Filed under: Best of 2009 Albums | Tags: Alicia Keys, best of 2009, Drake, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Steam, The Blueprint, The Blueprint 3
PREVIEW: VISIT Jay-Z’s MySpace
TOP TRACK: “Empire State of Mind”
In 2009, Jay-Z proved once again why he’s still one of the hottest rappers in the game today. With a string of three hit singles already, including arguably the fall’s biggest song, “Empire State of Mind,” Jay proved that he still has what it takes to be one of the strongest forces in music.
The buzz around The Blueprint 3 started in June with the release of “D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune).” Built largely on a slick guitar riff and Jay’s singing of Steam‘s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” the return-to-form track was just the tip of the iceberg.
Alicia Keys’ stunning vocals on “Empire State of Mind” provide a perfect backdrop for Jay’s love letter to the city that raised him. Other shining moments of the album include the attention-grabbing beat that lays the foundation for “On to the Next One.” Along with “Off That,” which features Drake, either song could easily be considered the album’s most party-centric. Another highlight could be the laid back “Already Home,” which features Kid Cudi, and perhaps helped set the stage for Cudi’s own release later in September.
Eight years after releasing The Blueprint, Jay-Z hasn’t faded a bit, as exemplified by this, his latest in a string of successes. As one of the most accomplished artists of the decade, we wouldn’t expect anything less from him– the man who helped open the doors to hip-hop’s strongest decade yet.
— Eric Hoffman