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. Collapse
  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.
  31. BarryA
    Oct 12, 2009
    8
    One of the best hip-hop albums of recent times.
  32. AnthonyP.
    Oct 15, 2009
    6
    The spark is missing. Definitely worth the spins, but it won't blow you away.
  33. JeanetteR.
    Sep 13, 2009
    10
    This is a really hot album. Every song is a hit.
  34. kbaya
    Sep 13, 2009
    6
    The blueprint 3 is d least appreciated of all d blueprint trilogy..thou he still kept lyrical content intact as usual.thumbs up to d album
  35. OwenB
    Sep 17, 2009
    10
    Amazing album that i can play straight through. Some tracks are a bit soft but the overall sound of the album is something new and refreshing. Now a days most hip-hop sound the same and just don't stand out. This is like my 4th favorite Jay album behind The Blueprint, Reasonable Doubt, and The Black Album. Its tied with American Gangster.
  36. mpain
    Sep 18, 2009
    10
    This will be added as another GREAT album to an already long list of classics albums by Jay-Z.
  37. 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
  38. Jan 9, 2011
    9
    So many awesome guests in his songs. One of the best albums I ever listened to.
  39. 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.
  40. Jun 22, 2011
    10
    My favorite Jay-z album. It truly has a great style and feel. If there was ever a rapper to stand up against eminem, after hearing this album, i'd say it has to be jay-z.
  41. Aug 22, 2011
    8
    the album is good, the beats are what make it though. Jay Z on this album really made it clear that he's rich and the best and theres nothing nobody can do about it. This album was overall **** he bragged about his money and accomplishments. Talked about how he's on new stuff and other artist are far behind. Not Jay Z's best album or worst but it falls in between. I'm guessing thats whythe album is good, the beats are what make it though. Jay Z on this album really made it clear that he's rich and the best and theres nothing nobody can do about it. This album was overall **** he bragged about his money and accomplishments. Talked about how he's on new stuff and other artist are far behind. Not Jay Z's best album or worst but it falls in between. I'm guessing thats why its called the blueprint. Expand
  42. Feb 2, 2012
    7
    This is a record of highs and lows. It has got some fantastic tracks on it but also a few duds as well. Empire State of Mind works really well and Already Home is also a great track. One problem I have with the record in general is that it lacks the passion and spark of his best work. Apart from on a few tracks, there is no real fire here. He's almost on auto-pilot. Still sounds prettyThis is a record of highs and lows. It has got some fantastic tracks on it but also a few duds as well. Empire State of Mind works really well and Already Home is also a great track. One problem I have with the record in general is that it lacks the passion and spark of his best work. Apart from on a few tracks, there is no real fire here. He's almost on auto-pilot. Still sounds pretty good though. Expand
  43. Mar 15, 2012
    8
    His most complete album musically; only slight disappointment was D.O.A. (great idea, but Jay-Z singing "na na na na... hey hey hey goodbye" was not the greatest idea he every had). Overall, however, a very good album.
  44. Nov 25, 2013
    5
    Over Jay-Z’s career, there’ve been a lot of fluctuations concerning the quality of his music and after listening to the first singles, I began hoping that the senior would be able to top the rap game once again. However, this is again not the case and while The Blueprint 3 is a slight step-up from the first two albums after his short musical break, it doesn’t nearly come close toOver Jay-Z’s career, there’ve been a lot of fluctuations concerning the quality of his music and after listening to the first singles, I began hoping that the senior would be able to top the rap game once again. However, this is again not the case and while The Blueprint 3 is a slight step-up from the first two albums after his short musical break, it doesn’t nearly come close to Reasonable Doubt, the original The Blueprint, or The Black Album. What Mr. Carter did do on his 11th solo album was make his music more appealing to the mass after the album’s predecessor American Gangster didn’t include one really radio-friendly song. Besides the six singles in total, The Blueprint 3 serves a couple of other catchy tunes as well in my opinion, those were Off That, Already Home, and Real as It Gets. But as I’ve experienced so often over the course of time, just because a hip hop song is catchy, it doesn’t instantly have to be good. This album is a prime example for just that and once you’ve heard the aforementioned songs a handful of times, you’ll lose interest. Granted, there are some exceptions, namely D.O.A. (one of the best beats in hip history, seriously!), A Star Is Born (J. Cole takes Eminem’s part in the unofficial sequel to Renegade), Run the World (Jay and Kanye did good on their verses and Rihanna impressed me on the hook), Young Forever (well, mostly because of the Alphaville song that’s sampled), and Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z is so great on this one, I can even endure Alicia Keys on it). I’ve just listed a third of the songs on The Blueprint 3 and that isn’t nearly enough for an album to be good. Thus, I’m giving Jay-Z a negative rating once again, which absolutely wouldn’t have been necessary, if you just listen to the five really good tracks I’ve pointed out. For the rest though, it’s (while quoting another mediocre song on the album) On to the Next One. Expand
  45. Apr 13, 2014
    8
    I very much enjoyed The Blueprint 3. Jay Z produces an album that even someone who isn't the biggest rap fan will enjoy. A lack of shallow lyrics for the most part and catchy beats and tracks makes this a success.
  46. Nov 18, 2013
    6
    This Album definitely had it's moments Empire State of mind). However, overall it was a very inconsistent album. It seems that at times, Jay Z gets annihilated, whether it's by little brother Run this town), or the next hottest thing out (drake). Only about 5 or 6 great tracks on this album, that's what saves the album.
  47. 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.
  48. Mar 26, 2015
    7
    7.3/10................................................................................................................................................
  49. 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.
  50. Mar 10, 2015
    8
    Great album by Hov! It's a little different from previous Jay-Z album's but that's not a bad thing as he still kills it. Nice beats and nice rhymes by Jay-z. This album mainly speaks about how Jay-Z has not lost a step and he's still on top of the rap game. It's worth the money to buy this album.
  51. Mar 10, 2015
    8
    Still bumping it 6 years after the initial release. "Young Forever" and "A Star is Born (feat. J. Cole)" are my favorite from the album but I still do get pretty hype over most of the songs off the album.
  52. Mar 11, 2015
    8
    With a big horn section, strong beats, and creative lyrics, Jay-Z offers up a rap album to be reckoned with. Featuring an awesome artist on nearly every track, each song is a masterpiece.

    Recommended Tracks: Hate, Already Home, Young Forever
  53. Apr 24, 2015
    9
    The third opus in Jigga's Blueprint franchise still has quality lyrics, great guest features and an awesome production by Timbo and Kanye to create instant classics such as Empire state of mind and Young Forever.
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.