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. DavidW
    Nov 23, 2009
    4
    The album opens up with a bang. The synth plays a hanging note, the beat is pumping and a single female vocalist sings an eerie floaty noise that sent shivers down my spine. I was hooked. The production value is top notch on this album and for that it gets a 4. Usually it takes me a couple listens to get into the lyrics and the stories of a hip hop album before I fall completely in love, The album opens up with a bang. The synth plays a hanging note, the beat is pumping and a single female vocalist sings an eerie floaty noise that sent shivers down my spine. I was hooked. The production value is top notch on this album and for that it gets a 4. Usually it takes me a couple listens to get into the lyrics and the stories of a hip hop album before I fall completely in love, but that is where blueprint 3 fails to deliver. The rhymes are boring with no depth and for the most part the lyrics don't go anywhere. Each rhyme carries the same 6/4 time signature that gets old fast. Great production, good beats that will likely take you into 4 or 5 attempts to give it a try, but boring lyrics and uninspiring vocals that will make you stop listening and throw on some Biggy to remember what great east coast rappers rhyme like with dated production value. Expand
  2. May 16, 2014
    4
    I agree with another reviewer that said that Jay-Z is on autopilot. There's very little passion in this album. The production quality of the mixing and mastering is also pretty poor. The album doesn't communicate anything. It's just generic sound. The only track that's exceptional is Empire State of Mind.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Sep 27, 2011
    3
    Jay-Z should be ashamed. Yes he is top of the Charts, yes he went platinum, but does that mean it has skill. For some who bleats he is the "best Rapper Alive" I was expecting a much better Album, especially after American Gangster.

    They were all radio friendly tracks the one collaboriation song with J. Cole should have been a single. That would bring a lot recognition to J. Cole.
  6. Sep 18, 2014
    3
    Personally this is probably the worst Jay-Z album ever. Empire State of Mind, Venus vs. Mars, and D.O.A are the only songs I'd recommend to someone to listen to. Do yourself a favor and skip this album.
  7. 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.
  8. SteveR.
    Sep 12, 2009
    1
    Cliché added to the typical women hating times the self-effacing bigotry . . . Kanye: why slum with someone so virile?
  9. CailyD
    Nov 1, 2009
    1
    Should have stayed retired.
  10. 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
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.