The Blueprint 3

Common Sense Media says

Rapper battles -- but mostly steers clear of -- sex, drugs.





What parents need to know

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

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." 

Not applicable

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."

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. 

Families can talk 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

Release date:September 8, 2009
Label:ROC Nation
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of The Blueprint 3 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byChevelleisAwesome April 3, 2010
Great Album!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
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 language. The music has a great feel to it, and Jay-Z is a great songwriter.
Kid, 11 years old May 27, 2014


Plenty of uses of s--t f--k n---a b---h and some uses of w---e and plenty of uses of hell sucks screw fagg "F" F-Bomb Freak freakin a-hole damn crap and bastard
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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