02 September 2009

I have to apologize. I had been formulating big plans for this upcoming week. Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 was slated to arrive in stores on September 11, and I was totally ready. I was going to have a whole week of nothing but Jay-Z. I was going to buy the album, and each day I was going to breakdown and review a few songs. By the end of the week, I expected to have a whole post for each song on the album. This was supposed to be some of my most comprehensive analysis ever, and I was excited about the challenge. But then some shit happened. First, things fell apart for me on a personal level and without sounding too whiny or bitchy I will admit I am struggling with the aftermath of said shit. (Writer's Note: Seriously, I could use a hug.) Secondly, over the weekend the Blueprint 3 leaked all over the internet and the consensus has been that it is not very good. I've listened to it, and I don't hate it or anything like that but I will admit that it's not that stellar. Jay sounds bored, but who can really blame him. He's the best rapper on the planet. He's got one of the most gorgeous women in the world as his wife. He's seen as a legitimate businessman after of years of being an illegitimate one. His last album was American Gangster, and some hip hop heads hated on it because they thought it was whack or whatever. I liked it, but the thing about it was the fact that Jay was kind of just playing a character. He wasn't Shawn Corey Carter, but rather he was a rapping version of Denzel Washington's character from the movie with the same name as the album. Beyonce has encountered a similar problem since marrying Jay. They're too successful to complain about the shit they used to complain about so they have to find new ways to work the system. Beyonce made an album called I am...Sasha Fierce so that she could still sing to all the sisters about how no-good men be keeping them down because it's not like she could complain about her home life with Jay. And, Jay basically did the same thing with American Gangster. He can't talk about picking up women because he's married to Beyonce, and he can't talk about selling drugs because he is now seen as a legitimate businessman and he can't be soiling his personal brand just so he can sell a few more records. So, American Gangster was Jay-Z's Sasha Fierce moment, and in true Jay fashion, he did it first. Some of the songs on BP3 just aren't that great. "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" was exciting when it first came out and still isn't that bad, but "Run This Town" is still basically a Rihanna song with a dope verse from Kanye. There's another song with Kanye on it, and again Kanye outshines Jay. Drake does a song for the album called "Off That", and in it Jay outlines everything that is no longer cool according to him. It's a neat concept, but Jay sounds indifferent while explaining his lesson plan. MGMT don't really appear on the album. They produced one of the songs, and that's still kind of cool but it's not as cool as the original news that they would be appearing on the album as performers. Jay does a song with Alicia Keys, and it's a pretty little number but this is a hip hop album so ballads aren't going to make the grade. All in all, Blueprint 3 just isn't what it was hyped as. As Byron Crawford posted earlier in the week, this album sounds more like the Blueprint 2 than the Blueprint and that is not a good thing. 
So, the moral of the story is that I am a huge let down. But, I will think of something new and it will be great. Maybe I will dedicate the entire month to Yo La Tengo, and every day I can break down a different song or something like that. That could be fun, or it could be stupid. It'll be hard to tell without trying.

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