Veteran shows maturity in 11th studio album

New York rapper, Sean “Jay-Z” Carter, released his much-anticipated eleventh studio album unsurprisingly titled, “The Blueprint 3.” While not quite a classic album like the highly praised, “Blueprint” in 2001, Jay-Z’s efforts are solid and without fail.

Before opening the cd, practically with my teeth, I expected a breath of fresh air. Trust me, after hearing so many lackluster hip-hop artists enter the scene with the latest dance move and “coolest nursery rhymes,” a voice of reason with unmatched delivery and content is needed to clear the air.

Jay-Z did just that. And he did it early on in his album. Track three is the somewhat infamous, but much needed “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” song. Thank you Jay-Z, for this song!

“D.O.A” clearly addresses the dying art that is hip-hop, or music for that matter, as it slowly goes to the wayside by many artists altering their voice to sound like robots.

The album features several guest artists such as Alicia Keys, who collaborates with Jay-Z to pay yet another tribute to New York in the song, “Empire State of Mind.”

In the arrogant single featuring Rihanna and Kanye West, “Run this Town,” Jay-Z proves to listeners that while he may be close to forty, he’s still got the rhythm to attract fans, young and old.

But Carter’s age and seniority in the music business leads him down the inevitable path of becoming an elder in what rap artists refer to the music industry as, “the game.”

Jay-Z is in a league of his own. If and when another artist challenges his skills, Jay-Z hardly addresses it because he’s too old for silly rap rivalries.  

Plain and simple, “The Blueprint 3” is music for grown-ups. While 18-year-olds and older are considered adults, this album is more grown-up in a mental aspect.

This theory is proven in the Timbaland produced track, “Off That.” The song features up and coming hip-hop artist, Drake.

Jay-Z raps about being past flashy car rims, past throwing money in the air at a club and past anything else that many new artists admire now.    

Rapping mostly on his widespread success using enough bragging rhymes to fill 15 tracks, Jay-Z’s substantial success is the very reason why “The Blueprint 3” is not deemed aclassic. How Ironic.

As much as Jay-Z raps about his progress, the only thing his loyal fans want is his old self.

Fans want the before Beyonce, before Def Jam and before “Kingdom Come” Jay-Z.

While he may have showed a glimmer of his old self in 2007’s “American Gangster,” this album is more of an improved version of 2006’s, “Kingdom Come.”

Nonetheless, it’s a Jay-Z album. It’s good and soulful.