Blueprint 3 Tracklist
A "Blueprint 3" tracklist guide is exactly what you need when navigating the treacherous straights of Jay-Z’s worst studio album. Though BP3 produced one of Jigga’s biggest and best hits, the album is ultimately a failure of ambition. When held next to Wu-Tang’s "8 Diagrams," an album with the similar intent of welding unexpected genres like indie and psychedelic to the hip-hop template, "Blueprint 3" pales.
- “Thank You,” the second track on "Blueprint 3," gets the album into a respectable gear after the abysmal opener, “What We Talkin’ About.” The song groves on a laid-back beat-inflected soul horns and handclaps. Though Jay-Z’s lyrical delivery is somewhat lazy, the laziness of his performance fits the low-key drawl of the beat perfectly.
- “D.O.A.,” or “Death to Auto Tune,” immediately follows “Thank You” on “Blueprint 3.” Like the previous tack, “D.O.A.” marries a sick beat with a vocal delivery that doesn’t really fit. The song’s beat is rough, dirty and psychedelic, filled with live drums and distorted guitars, more befitting of the gruff delivery of Raekwon or The Game than Jay’s polished flow. It’s a great beat, nonetheless, and though the parts of the track don’t totally gel, it’s one of the best songs on “Blueprint 3.”
- “Run This Town” is the fourth track on “Blueprint 3.” If you haven’t heard this one, you don’t get out much. The track features Kanye West, Rihanna and a beat built around a simple, infectious chord progression as reminiscent of poppy rock music than it is hip-hop. “Run This Town” isn’t anything more than your basic post-TI, synth laden hip-hop pop track, but it’s one of the better ones you’re likely to hear.
- “Empire State of Mind” isn’t just the best song on “Blueprint 3,” it’s one of Jigga’s best singles and possible the ultimate Jay-Z song. The track packs all the elements Jay does best—opulent narratives about New York, pop hooks, an instantly memorable beat and lyrical dexterity—with an Alicia Keys hook that’s the best thing to happen to pop music since Kanye West showed up. The song is also a welcome reprieve from the barrage of over-synthesized, over-produced hip-hop found on this record and everywhere else in 2011.
- “A Star is Born” holds a very different appeal than a number of songs on “Blueprint 3” and that is the lyrical guest. While most of the guests on BP3 turn in incredibly weak contributions—particularly Drake—J Cole outshines his mentor, Jigga, over this low-key, soul driven song that is as much R&B as it is hip-hop. The song is track number eight on the record.