Review #50: The Blueprint, Jay-Z

Karla Clifton
3 min readMar 10, 2021

#50: The Blueprint, Jay-Z

We are reaching the end of my road trip journey. The beautiful thing is that we are just beginning other journeys, all at the same time. For example, here begins my long, complicated relationship with Jay-Z.

It was fairly late by the time I got to The Blueprint, the sky just getting dark. The traffic had let up but never gone away completely, and now I had completely lost track of which state I was in. And I was starving.

I’m not going to lie. I didn’t have a lot of appreciation for Jay-Z at the time.

Of course I was just tired, of course I was just biased against Hova because of TIDAL, but that didn’t change how I felt. My boyfriend called me in the middle of the album, and I confessed the truth to him. “I’m so sick of Jay-Z.”

“I won’t tell anyone if you skip Jay-Z,” he told me.

I knew he meant well, but I also knew that this was a test from Satan himself.

“No,” I insisted. “Absolutely not.”

I could practically hear him throwing up his hands. “Okay.”


“The Ruler’s Back” — I literally laughed out loud when I heard him say Thanks everybody for their purchase. Lol, Jay-Z, we don’t live in the age of purchasing music anymore! Do you think that’s why he started TIDAL? A jam nonetheless.

“Takeover” — Wow, Jay-Z does NOT like Nas. That sucks! However I love me a good sick burn — he literally screams that a bunch of people are LAAAAME, and adds, “I sampled your voice/You was using it wrong.” That is just amazing. Side note, the dis track that Nas released in response to this, “Ether,” is also incredible. F*** Jay-Z!

“Izzo (H.O.V.A)” — Kanye West produced this, and it was my favorite, hands down. H to the Izzo! V to the Izzay! I had no idea that “Foh shizzle” originated with Jay-Z.

“Jigga That N****” — This album is so 2000s — those little laser beeps in the background. Will.I.Am. was taking notes.

“Heart Of The City (Ain’t No Love)” — Okay, the horns, the hook, the Fugees reference! But WOW there are a lot of gay slurs on this Jay-Z record. And take a shot for every time a rap song references Ike and Tina Turner.

“Never Change” — Don’t worry, Jay-Z is still “Jenny From the Block” — just with crime.

“Renegade” — Aw yeah, it’s Eminem! Say what you want about Eminem, but I always get excited when he shows up, if only to hear someone else’s voice. Also at this point I was pretty much Jay-Z’d out.

“Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)” — An origin story! I actually think this one is particularly sweet, as far as rap origin stories go.


“Girls, Girls, Girls” — Believe it or not, I think the Motley Crue song is less sexist. I think the chorus gets more out of tune every time!

“Song Cry” — This song is boring and has a Madonna-Whore Complex, so I’ll pass, thanks.

“All I Need” — This is about where I started wishing the album would be over.

“Girls, Girls, Girls (Part 2)” — Nope, I don’t like this song any better the second time.


No … but I’m glad Jay-Z’s wife is so much higher on the list than him. I said what I said.

Review #49: Aquemini, Outkast

Review #51: The Great Twenty-Eight, Chuck Berry