The Blueprint 3

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
The Blueprint 3 Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Rapper battles -- but mostly steers clear of -- sex, drugs.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The vast majority of the songs on this album are about Jay-Z's dominance over all of his rap rivals -- giving his tracks a contentious tone that doesn't encourage positivity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While plenty of other rappers would make worse role models than Jay-Z, he's been involved in enough controversy to disqualify him from the role-model running. 


Though there's no explicit violence in this album, it does include a distinct undercurrent of aggression. For example, "Give this to a Blood / Let a Crip walk on it." 


Most songs include some swear words like "f--k" and "nigga," if not others.


Mention of product and brands here and there, like Versace, iPod, Benetton.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few references, like "smoking reefer."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that though Jay-Z runs in the most hardcore of rap circles, he's also interested in achieving mainstream success with his records; as a result, even the explicit version of this album is a type of "rap-lite" that includes some foul language here and there but lacks a lot of the extremely graphic adult content found in other rap records. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydudeman123 July 20, 2010

A good listen

Surely the Blueprint 3 is far from being as great as the original Blueprint. However, this album is still a good listen. Jay-Z has a whole lot of commercial mus... Continue reading
Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written byMere T April 18, 2010
Teen, 13 years old Written byPainter567 November 24, 2009

Love this Album!

My brother showed me these songs, and i fell in love with them! Some things Jay-Z says are not really appropriate, but kids thirteen and up know not to say bad... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 September 11, 2018

What's the story?

THE BLUEPRINT 3 is the third and final installment in the Blueprint album series by hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. Much like the first record that hit the scene eight years ago, this latest release finds Jay-Z once again battling with all "haters" who claim that he's anything less than the best. To get his message across, he enlists the help of the hottest stars across the rap and R&B spectrums, including Kanye West (who both performs and produces), Drake, Kid Cudi, Young Jeezy, Rihanna, Alicia Keyes, and Pharrell. At least one of these artists collaborates with him on just about every song. Ubiquitous producer Timbaland also lends a hand, producing several of the album's tracks. The record comes in both explicit and edited versions, with most of the foul language bleeped out of the latter.

Is it any good?

Jay-Z has made no bones about wanting to achieve commercial success with this record. As a result, it sounds somewhat more polished the first Blueprint, which achieved its own impressive success through its powerful rawness. That said, The Blueprint 3 is still solidly good, with every song written in way that highlights the specific talents of both Jay-Z himself and whichever artist(s) he's collaborating with on the track. For instance, one of the best songs on the album, "Empire State of Mind," allows the rapper to do his thing against an addictive vocal backdrop from Alicia Keys. The same can be said for other stand-out singles like "Run This Town" with Rihanna and Kanye West, as well as "Off That" with Drake. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their kids' musical tastes, who's popular, and what your kids like about them.

  • Does having hot young artists like Drake, Rihanna, and Kid Cudi help to make a more established rapper like Jay-Z appear fresh -- or like a wannabe?

Music details

  • Artist: Jay-Z
  • Release date: September 8, 2009
  • Label: ROC Nation
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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