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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    New Jay-Z strengthens hip-hop’s foundations

    New Jay-Z strengthens hip-hops foundations

    It must be a state of emergency in hip-hop. Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z, has released another post-“”retirement”” album on his own label, Roc Nation. From his hometown of New York City all the way to the UA (where he visited in April of this year), The Blueprint 3 aims to claim the top of the charts. And if you didn’t know — well, he tells you.

    Much of The Blueprint 3 builds upon that theme: Jay-Z is great; he’s so cocky, he’s humble. And he talks like that because he can back it up.

    On “”Venus vs. Mars,”” he compares both sexes on an ominous bass line and says: “”Me, I’m from the apple, which means I’m a Mac. She’s a PC, she lives in my lap.”” Detractors telling Jay-Z to go away are told on “”Already Home”” featuring Kid Cudi that “”I’m already gone, I’m on space shuttle level.”” On the humorous “”Hate,”” featuring his protégé Kanye West, a sketch of Jay-Z comedy is revealed: “”We ballin’, b*^%$#@, eating y’all food, leaving dishes.””

    Along with the quotable lyrics, the album is constructed around varying production styles. “”So Ambitious”” featuring Pharrell, is anthem-like with its smooth “”synthesizerized”” tempo, as is “”On to the Next One,”” the production of which is undeniably characteristic of Swizz Beatz’ style. A crack in The Blueprint 3’s foundation is the overwrought “”Run This Town”” featuring Rihanna and Kanye West. The instrumentals two songs later on the grand “”Real As It Gets”” featuring Young Jeezy, would have served as a better track to guide “”Run This Town,”” conveying sitting large and in charge atop your city.

    Notice how many featuring artists and newcomers Jay-Z has? Despite talk of him being great, he allows for others to be great with him. He shares. Jay-Z shouts out many top-selling hip hop stars on “”A Star Is Born,”” featuring J. Cole. He cares. He cautions Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh to move beyond the slavery era, on “”Off That”” featuring Drake, as well as motivating people to move beyond outdated styles. He prepares. On “”Young Forever,”” featuring Mr. Hudson, he alludes to leaving behind a long and relevant legacy.

    The Blueprint 3 is engineered for pressing the repeat button and makes for a worthwhile stash in any hip-hop music collection. Who wants bad hip-hop music anymore? We’re “”off that.””

     

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