows, maybe even some of his sensitive 808s & Heartbreak material, and Jay took one listen to the end result and realized it was destined for commercial failure. He figured he’d better just shelve it, lest it end up like the last 50 Cent album, Curtis.

MTV News caught up with Jay the other day at some party he threw for his good friend Lebron James (note that I’m not suggesting anything here), and asked him what the hold up has been. Jay seemed to contradict himself. On the one hand, he claimed that the lack of time constraints in his life these days has interrupted his creative process. But on the other hand, it’s revealed that he’s got a couple of dozen tracks in the can – upwards of twice as many as he would usually record for an album.

If this was seven years ago, he’d just put all 20 or 30 of them on two discs, like he did with the Blueprint 2. I doubt he’s really any more concerned with quality control now than he was then. The difference is, he can no longer count on a few million rubes running out to cop anything with his name on it. To have any chance of competing with the likes of Lil’ Wayne and Kanye, he’s gonna have to put out an album people acutally like. The question is: does he even know what that is anymore?

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  • Incilin

    “To have any chance of competing with the likes of Lil’ Wayne and Kanye, he’s gonna have to put out an album people acutally like. The question is: does he even know what that is anymore?”

    ^ I actually agree with that totally. Back around the time BP2 came out Jay thought what he was spitting was hot and went ahead right with it (Even tho that album was trash). But now, he’s not so sure. “Jockin Jay-Z” was awful and ppl slept right through “When The Money Goes” (I acutally liked it a lot). The hottest shit he’s had out was “Brooklyn We Go Hard” (Another SLU like MIA–err–Santigold sampling track).

    Remember, Jay is one of the few artist who neva sang or used autotune etc. He’s always been a straight mc. And now he’s forced to make a record where he raps. And we all know, no one gives a shit about rapping anymore. Plus he’s got to put up decent numbers that compare to his SLU brethen.

    “I shoot you, I’m brainless, but if you shoot me, your famous, what’s a nigga to do?”

    • Pierzy

      Co-Sign. Blueprint 2 was complete garbage.

      • LEO

        BP2 Tracklist

        Dream ft Faith < tell me that shit wasnt fire?

        Hovi Baby< Fire!!!


        What they gonna do?

        All around the world?

        The Bounce?

        Did it my way?

        do I even have to mention the curse?

        • Dante

          Dream ft Faith < tell me that shit wasnt fire?

          ^ If you think Jay spitting the same retarded ass verse twice plus lazily pasting one of Biggie’s verse from Juicy is fire you should kill yourself.

        • Pierzy

          Word…most of those songs you mentioned are awful.

        • LEO

          listen to that song and come back and tell me if u dont picture Jay-z talking to a psychologist…then vividly imagine him talking to BIG…dat was a good song…and the way the beat drops to start the album…common!!! ya niggas is buggin…like I said it aint a classic…but it didnt suck…just to many records on it…

    • Phil

      Um, NO, I think YOU don’t give a shit about rapping. Lil’ Wayne just hit 3 mill and no one gives a shit about rapping, lol. What a Auto-tard.

  • Pierzy

    If Lil’ Wayne is considered “great music,” I’ll stick to Jay-Z and his recent “wack” (not whack, mind you) material.

    If anything, he probably opened up that Rolling Stone issue, saw that Carter III was ranked as the 3rd best music album of 2008, and figured, “I have to make my shit worse than ever to be considered great these days.” So maybe he’s trying to make it less good so it’ll be looked upon favorably…

    • LEO

      lol…gotta dumb it down for these 2000′s babies…*shakes head*…BP2 didn’t suck by the way…it just had 2 many songs on it…take out half out of each CD, and u got a near classic…if not a classic…


      Meet the parents, one of my favorite Jay-Z songs

      • Mika

        ^^ i love that song man…..substance is a mofo..

        • Pierzy

          I agree…”Meet The Parents” is my favorite song on that bloated album, but that song was brilliant. Was every other song that good? I just don’t think so…

        • LEO

          So guns and roses ain’t a classic record? You don’t know remix aint fire?
          bitches and sisters? show u hot to do this? some how some way? common man…it aint a classic album…but dont tell me it sucked…that’s not good judgement…

  • LightSkinMofo

    Damn Bol… You know what man? You got a point. Good post.

  • amar

    actually for once i look at jay-z with the ability to make something good, since the black album.

    if you think about it: american gangster was good, but the beats were (purposely) slow and boring. If he can continue the lyrical from that album and combine it with some more up tempo beats (like swagger like us), i think he can make a classic. I’m not counting on it though…

  • jermz wealth

    ya buggin if bp2 was trash. that was an eclectic album for u retards he took different sounds and rappers and did his thing. he had 2 many joins on it that knocked. that was his last album where he had more than like 2 rappers on it. hes been pretty much solo dolo. Black Album no rappers, kingdome come no rappers, american gangsta 8 bars from sigel sigel and 16 bars from nas. this man is a beast. now when u buy an album the rapper has less verses then the features. evrybodu knows in the music biz that it is brick climate and no one wnats to drop one of em. other rappers/ artist have gimmicks kanye 808′s auto tune dresses crazy, eminem is white nuff said, dre has to keep telling people its coming bc they 4got since 2005, lil wayne drug addict tattos kissin men album push backs, on erbody song a million mixtapes, ti gun charge but he is the least likely more rap then shit surround him. 50 cent beef. Jay just raps his ass off even nas hiphop is dead, nigger album. all these peeps got promtion Jays promtion is himself a hot song hot lines gettin spin on hot 9 7.

  • geico lizard

    Jay z used to drop an album every year because he wanted people to say he was better than Biggie. Now he has no motivation for putting out good material.

    The same way eddie murphy used to be really funny now charlie murphy is funnier than him. Getting to the mountaintop has a downside if you cant stay motivated to be good.

  • capcobra

    this nigga gon be 40 rapping…wtf.

    • these posts are racist

      And what’s the age limit on being a rapper?

      Also, OG Bobby J is K. Federline’s abandoned step child.

      • amar

        however old rev run was the year before he started “Run’s House”.

        Also apparently the age limit on self respect

      • FlapJack

        As long as you act your age, I don’t see the problem.
        Just don’t act like the old ones we got now.

  • DV8

    Jay’z new album better come with some money in the liner notes or something because I dont think hes gonna do even respectable numbers. His time has come and gone. Its time to accept it and move on. Nobody wants to hear rich nigga rap. Why, you may ask? because most of us aint rich. Even 50′s new shit is garbage except for a couple of his dis songs aimed at Kanye, Wayne, and Ross. Maybe Jay should find someone to beef with to bring out the best of him. What KRS said is true “you cant be rich and continue to make RAW HIP HOP”

  • latino heat

    i actually agree with some of this. he knows he can’t come wack now cause he’s getting old and has to really prove he can still hang with the younger competition. that being said he more then proved it with american gangster. that shit was hot from beginning to end. the question is can he do it again, or was that Jordan’s last 50 point gsme? and bp2 was actually had a single disc worth of really solid material. the 2 disc was overkill. Meet The Parents is hip hop’s forgotten masterpiece.

  • sealsaa

    You make a valid point Bol, and its clearly shown by the fact that he would even name the album the “Blue Print 3″ in the first place. He’s obviously trying to capitalize off of the success of The Blue Print (one of his best albums, despite what Bol thinks), and I think that its destined to be a miserable failure, based soley on the name. I’m going to go ahead and apply this same logic to Only Built for Cuban Linx 2, if it ever comes out.

  • Ron Mexico

    “To have any chance of competing with the likes of Lil’ Wayne and Kanye, he’s gonna have to put out an album people acutally like.”

    awwww, yeah. that golden rule.

  • giantstepp

    American Gangster was fire too me. I think he is connected enough to youth culture, while getting his grown man on, which brings a balance that can succeed. The youngstas still respect Jay. Not like a Weezy, but enough to get them in stores to cop. His peers will check for him too. He has has that balance between both age groups to do numbers. He just has to bring the heat on record.

    Good drop Bol!

    • Pierzy

      American Gangster was a new classic

      • CHEAA

        I agree.. American Gangster was FIRE!!
        and it was beter then Nas’ last album to state a fact!!

        Bol, your just a hater! You made 2 straight articles didding jay..

        This is what is kinda crazy. Y’all saying Hov fell off, but we have no idea if pac and big would’ve fell off.. They coulda fell out in 2002.. You never know.. So just respect greatness when u see it and be happy he isn’t dead like the rest..

        • EmCDL

          Yeah co sign on that American Gangster was ill, especially that track with Beanie Sigel…forgot the name of it, but he had a sick line on there about “what chick he wit/or his chip amount/cuz I’ve been doing this since CHIPS was out” shit is sickness

          Dang Bol you must hate Jay BP2 was fire also

        • amar

          better than untitled?!?! they must’ve slipped u some of that terrible recession grade weed!!!!

        • EmCDL

          I co sign on American Gangster being off the chain

          I don’t co-sign on it being better than Untitled! Hells no!

          Should have said that in the last post my bad

  • El Tico Loco

    Hopefully BP3 will be a straight up good album and not something we gotta give excuses for and try to convince ourselves into liking like we’ve been doing for the last 2 years for just about every mainstream album out.

  • chitchat

    Jay must be going thru one of his signature lazy periods, like when he was dropping all those doo doo guest verses on Rick Ross and Beyonce singles. That shit he did for Obama day was terrible. “We…vic-to-ry..can’t you see!…don’t I be?”

    Good point about BP2 though. I didnt realize what little replay value those discs have until you said that. All those songs and I really only still bump “The Blueprint”

  • these posts are racist

    Rhyme Time

    I’m stressed out at work so i take a quick break/
    just to break a quick witty rap in the face of these fakes/
    OG Bobby J, a traler park scrub from around the way/
    a racist punk who talks tough on the world wide web/
    but he can barely cloth himself and keep his little seed fed/
    and Byron C./
    keep spittin his bigotry/
    knowin’ toe to toe he can’t get with me/
    he sick of me/
    he hate me like he from haiti, come through on a banana boat/
    yall sick of his bull…well TPAR got the antecdote/
    this the fakest shit I ever wrote/
    with two fake dudes in my rhyme one uncle tom and another looking like Barry Manilow/
    OG Bobby J, you aint the one/
    you just a sad pathetic buster, looking like K-Fed’s son.

  • escobar9300

    I definitly have to agree Jay has been coming lazy this past year. I was feeling American Gangster for the lyrics, but the beats didnt do much for me, but those acapellas are fire to use for remixes. One the real though, I agree with those who say Blueprint two was far from perfect because it had too much filler. Even Jay silently admitted it by releasing the Blueprint 2.1 2 months later with half the songs. Personally, Ill stick to Reasonable Doubt, In My Lifetime Vol 1 and The Blueprint 1 if I want some classic Jay Z. As much as I want BP3 to be on par with BP1, I just dont think hes going to do it. Maybe if dude gets off his ass and releases Dead Presidents 3 (If we ever even get a full version of this track at all) as the lead single we might be a step in the right direction, until then Jay is going to be on that lazy 2008 flow hes been riding latley.

    • tony grand$

      I think Jay-z is @ that point in his very successful career where he
      a) thinks he has to keep up with the youngsters to stay relevant
      b) has done what most rap dudes will kill their sisters to do
      c) shouldn’t care about making new fans anymore

      Maybe he doesn’t see the forest for the trees, but he’s Jay Z. If you don’t like him by now, you probably won’t ever. When all’s said & done, he ate off rap, & will continue to do so until Beyonce is bouncing a Geritol smelling badunk on his wheelchair armrest.

      I don’t say retire, but word to amar, capcobra, & flapjack, grow up & let Shawn Carter usher in the remaining years of Jay-Z’s phenomenal (@ least by hip hop standards) career on some triple OG shit.

      I’m not a fan, never really been one, but I know the cat had his hits & misses, & when he drops heat, I let it get some burn, as most of us do.

      As long as he trying to keep up with Lil this & Young that, he’s going to continue to come off like Rocky in Rocky Balboa, chasing his youth. Hopefully he can do like Rock did @ the end, & realize that that’s an impossible task, but that doesn’t tarnish his legacy.

      • Avenger XL

        Truer words never spoken Tony. Jay-Z is at a point that he can be more grown up and creative and work on building the lane for the vet emcee class.

        I have always felt like rap should reflect where the artist is in life and it’s ability to deliver a message untarnish has never been question but I beleive the mainstream rushing to make a buck off it keeps rap in this stagnate youth arena when their is so much more you can do with it if you so desire. JAy is in a position to be a pioneer again the question is what direction will he take?

        • tony grand$

          No doubt Avenger.

          I try not to read the comments until after I make mine usually, but I was checking for the usual cats who got something to say, & I realized that in order for Bol’s blog to go from comedy to the debate on Jigga’s career shows his legacy.

          Technically, he doesn’t HAVE to do shit. He can do what he WANTS, period.

          So few artists have so many accolades & continue to be relevant. I wouldn’t even want to try to compete with what’s out there, especially if I don’t have to. There’s literally nothing left to conquer. A couple more solid efforts, & on a hip hop level, he’s Bruce Springsteen status, selling out arena’s on the strength of his classics & maybe dropping a new song or two.

          I remember how the Net went wild from that little hint of “Jockin’ Jay-Z”, which was just OK to me. I would hate to think he’s insecure, or feels he hasn’t proven himself to be a pioneer.

  • Stevie B

    I dont think this shit is thats serious. I don’t even believe this topic is blog worthy maybe dude ran out shit to talk about. This whole thing is completely over analyzed like most other things in hip hop these days. I like to keep life simple (kinda like the look on Bols ugly face lol joking but not really).
    Jay-Z has a lot money he can drop an album when ever he wants there is no real pressure like tony said if you dont like him by now you never will. And to be honest lyric driven hip hop is not appreciated the way it once was who is trying to impress? The same people who already like him?

  • technai~the comment blogger

    First of all, we all know the jigga is or was a lyrical giant, there is no debating that so all you (to put it lightly) HATERS who claim that BP2 was wack and all that need to come correct. But i digress, jigga fell off his lyrical prowess after black album, but American gangster was all right. I guess my point is that he needs to do some hip hop exercises to get back in shape. Maybe he should chill in the studio with Cory Gunz, just to jug his memory a lil bit on what it means to be an MC.

    Rocafella for life though

    • FlapJack

      Blueprint 1 was Jay’s least lyrical album (yeah really), not Kingdom Come (which wasn’t at all bad, it was just some grown man shit)

      Cory Gunz? Please!

  • brand-new

    jay-z’s bp3 might be like dre’s detox, an album that gets all this hype, but never comes out.

  • Young History in the Making

    BP and BP2 was obviously jay’s peak….he coulda put out “the curse” cd as a album alone and trimmed off all the nonsense that “the gift” cd had..”black album” was good..but it seemed like he was on some “im hangin it up, yall better not forget who i am” type of ish..and while he was so called “retired”, he put out sub-par verses here and there…then after that its like lookin forward to BP3 but if its a bunch of “swagger like us” tracks over and over ima just have to d/l it instead of givin him my $9.99 at best buy..

  • Mel

    LEO… U sound flat out stupid defending bp2, it had a few joints but NOT ONE song on either disc was anywhere near a classic… ” you dont know remix” C’mon u cant b serious… u had just got done hearing the same exact song on bp1 minus wack ass m.o.p, bp2 along with the dynasty & most recently kingdom come are some of the worst albums i have heard from any artist that is “GREAT” bottom line is this… jay is overrated none of his albums have more than 6 bangers on it… except reasonable doubt… im 30 by the way so i witnessed hip hops best years…92-97