A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.