Jay-Z - The Blue Print (EX) [LP]
Personnel includes: Jay-Z, Eminem, Q-Tip, Slick Rick, Biz Markie (rap vocals); Josey Scott (vocals); Victor Flowers (organ); Bink (programming). Producers include: Kayne West, Just Blaze, Trackmaster, Timbaland, Bink. THE BLUEPRINT was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. "Song Cry" was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Male Rap Solo Performance. It's official. With his fifth album, aptly titled THE BLUEPRINT, Jay-Z has crowned himself the king of rap music. Laying a foundation for other MC's to follow, Jay Hova presents a lyrical masterpiece. And to make matters worse (for the competition, that is), he does so over a selection of the tightest beats (Jus Blaze, Timbaland) to come by hip-hop since fellow Brooklyn-ite Notorious B.I.G. changed the game. Jay-Z sets it off with a clear and concise statement of his purpose, "The Ruler's Back." From then on, each track dares rappers who tried to test his skills to answer back this time. There's also the cleverly worded (sort of a) love song "Girls, Girls, Girls," where Jay calls out every type of woman in the book. He limits the guest appearances to just one when he collaborates with Eminem for "Renegade." As always, classic material proves why Jay-Z retains his iconic status in the hip-hop world.