Jay-Z performs live on the Main Stage during Day 3 of the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park on July 4, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images). Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
Rapper/businessman Jay-Z attends Audemars Piguet and the Tony Awards’ ‘Time To Give’ auction at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 17, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)
Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
“If anything, I tend to look at this album as a new chapter in the life of Jay-Z. “THE BLUEPRINT 3″ is an album that showcases excitement, observation, maturity, openness to collaborations and willing to take chances on different styles of music but most of all, doing it his way. And at 40, there’s no sign of slowing down. Overall, “THE BLUEPRINT 3″ is another solid release.”
ALBUM: THE BLUEPRINT 3 (Digital Version)
LABEL: ROC NATION
RELEASE DATE: September 11, 2009
- What We Talkin’ About (Jay-Z+Luke Steel of Empire of the Sun)
- Thank You
- D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)
- Run This Town (Jay-Z+Rihanna+Kanye West]
- Empire State of Mind [Jay-Z + Alicia Keys]
- Real As It Gets [Jay-Z+Young Jeezy]
- On to the Next One [Jay-Z+Swizz Beatz]
- Off That [Jay-Z+Drake]
- A Star is Born [Jay-Z + J. Cole]
- Venus Vs. Mars
- Already Home [Jay-Z +Kid Cudi]
- Hate [Jay-Z +Kanye West]
- So Ambitious [Jay-Z + Pharrell]
- Young Forever [Jay-Z+Mr Hudson]
BUY THIS ALBUM:
Highly anticipated, still not overrated, Jay-Z just as smooth, with his delivery… the man can still rhyme like no other over two decades later.
Sure, I’ve been raving about the two earlier releases such as “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and “Run This Town” (with Rihanna and Kanye West) but “THE BLUEPRINT 3″ is just another fantastic release from Jay-Z.
With the hip hop artist turning 40 and the release making sure it got into retail stores when leaks of the album online, sure the album has commercial flavor and personally, collaborations with Kanye West, Pharrell, Alicia Keyes, Rihanna doesn’t mean we are going to see signs of worn-out tracks and an album without soul. Jay-Z is a smart man and know that in today’s world of albums and people being quite selective with music selections, “THE BLUEPRINT 3″ makes things quite difficult for the listener because you’re not going to find two or three tracks that are all good, you’re going to find nearly every track on the album to be as solid and feel like, “just screw it with the individual tracks… I’m buying the whole album.”
From the New York pumping track of “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys, to the arms in the air track of “Real As It Gets” with Young Jeezy, to the cool and trippy groove of “On to the Next One” with Swizz Beatz and the furious, in your face track with “Off That” with Drake.
And no, it doesn’t end there.
There’s the upbeat track “A Star is Born” with J. Cole, the sultry and sexy “Venus Vs. Mars”, the bumpin’ “Already Home” with Kid Cudi, getting hard with Jay-Z and Kanye West for “Hate” and of course, you have to have the Jay-Z tracks letting you know who the man is with a track like “Reminder”, another cool collaboration with Pharrell with “So Ambitious” and ending the album with a love song with “Young Forever” with a collaboration with Mr. Hudson.
Sure, Jay-Z’s 2002 album “Blueprint 2″ also had its share of collaborations but I suppose with this album, one can say it has a commercial vibe but again, I don’t see that as a negative. Granted, you’re going to have the hardcore who will be there to purchase the album on CD but in today’s age of music and those who are making purchases of digital music online, you want people to purchase as much music on that album as much as possible.
If anything, I tend to look at this album as a new chapter in the life of Jay-Z. “THE BLUEPRINT 3″ is an album that showcases excitement, observation, maturity, openness to collaborations and willing to take chances on different styles of music but most of all, doing it his way. And at 40, there’s no sign of slowing down.
Overall, “THE BLUEPRINT 3″ is another solid release.
“An awesome collaboration and for the most part, a solid single from Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West and a track to get us all hyped up for Jay-Z’s upcoming album ‘Blueprint 3′!”
ARTIST: Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West
DIGITAL SINGLE: Run This Town
LABEL: Roc Records
RELEASE DATE: August 11, 2009
BUY THIS CD SINGLE
- Run This Town
Jay-Z returns with Kanye West (who produced his last single “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tone)” along with hip hop and R&B producer No I.D. The track would also be significant as it would feature Rihanna in her first music-related release since the Chris Brown incident.
As for the inspiration of the song, during an interview with Tim Westwood, Jay-Z tells Westwood, “We basically run this town,” Jay said. “It’s myself, Rihanna and Kanye. It’s pretty much it.” Nevertheless, Jay-Z gives listeners and fans another single as many anticipate his upcoming album “Blueprint 3″ (which was produced by Kanye West and slated for a Sept. 11th release).
The single features Jay-Z’s smooth, lyrical rhymes and as always delivered with precision and balanced with Rihanna’s vocals, while West delivers the beats. For the most part, the song is about re-evaluating fame as evident from the lyrics to “Run This Town”:
I bought my whole family whips, no Volvos
Next time I’m in church, please no photos
This the life that everybody ask for
This a fast life
We are on a crash course
What you think I rap for
To push a fucking RAV4?
Overall, another solid single from Jay-Z and an awesome collaboration with Rihanna and producer Kanye West and No I.D. And again, another track to get people all hyped up for the upcoming album! Definitely recommended!
“For many people who have heard auto-tune becoming overused, it’s now become a gimmick and it’s great to have a talent like Jay-Z rapping about the ‘Death of Auto-Tune’! Overall, another enjoyable release!”
DIGITAL SINGLE: Death of Auto-Tune
LABEL: Roc Nation
RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2009
BUY THIS CD SINGLE
- Death of Auto-Tune
Hip hop extraordinaire Jay-Z returned with a new single titled “Death of Auto-Tune” which was produced by No I.D. (the Godfather of Chicago Hip Hop) and Kanye West. The song was quite interesting, especially since Kanye West used Auto-Tune for his album “808s and Heartbreak” but also, the song was made after Jay-Z saw a Wendy’s commercial using Auto-Tune in their jingle.
Kanye West, the producer of Jay-Z’s upcoming album told MTV, “I like Auto-Tune so I do it, but you want the other thing — like you’ll wear a suit to a wedding and gym shoes to a basketball game. I think it’s a perfect moment for Jay to provide some gym shoes to a basketball game right now.”
Personally, I have felt that Auto-Tune had quickly become a gimmick and becoming overused to the point that it became too much. And sure enough, what a wonderful time for Jay-Z to release his digital single “Death of Auto-Tune”, a definite anti-Auto-Tune release.
“Death of Auto-Tune” features a free flowing, smooth progression of Jay-Z’s lyrical rhymes come through clear with deep bass in the background and a tease on Steam’s “(Na Na Hey Hey) Kiss Him Goodbye” and incorporating samples from “In the Space” by French film composers Janko Nilovic and Dave Stuckey.
Many wondered how an artist like T-Pain would react to “Death of Auto-Tune”. T-Pain is known for his use of Auto-Tune in his music surprised audiences at the 2009 BET Awards when he joined Jay-Z on stage for the performance of the song.
Overall, an enjoyable single and I’m glad that for his upcoming album, Jay-Z got rid of any sign of auto-tune and suffice to say, not that I’m against it being used. Because there are artists such as T-Pain and Kanye West who can effectively use it but glad that Jay-Z, forged his own path as usual and using it himself.
I definitely look forward to the upcoming “Blueprint 3″ LP.
EMI Music Publishing songwriters including Jay-Z and Kanye West lead the way at the Grammy nominations
New York/Los Angeles, 4 December 2009 — EMI Music Publishing songwriters once again led the way in the nominations for the annual GRAMMY Awards, which were announced in Los Angeles yesterday. Jay-Z, Kanye West, Duffy, Stargate, Death Cab For Cutie, Snoop Dogg, Mary Mary and Alicia Keys all earned multiple nominations for the awards to be held at the Staples Center in LA on February 8, 2009.
Jay-Z scored a mammoth six nominations, following the release of ‘American Gangster’ which is recognized in the Album of the Year and Best Rap Album categories. ‘Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)’ is nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance, while ‘Swagga Like Us’ (by Jay-Z and T.I. featuring Kanye West and Lil Wayne) scores two nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. He receives an additional nomination in the latter category for ‘Mr Carter’, which he co-wrote and performed alongside Lil Wayne.
Kanye West, who won five Grammys at the 50th annual awards in February this year, picks up another six nominations this year. ‘American Boy’, which Kanye performed on alongside Estelle, is nominated for Song of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. He shares two nominations in the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group section (‘Swagga Like Us’ and ‘Put On’), as well as the nomination for ‘Swagga Like Us’ for Best Rap Song. He additionally features on Lil Wayne’s album ‘Tha Carter III’, which is nominated for Album of the Year. Lil Wayne’s chart-topping hit ‘Lollipop’ (recognized for Best Rap Song) was co-written by EMI Music Publishing songwriters Jim Jonsin and the late Static Major.
Duffy, whose debut album ‘Rockferry’ became a worldwide hit this year on the back of hit songs including ‘Mercy’ and ‘Warwick Avenue’, picked up three nominations including a nod in the prestigious Best New Artist category. ‘Rockferry’ is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, while the Welsh singer is additionally recognized for Female Pop Vocal Performance (‘Mercy’). Also nominated in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category is Pink (‘So What’), while Cathy Dennis’s songwriting helped Katy Perry get recognition for ‘I Kissed A Girl’.
EMI Music Publishing writers dominate the R&B and rap sections, with nominations in multiple categories. Stargate songwriters and producers Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen grabbed two nominations for Best R&B Song, for their work on Jennifer Hudson’s ‘Spotlight’ and Ne-Yo’s ‘Miss Independent’. Their songwriting helped Ne-Yo score seven nominations in total, including Album of the Year and Best Contemporary R&B Album for ‘Year of the Gentleman’.
Salaam Remi is also nominated in the Best R&B Song category for his work on Jazmine Sullivan’s ‘Bust Yer Windows’, from the album ‘Fearless’ which is recognized in the Best Contemporary R&B Album category. Also nominated are Beyonce (Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for ‘Me Myself & I’), Usher (Best Male R&B Performance, ‘Here I Stand’) and Chrisette Michele (Best Urban/Alternative Performance, ‘Be OK’ featuring will.i.am).
Alicia Keys earned three more Grammy nominations, this time picking up nods for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (‘Lesson Learned’ with John Mayer), Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (‘Superwoman’) and Best Short Form Music Video (‘Another Way To Die’, with Jack White).
In the rap section, Snoop Dogg scores two nominations for ‘Sexual Eruption’ for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Solo Performance. Ludacris is nominated alongside T.I for Best Rap Performance (‘Wish You Would’), as is Young Jeezy (featuring Kanye West) for ‘Put On’.
Death Cab For Cutie earned two nominations following the release of their chart-topping album ‘Narrow Stairs’ earlier this year. ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’ picked up a nod in the Best Rock Song category, while ‘Narrow Stairs’ was recognized in the Best Alternative Album section.
EMI Music Publishing’s writers are well-represented in the rock and metal categories. Dragonforce pick up a debut nomination in the Best Metal Performance section, for ‘Heroes Of Our Time’. They’ll go up against Slipknot, who received recognition for ‘Psychosocial.’ AC/DC are nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (‘Rock’n’Roll Train’).
Critically acclaimed artist Sam Sparro is nominated in the Best Dance Recording section for ‘Black & Gold’ (written with fellow EMI writer Jesse Rogg). Also nominated in the category is EMI Music Publishing songwriter Rihanna, for hit song ‘Disturbia’. Rihanna is additionally nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with vocals (‘If I Never See Your Face Again’ with Maroon 5) and Best Long Form Music Video (‘Good Girl Gone Bad Live’).
American gospel duo Mary Mary picked up three nominations in the gospel category, with the sisters grabbing nods for Best Gospel Song, Best Gospel Performance for (‘Get Up’) and Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album.
Country duo Sugarland, featuring EMI Music Publishing songwriter Kristian Bush, is nominated in the Best Country Duo or Group and Best Country Song categories for ‘Stay’, as well as Best Country Collaboration for ‘Life In A Northern Town’ with Jake Owen and Little Big Town.
EMI Music Publishing Nashville writer Jamey Johnson picked up three nominations, including two for Best Male Country Performance and Best Country Song for the self-written and performed ‘In Color’, as well as Best Country Album for ‘That Lonesome Song’. Brad Paisley earned two more Grammy nominations, for Best Male Country Performance (‘Letter To Me’) and Best Country Instrumental Performance (‘Cluster Pluck’), while Lee Thomas Miller was recognized in the Best Country Song section for his work on Trace Adkins’ ‘You’re Gonna Miss This’.
Monty Holmes wrote the title track and single for George Strait’s ‘Troubadour’, which is nominated for Best Country Album, while newest signing Hillary Scott of the band Lady Antebellum scored two Grammy nods for Best New Country Artist and Best Country Duo or Group. In all, EMI Music Publishing Nashville’s songwriters and artists are represented on 16 of the 35 total award nominations in the country section.
British singer and EMI Music Publishing songwriter Leona Lewis, who sprang to fame after winning the UK talent show ‘The X Factor’ picks up three nominations, for Best Pop Vocal Album (‘Spirit’), Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (‘Bleeding Love’).
EMI Music Publishing singer/songwriter Julio Ramos (aka Voltio) wrote on all the songs of his album ‘En Lo Claro’, which picks up a nomination in the Best Latin Urban Album category. Also nominated in the same category are brothers Sergio & Francisco Gomez who, as the band Akwid, wrote on all songs on the ‘La Novela’ album.
PicApp: Singer Beyonce Knowles and her husband Jay-Z at the New York Knicks Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game from courtside seats at the Garden. Pictured: Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z Picture by: Anthony J. Causi/Splash News. Content © 2008 Splash News . All rights reserved.