User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 170 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 170

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  1. BrettC
    Sep 11, 2009
    9
    Loved nearly every track. A few I could do without.
  2. A.C.
    Sep 20, 2009
    9
    This is not Jay-Z's best work. However, that statement should not define one's view of this album. Concisely, it is better than his last two offerings, and better than most rap offerings that have come out this year. It is neither uninspired, as some have suggested, nor should it be considered an attempt at remaking earlier albums. Appreciate what a former crack dealer sounds This is not Jay-Z's best work. However, that statement should not define one's view of this album. Concisely, it is better than his last two offerings, and better than most rap offerings that have come out this year. It is neither uninspired, as some have suggested, nor should it be considered an attempt at remaking earlier albums. Appreciate what a former crack dealer sounds like when he does not need to stay in the hood, but instead can make music from a position now open for youth to obtain. If that makes you angry, consider your perspective. And the sound of it? Enjoyable. Expand
  3. AjayD
    Sep 10, 2009
    3
    As a Huge Jay-z/Hip Hop Fan, I was really looking forward to this one. After all, What could go wrong after the amazing "American Gangster" release! But this is was all hype, He proved that he has moved on and now he could give 2 S**ts about proper hip-hop! In another words, Jay-z SOLD OUT! All the tracks have beats, But he never goes deep with his rhymes like he did on his debut, As a Huge Jay-z/Hip Hop Fan, I was really looking forward to this one. After all, What could go wrong after the amazing "American Gangster" release! But this is was all hype, He proved that he has moved on and now he could give 2 S**ts about proper hip-hop! In another words, Jay-z SOLD OUT! All the tracks have beats, But he never goes deep with his rhymes like he did on his debut, Blueprint, black album and American gangster LPs. I am very disappinted, if this is what jay-z has become...He might as well just quit making rap music! He has lost his passion for hip hop, Unlike NAS! Expand
  4. D.T
    Nov 16, 2009
    5
    A Half decent effort....& a half terrible album! Has glimpse's of why we love Jay-Z & also has moments of how he can be a ignorant to the point were you think "Is this guy serous" However songs like "Thank you" "Off That" & "D.O.A" Are great & demonstrate how advanced his head is interms of creativity (When its not up his Arse) D.Tail
  5. Nov 14, 2011
    9
    "Empire State of Mind" was a great song describing new york and Jay Z's life beautifully with rythmic raps and great support from Alicia Keys. Must listen!!!
  6. CN
    Sep 16, 2009
    3
    Ugh. An obvious tax write-off and bitter "screw you" to the average fan, who will lap this up and buy it, while Jay even remarks we should buy his old albums on the song "On To The Next One". Get it, guys? Jay is telling us he is mentally on to the next one--he doesn't want to make this a worthwhile project! With a stale, sterile and static flow, The Blueprint 3 is by far Ugh. An obvious tax write-off and bitter "screw you" to the average fan, who will lap this up and buy it, while Jay even remarks we should buy his old albums on the song "On To The Next One". Get it, guys? Jay is telling us he is mentally on to the next one--he doesn't want to make this a worthwhile project! With a stale, sterile and static flow, The Blueprint 3 is by far Jay-Z's most shallow and pointless lyrical body of work by far. The beats, while futuristic (granted), are still tinny but still manage to swallow the once-giant-sized MC. A shame. Expand
  7. DemoineO
    Nov 25, 2009
    10
    HOV should retire I enjoyed the beats more than the lyrics.He is too overated go out and buy RELAPSE or BEFORE I SELF DESTRUCT to see true genius and lyrical prowess.
  8. MarcL
    Oct 1, 2009
    6
    To me Jay just seems tired .. some good tracks on it , but not as good as previous releases
  9. SlimS
    Sep 16, 2009
    7
    Not his best, but not nearly his worst. Listen to the lyrics people! Don't just skim through the beats and look for catchy hooks. The first 5 songs are all very good, it drops off a bit with Real As It Gets, Hate and So Ambitious are straight terrible but overall it's a good album.
  10. dMusick
    Sep 17, 2009
    10
    I don't know what critics hear but this album is Jay-Z on top of his game once again. It reminds of 'American Gangster' which was so eloquently laid. Awesome beats & on point samples!
  11. JaeJ
    Oct 31, 2009
    10
    This album is a peace of art, from all the blueprints album i have heard this one is so far the greatest one.... Just by listening to it you can hear his pain, and how him feelings about everything.
  12. YoMan
    Sep 10, 2009
    7
    Decent album but nothing really special
  13. VijayV
    Sep 11, 2009
    9
    The great thing about Jay-Z's new album is how he mixes styles and tones yet he still keeps his message of rap alive and well.
  14. KaranK.
    Sep 13, 2009
    9
    The album is strong and so is the base. As always the lyrics are better than the music but music is also amazing. Jay-Z can never disappoint, its proven now. Tracks like Off That, Run this Town. Hate, Reminder, Venus vs. Mars and more are superb and the Death of Autotune is again a masterpiece and Jay-Z did it the fine way. Rap like him and you'll know.
  15. SpotRusher
    Sep 14, 2009
    2
    Talk about cruise control. This is not a good album...and an even worse hip hop album. This is one of the most incohesive, unsurprising, forced albums I've ever heard. Heavy on guests with lackluster, out of place verses. 'Death of Autotune' is featured here, yet he has Rihanna & Kanye West featured...both of whom shamelessly use Autotune. Hmmm. Should have stayed retired.
  16. DerekC
    Sep 18, 2009
    6
    Jay-Z tries to too hard to be mainstream in this album. Very disappointing to following up a classic like American Gangster. Hope he goes back to his classic joints next time around.
  17. PetersonM
    Sep 20, 2009
    10
    Great album.
  18. CandaceT
    Sep 9, 2009
    10
    The beats are fresh and Venus vs. Mars is my suga honey iced tea!!!
  19. PatrickJ.
    Oct 18, 2009
    7
    Pretty sure this was supposed to be a Jay-Z album... yeah, that's right, I'm talking to you "timba". Let's be realistic. Jay-Z, you're an accomplished writer, producer, and successful Label owner. Why, oh God, why, are you getting Timbaland in to produce your stuff? BUT! that having been said, aside from the blatantly obvious timba parts, the album was well done.
  20. seanr
    Oct 20, 2009
    9
    HOV. you cannot make a comeback;when you was never gone.
  21. JoshD
    Sep 10, 2009
    9
    Slightly Underrated.
  22. JimmyP
    Sep 12, 2009
    5
    Half of it's good, and the other half is forgettable. Hints the 5. Jay will always have some good songs, but he hasn't had a great all around album since before he retired. I'm still trying to understand Why everybody thinks that American Gangster was a Classic album. I'm sorry, my own personal opinion, Reasonable Doubt will be my favorite Jay album to listen to. Not Half of it's good, and the other half is forgettable. Hints the 5. Jay will always have some good songs, but he hasn't had a great all around album since before he retired. I'm still trying to understand Why everybody thinks that American Gangster was a Classic album. I'm sorry, my own personal opinion, Reasonable Doubt will be my favorite Jay album to listen to. Not to discredit the first Blueprint by any means...that's his second best. I just felt that this album was overhyped. Expand
  23. SteveR.
    Sep 12, 2009
    1
    Cliché added to the typical women hating times the self-effacing bigotry . . . Kanye: why slum with someone so virile?
  24. VictorM.
    Sep 13, 2009
    10
    Dope album.
  25. PetersonM
    Sep 21, 2009
    9
    Great album.
  26. chrisR
    Sep 23, 2009
    0
    Look at his previous two albums. The first was a lame "return" from retirement; his second was an overwrought collection of gangster castoffs that only sounded lively because they were about something else. Jay-Z his completely mined his life story and squeezed every interesting nugget out of it. All that is left now is a millionaire talking about how rich he is as a way to make more Look at his previous two albums. The first was a lame "return" from retirement; his second was an overwrought collection of gangster castoffs that only sounded lively because they were about something else. Jay-Z his completely mined his life story and squeezed every interesting nugget out of it. All that is left now is a millionaire talking about how rich he is as a way to make more money. If Scrooge McDuck were real, he would listen to The Blueprint 3 while doing laps in his pool of gold coins. Because that is the only demographic who would give a shit about the piss-poor prose Hov offers on this record. Despite what he claims on What We Talkin' Bout, Jay isn't rapping about life or drugs. He's rapping about himself, and how little he has left to inspire him. Expand
  27. DavidL
    Sep 24, 2009
    9
    I think its a great album like all his albums after listening to it twice i appreciate that its production and hooks and excellent rap timing in place I love forever young and hate and a star is born and already home empire state of mind is also a almost perfect version of new york's beauty long live HOVA.
  28. B.dotBaby
    Sep 29, 2009
    10
    For all the critics that said Jay was falling off this album is proof why he is still the best rapper out right now.. He doesnt need to talk about drugs and the streets throught the whole album. his lyrics are talking about millionare ceo type of things.
  29. KentB
    Sep 9, 2009
    7
    I was overpowered by the vocal presence of Alicia Keys on "Empire State of Mind" and really enjoyed Rihanna on "Run This Town." The collaborators all brought something unique and for the most part overwhelmed the contributions of Jay, for better or worse. This doesn't really differ from what I imagined I would hear on BPIII, but it did seem like Jay was getting a bit tired on some I was overpowered by the vocal presence of Alicia Keys on "Empire State of Mind" and really enjoyed Rihanna on "Run This Town." The collaborators all brought something unique and for the most part overwhelmed the contributions of Jay, for better or worse. This doesn't really differ from what I imagined I would hear on BPIII, but it did seem like Jay was getting a bit tired on some tracks. Overall, the highlights on the first half of the album outweigh the few clunkers. Expand
  30. CailyD
    Nov 1, 2009
    1
    Should have stayed retired.
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Blueprint is hip-hop as big business, and Jay retains his CEO throne.
  2. Jay overreaches, leaning too heavily on by-the-numbers production from Kanye West and Timbaland, and muffling his own voice in favor of a guest-heavy tracklist.
  3. Without its filler, this album could have been at least good, if not great. But, for better or for worse, this is what Jay wanted us to hear right now. It’s just a shame that it’s not entirely worth hearing.