The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse

  • Record Label: Def Jam
  • Release Date: Nov 12, 2002
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. If The Blueprint proved that coming back is easy, The Blueprint 2 proves it’s difficult to stay on top.
  2. Jay-Z has upped the commercial rap ante once again.
  3. Releasing two strong outings in the past year drained him of the juice necessary to make a compelling two-fer.
  4. Jay weaves his way through every imaginable style and flavor with unyielding expertise.
  5. The trouble is that Jay is stuck in an artistic straitjacket of his own making.
  6. Though his raps can't compete with the concentrated burst on The Blueprint, there's at least as many great tracks on tap, if only listeners have enough time to find them.
  7. One more strong record from hip-hop's most dependable voice.
  8. There's a good album in here crying to be let out.
  9. A little less than half of this stuff is worth singing about.
  10. The most ambitious and most fully realized album of his career.
  11. Overreaching but surprisingly solid.
  12. 60
    Here again, it's a maddening ping-ponging between genius and plain stupidity.
  13. Despite showing several flashes of brilliance, Jay-Z stumbles through his most uninspired and disappointing album to date.
  14. What a curse Jay-Z's ideas represent: Nearly everything about The Blueprint 2 sounds like a retread, including its title.
  15. Eclipsing last year's Blueprint, it throws down the gauntlet to challengers Murder Inc. [Jan 2003, p.120]
  16. 80
    Despite the endurance test inherent in any double-disc, his Olympian performances are worth the weight of his pretensions. [#12, p.156]
  17. 50
    Other than two noteworthy tracks, the first disc is essentially filler. [Jan 2003, p.73]
  18. 40
    We've heard too much of this before. [Jan 2003, p.119]
  19. 90
    Tightening the screws of his delivery, he's found a bruising poetry in a flow that once seemed clumsily conversational. [Jan 2003, p.93]
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. MrCharisma
    Jan 10, 2003
    4
    jay-z has some skill, but this album is rushed and too much like the original *blueprint
  2. Jul 4, 2013
    5
    The Blueprint was Jay-Z’s most entertaining album to date and though this overlong sequel to the 2001 CD recalls the catchy and eloquentThe Blueprint was Jay-Z’s most entertaining album to date and though this overlong sequel to the 2001 CD recalls the catchy and eloquent lyrics of its predecessor at times, it is a disappointing follow-up if you look at it as a whole. The 25 tracks on 2 discs are departed into three categories: a few really great songs, a lot of nice ones that just aren’t rememberable, and some unnecessary and annoying fillers so that the album accomplishes its almost 2-hour-long running time. It seems to me that Carter wanted to put the album out as quickly as possible so he can still brag about his 7-year-7-albums consistency. It just would’ve been better if he’d stopped this seemingly obsessive all-time-presence he had at the time The Blueprint 2 came out, and focused on creating songs that are actually good and not completely forgettable. But don’t get me wrong, this album is fine to listen to and clearly a lot better than all three of the Vol. albums in the late 90’s. It’s just unspectacular and boring way too often. Despite all that, it’s undeniable that Jay-Z is a formidably talented lyricist and therefore, The Blueprint 2 is only really bad if you compare it to the original The Blueprint. Full Review »
  3. Aug 17, 2010
    1
    Are u kidding. This album is no good. I gave the 1 because of Hov's other music such as classics like the black album and reasonable doubt.Are u kidding. This album is no good. I gave the 1 because of Hov's other music such as classics like the black album and reasonable doubt. This in my opinion is pop garbage Full Review »