The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

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  • Summary: A sequel to his critically-acclaimed 2001 album 'The Blueprint,' Jay-Z's new two-disc set is all over the map in the course of 110 minutes and 25 tracks. The roster of producers and guests includes (but is by no means limited to): The Neptunes, Lenny Kravitz, Big Boi, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Heavy D, Rakim, Beyonce Knowles, Faith Evans, Notorious B.I.G. and Scarface. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Eclipsing last year's Blueprint, it throws down the gauntlet to challengers Murder Inc. [Jan 2003, p.120]
  2. 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]
  3. Jay weaves his way through every imaginable style and flavor with unyielding expertise.
  4. 60
    Here again, it's a maddening ping-ponging between genius and plain stupidity.
  5. One more strong record from hip-hop's most dependable voice.
  6. Releasing two strong outings in the past year drained him of the juice necessary to make a compelling two-fer.
  7. What a curse Jay-Z's ideas represent: Nearly everything about The Blueprint 2 sounds like a retread, including its title.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. Jul 4, 2013
    The 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. Expand
  2. Aug 17, 2010
    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 Expand

See all 31 User Reviews