These Rappers’ Projects Pay Homage to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint Album
Some art just stands the test of time, reverberating from the minute it's released into the world. Case in point: Jay-Z's The Blueprint. Released on Sept 11, 2001, The Blueprint is considered by many to be Hov's magnum opus. The effort, which is now 20 years old, put him in a whole different space as a well-respected artist. Jay covered all his bases here. He fired back at then-foes Nas and Mobb Deep on "Takeover," showed off his hitmaker muscle on "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," sparred with Eminem on "Renegade" and created timeless classics like "U Don't Know," "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" and more.
With Just Blaze—"Song Cry," "U Don't Know"—and Kanye West—"Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)," "Takeover," "Never Change"—both coming into their own here as producers, this was a pivotal time in Roc-A-Fella Records history for not only Jay but the company surrounding him. The Blueprint sold 427,000 units in its first week and cruised to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, even with the world being in turmoil and reeling from the 9/11 terrorist attack in Jay's home city of New York. The album was so impactful that other rappers were inspired to name their projects in a similar fashion, and here, XXL highlights a few.
The most famous project that pays homage to Jay-Z's The Blueprint has to be Nicki Minaj's 2014 album, The Pinkprint. Selling 244,000 units out of the gate in its first week, the LP earned a No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200. The PinkPrint was directly connected to The Blueprint due to Nicki's long-time support of Jay-Z, along with her desire to make a title and brand as timeless as his.
Predating Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane named his 2009 mixtape with DJ Drama The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D. The tape is a classic, with Gucci being at his best in the early part of his career. Funnily enough, on the same mixtape, he questions if Jay-Z is really the G.O.A.T., after reworking the title of his album for Gucci's own use. The Blueprint loomed so large that even rappers who were his adversaries flipped its title.
Check out the gallery below for more album titles that pay homage to Jay-Z's The Blueprint.