Master Plan >>> Blueprint


Maybe you want to know a little bit of my background before I proceed with this drop? I dropped out of architectural school in my first upperclassmen year. It wasn’t just the difficulty of the classwork in as much as it was about the prospects for enrichening employment after I had graduated in another several years of study. Plus, I didn’t like practicing architecture as much as I enjoyed writing about it (and other things). My parents were disappointed that I wasn’t going to finish my degree in an engineering field. They considered writers to be ‘dime-a-dozen’ and even more underpaid than Black architects.

My dad was right as usual and writers are a ‘dime-a-dozen’, but I haven’t left the architecture engineering trade altogether. I spend my days working with architects and construction managers as we construct buildings all around New York City. I have an old Jew to thank for my career that pays me, as well as the one that gives me my passion. The old Jew was a scholar and a humanitarian. He taught me how to create master plans and the process for reproducing them into blueprints.

You all understand that a blueprint is a copy right? The master plan is to valuable to be placed into the wrong hands that might not be able to protect it so instead a reproduction is made and the draftsman, be it the engineer or the architect presides over the blueprint to explain the information contained therein. There are details contained on the master plan that don’t necessarily always transfer to the blueprint so if the architect that drafted the plans isn’t available some of the crucial construction information will be lost.

imperial 65

So when I hear that your favorite rapper is working on his third blueprint I think to myself that maybe his master plan is what needs the retrofit. Jay-Z has been the most successful rapper of all time (even more than Eminem) just from the sheer volume of press that all his his non-rapping endeavors generate. Jay-Z spent more time on vacation since 9-11 than President Bush spent on that ranch in Texas. The master plan can’t be about not working though. This is another lesson from the old Jew who was a rabbi, a teacher. The old Jew was all about teaching people how to become fishermen as opposed to giving people free fish.

What have you learned from Jay-Z? What has Jay-Z rhymed about that has motivated you to investigate after the song was over? The master plan contains keys to sections, details and elevations. Without all of this comprehensive information how will you complete your construction? I’m not saying that Jay-Z can’t become a rabbi himself like the old Jew was to me but I don’t see it at this point. You see, when the old Jew was young he was still a rabbi. This is the type of man he was. You don’t become a leader and teacher of men overnight. Leaders and teachers wish for their followers and students to succeed them, not to be held back with jealousy and contempt.

This drop isn’t to disparage Jay-Z in as much as I would like for those that hold him above themselves to wonder why they too aren’t leading and teaching the youth that are coming up in the game? As opposed to holding people back from reaching their potential like their favorite rapper does.

corona little league

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  • $ykotic


  • $ykotic

    On everything, DP I’m sitting here in my crib schooling some youngsta’s right now on how I went to college(Pratt Institute, Hunter College).

    Been trying since this weekend to show heads another way to sway. Tired of seeing my dudes “go away for a minute”.

    You killed this post family. You’ve been on fire lately.

    • Pierzy

      Co-Sign. All of it.

      I really appreciated what 50 said today about college…I don’t know why it’s so frowned upon. Well, I do…I just think it’s misguided.

      La Salle ’02 & Temple MBA ’09!

      • $ykotic

        And you better finish P! Don’t make me come and find you…

  • Pierzy

    What’s good, my dudes?

    Every time you make a copy of a copy, it gets worse (unless it’s digital) and that was damn true for Blueprint 2. As for 3? I’m not so sure. I’m still hopeful…yet not optimistic.

    On another note, DP, perhaps you made a better career choice? A friend/classmate of mine is an architect and she just took a 10% pay cut with more on the way. They just don’t build them like they used to…

    • Silly Willy

      Among the exceptions of copy being worse than the original would be Nas’ lost book of rhymes versus Illmatic. So I’m still hopeful, too.

      As for the masterplan, Dallas, if Jay drafted it and give us 3 blueprints, wouldn’t it make sense that he keeps the masterplan for himself ? That’s kinda what you sayin’ right ?

  • Dallas Penn

    Hells CHEA!

  • Dallas Penn

    Pierzy what up?

    My dad sent me to Pratt one summer when I was a shorty to take an illustration class since I had a gang of graff blackbooks laying around.

    I wish the old man was still in effect so I could BBQ in the backyard and talk shit about how I finally get paid for writing.

    He would ask me if it was above poverty level in per annum wages and I would say it wasn’t. Then he would bust out laughing.

    • $ykotic

      So you remember those fugly yellow shirts?!!

      Brooklyn Zoo!

      That school helped me with interior design though. Check the Steve Wynne tellies in vegas. That’s your boy $yk(The cutthroats were out on that one!).

  • Tony Grand$

    Heavy DP. Like a ’68 Chevy.

    I’m not going to give Jay-Z anymore of my time today. But I will co-sign the philosophies insinuated in the drop.

    That’s what the world as a whole lacks. The necessary wisdom to be passed on for forward motion to continue. Each one teach one. That’s old school math, but cats are still having trouble grasping the concept of language, much less the ergonomic properties of life science.

    A builder puts together the pertinent parts of the structure. But, someone has to design said structure before life is even breathed into it. Such is life. The “blueprint” is just a portin of the “(master)plan”.

    Everybody ain’t built to be a Shepard, no matter how much power is @ their command. But I’ll say this, I teach mine to fish, for real though. Word to the old jew man.

  • OG Matt Herbz

    “Who’s the man with the master plan?” –House Of Pain.

    You wanna see something interesting, stop in any engineering firm and watch the plotter draw up a print. That machine is nuts. Just when you think it’s going to complete a square down here, it hops over there and draws some letters or something. –Not at all predictable like the homey Jay-Z. You know he’d come back and try to bank off that Blueprint title once again. Just listen to the word: “Blueprint.” It makes shit sound official. Thought up, planned out, and laid down…even though it wasn’t. I hated the Blueprint and Blueprint 2 was even worse. Who’ll contradict me?

    It’s interesting to see these rappers and their god-complexes on the mic. When did dudes turn from rappers to poets to prophets? BIG and Pac are martyrs…REALLY?! Nah, fuck that, they were stupid. They could rhyme, but if they knew what was really good for them…

    I’m not getting the last paragraph, though. Who’s holding who back? Y’all want me to stop fronting and kick knowledge after you jacked me for my Daytons? Was that a shot at how Jay-Z won’t move his ass aside and let the new generation be? Or how the new generation won’t even go in on homey, too scared they’ll be “Ethered?”

    –OG Matt Herbz–

    • thoreauly77

      i think in this case it might, just maybe, be that some young cats respect jay’s music and his hustle. however, they most definitely might be scared of the “super ugly takeover”.

  • Moving Sideways

    Good Post Mr. Penn,

    I’d like to add: when in the history of humanity (aside from the 2000s in the United States) has there ever been a time when being educated was looked at as a negative.

    Neither of my folks graduated a 4-year college, I was the first in my family to do so, then I got my Master’s. Frankly, I don’t care how shitty your school is education is more important than anything.

  • latino heat

    i agree with Herbz. who is Jay-Z holding back? he tried to pass the torch a few times. and every time they dropped it. that’s not his fault.
    as far as the next generation coming up who has displayed the same level of talent as Jay? exactly. so why should he move out of the way for these clowns to put more half ass material out?

  • Worley

    Yea, a blueprint is short of a masterplan but a 5 man baseball team ain’t cuttin’ it either.

  • Dallas Penn

    You have to dig deeper, way the fuck deeper. Peep this track from the KayGees.

    You need the list of all the people whose shit was pushed to the side, under-promoted and under-developed for the sake of that one dude?

    I’m gonna have to charge you tuition Herbz because the X spot don’t pay me enough to hold your hand all day every day.

    • OG Matt Herbz

      That’s right–they don’t. I PAY YOU TO HOLD MY HAND ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Now just relax your grip a little and smile, homey. This moment right here in picture-perfect.

      No doubt, Jay’s a fucking cash cow. He was in it for himself and here, 20 years later, the same holds true. But when did it become his responsibility to give it back. It’s just money, yo. Damn right he ain’t no prophet and there probably ain’t much wisdom he could kick to any self-sustaining person over the age of 25. If Memph Bleek is still waiting for Jay to put his ass on, then that fool needs a slap. You said it yourself, it’s just entertainment. If ANYONE is looking for a rapper to spit game that feeds the world’s mouths, then they’re retarded.

      You got it. Look outside you snow-globe of rap to find your real mentors.

      Yo, you got sweaty palms, DP.

      –OG Matt Herbz–

    • Silly Willy

      Just wondering, who had to move away in order for Jay to get his shine ? If I’m not mistaken, Roc-A-Fella was on the indie route with the Priority distribution deal. No one gave him a real try…And as far as giving back, I think even if you feel he’s holding people back, he’s giving way more to the community and the whole world on a philanthropic level. And who knows if the records that had been held back was any good ? I’m not saying they wack, but who knows ? I’m just sayin’……

  • Dallas Penn

    when you coach little league in the hood you would just be happy if the kids brought their gloves and hats everytime they had to play.

    Their parents drop them off and come back in several hours not even sticking around to watch them play. On picture day half the kids didn’t show up because it wasn’t one of the days that they usually play.

    But the day you come up from your momma’s basement Worley will be the day you start to learn some of the shit I know.

    • Worley

      I played little league in the hood myself. From 1987 – 1989 I played for the Cubs in the Cambria Heights Sports Association. In ’87 we went undefeated and won the championship with a rag tag bunch of dudes borrowing equipment, hitching rides and trying not to slide on a glass infested infield. I still have the trophy to prove it too. So I’m right there with you and I commend your efforts with the youngens.

      However, one cannot overlook the irony of a drop on coming up short and posting a picture of a 5 man baseball team with it. Ha!!

      By the way, I never lived in my momma’s basement. I was one of the smart ones that left NYC long ago. Now I have a home for less than what it costs to rent an apartment in NYC. So the day you disabuse yourself of all the hoopla surrounding living in NYC you might start to learn some of the sh*t I know.

      Cheers my friend.

  • M. Lite Shalamar

    Yo Dallas,the only rapper that ever truly laid down a blueprint for others to follow(and succeed from) is none other than the Teacher himself,KRS One.Songs like ,Why is that?,Jack of Spades,Breath control,World peace,You must learn,were indeed plans from the Ghetto Music:the Blueprint album…

  • DopeMan922

    rap is juss entertainment for me, thats it. anybody that expects more from a rapper or musician for that matter other than music is silly imo.

  • M. Lite Shalamar

    As an aside,you know where things are going when a player shows up to baseball practice in some Reebok Questions!When I’m at the gym and some dudes show up wanting to run in Nike boots and some saggy Akademics,that’s my cue to quietly retrieve my ball and head for the exit….


    i consider those who give back and seek no publitcity for it. are the only ones who are truly trying to help people. i can think of one rapper and one basketball player. the rapper is luda he does alot of shit for the kids. the b-ball player is allen iverson yeah i would not think it would be him either. those who do good and don’t always need a camera in there face to do it. are really doing good deeds for the people not for there ego. i am sure they are more people out there like them speak on it folks

    • BIGNAT

      i forgot to add good post dp

  • Master Cheef

    What is the masterplan? How do I find it? How does one seek enlightenment? Is it real? Where must I go? What must I do? For God’s sakes, man, if you know the masterplan, you must tell me at once.

  • Dallas Penn

    Those that can do, and those that can’t move out.

    Good for you in Cambria Hts. I was on my Decept shit by that time.

    The drop is really about ‘each one teach one’, and that is how your favorite rapper fails.

    I wish I had the luxury that some people have who can listen to rap music that is broadcast to millions and only view it as entertainment.

    I try doing that shit and I always have to smack myself in the face. Because of the institutionalized racism that I live through I have to be cognizant of the forces that oppress me.

    It is the same forces that cause my little league teams to have no parental participation. Those same forces that make entertainers the surrogate parents in my community.

    I do wish I was a white so I could say some shit like, “if you use entertainers as your moral compass then you are a loser.”

    But I know firsthand how these things come to pass. Communities overridden with drug abuse and a subset of so-called entertainers tell me that their cars are big and shiny because of all the bricks they moved.

    These so-called entertainers aren’t referring to bricks and mortar but rather morals and mortality. Each one, teach one is the lesson the rabbi taught me. What makes me a Jew is that I ACCEPT this responsibility also.


    excellent post my man. VERY well done. i enjoyed this joint a lot. and learned a couple things too.

    but let me tell it from a different perspective…

    i received knowledge of self in 1996. i never chose the Nation when it was popular because i never wanted it to seem like i was just a part of a fad (i was in NY when “All For One” dropped). plus, anything, for me to commit to it, has got to resound with truth and clarity to my understanding. i dont fuck with gray areas. how can anyone and call it a solid commitment?

    1996 is when i started my stay at an institution of higher learning. it wasn’t Penn State… it was the state penn. and all during that time, me, Teardrop (he EARNED his… not just a tatoo) from the Bronx, K-Real from Ft. Green, Sincere from Queens, and Universal from Brooklyn took the time to grow and to expand mind in dimensions outside of the confines. being an official graff dude, none of that shit Jay was doin was on my radar. i hated all of it. especially Reasonable Doubt, which to me was an attempt to make a Nas/Biggie record. i reasoned it off the same way most people do, that it’s not good for the community and that it is misleading the youth. until i read something one day:

    “The champion of the bourgeoisie is the person who can take a simple matter and make it complicated. But the champion of the people, is the person that takes the complicated and makes it simple.”

    and that changed my mind about a lot of shit. it is logical to conclude that as many people who will accept the truth are as many as who will reject it. so the course of action that appeals to both sides of the topic is best. in other words, how do you make a person who dont give a shit about the matrix see the need to get out of it? you appeal to a common denominator. and we all want to do better. some of us HAVE to. cuz when u grow up hungry, you do what you gotta to make sure you NEVER go hungry again. and that’s true for every color and creed on earth until someone turns the lights out on this small planet.

    thats how i started to take what Jay and others were sayin. like they wasnt sayin, “a healthy portfolio starts with assests and liquidity balanced with calculated risk management in the pursuit of high yield investments”. NAW. they just said, “GET MONEY, NIGGA” ! and since then, our numbers have constantly climbed in the areas of new wealth and positions of power. i mean we, us, HOOD niggas. Jay is constantly covered in Forbes. i read it everyday. so, if you can’t appreciate the message, you got to appreciate the example.

    and i aint tryin to hear that the music makes muhfuckas go sell drugs. all the legends in the game was before ALL this shit. when the game was THE GAME was when muhfuckas was talkin that red, black and green (with a KEY, sisseeeee! sorry, had to do it…) from Ricky Ross (the real one), Boy George, Calvin Klein, Aaron Jones, Bucky, Lil Sexo… all that was way before ALL this shit. if we take a bitch that was born ’round those times, we could all fuck her, no R.Kelly cases. see, niggas is livin out fantasies. cuz IT AINT TODAY’S REALITY. all across this this country, CRIME IS DOWN. you still hear about shit poppin. but you always will. positive and negative will always exist. for every preacher, there’s a pimp. and sometimes, there ain’t much difference between the two.

    i felt The Blueprint was one of the few modern classics we had. but the irony is that the feel of it is based in the era i just finished speakin about. it’s like he was tellin the story of what was really happenin when most people was screamin “fight the power!”. it felt like a memoir, as most of the songs were written in the past tense. cause most of this drug shit IS past tense. like that concept. he need to go ahead and leave it alone… unless he’s tryin to demonstrate somethin else. blueprints have to do with building. there’s a designer and a stone cutter. 3 degrees to reach master in all disciplines (associate, bachelor, master),.. i think some of yall know what i’m sayin…

    now air it out… quietly…

    • $ykotic





        shouts to Dallas (Ink) Penn, and the homie Tony Grand$…


    Well written post, but a lil one sided in my opinion, just because someone’s at the top of their game doesn’t mean the responsibility is on him to carry everyone else up with him.

    I commend him (Jay-Z) for his accomplishments, but in a realistic world everything this man gets discredited for is not totally and always on him, but it comes with it i guess.

  • chillin mayne

    bboycult, das a lot of real talk rite dere, i feel dat tho…nice post @mr.penn…ironic:on da baseball team foto da 2nd kid from da rite look like jay-z’s son


      ‘preciate that fam.

      stay chillin, mayn…