The Blueprint 3 Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 161 Ratings

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  • Summary: After seven years, the final album of his Blueprint series is finally released.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The long-awaited Blueprint 3 doesn't disappoint. In fact, the album may just be the blueprint for hip-hop music to come.
  2. It’s Jay-Z’s world, but on The Blueprint 3 he’s considerate enough to let listeners perambulate about for a most enjoyable visit.
  3. The Blueprint 3 isn't a one-man tour de force like the first. Jay is upstaged once or twice by his guests, and while the productions are stellar throughout--Timbaland appears three times, and No I.D. gets multiple credits also--it's clear there's less on Jay's mind this time.
  4. By all indications, he'll continue to make good but not great music, replicating the form of his finest records minus the electric charge.
  5. He still sounds temperamentally incapable of making a bad album, but he's made his first boring one.
  6. Just as The Blueprint 3 seems to have pulled it off, it peters out in a mass of indistinct tracks.
  7. The pitch-correction software is alive and well even on this record.... This glaring inconsistency is the least of BP3’s missteps.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 48
  2. Negative: 8 out of 48
  1. Jun 22, 2011
    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. Expand
  2. OwenB
    Sep 17, 2009
    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. Expand
  3. A.C.
    Sep 20, 2009
    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
  4. BarryA
    Oct 12, 2009
    One of the best hip-hop albums of recent times.
  5. Nov 18, 2013
    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. Expand
  6. Nov 25, 2013
    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 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
  7. chrisR
    Sep 23, 2009
    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

See all 48 User Reviews