The Facts: Debuted No. 1. Double platinum in sales. Received a classic rating in hip hop mags The Source and XXL.
Haters Say: "Em killed you on your own song."
No album in Jay Z’s catalog is more era-defining and sonically influential than The Blueprint. With its release forever linked to the September 11terrorist attacks, the thirteen track opus debuted at No. 1, while changing the scope of hip hop production in the early 2000s. Eschewing the trendy futuristic new millennium beats that were all too popular then, courtesy of Timbaland and The Neptunes, Hova selected a soul-tinged sonic backdrop constructed by two upstart beatmakers, Kanye West and Just Blaze. Though the album only sported two Top 20 singles on the Billboard 100 (“Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Girls, Girls, Girls,”) its hailed by critics for its start to finish impact and remembered by many for the brash diss track “Takeover.” The song marked the beginning of Jay’s epic lyrical clash with Nas, arguably the greatest rap battle of all time. It also featured the Eminem-assisted “Renegade,” which many regard as the first time Jay Z was bested by another MC on a track. Given the historical significance and musical importance it’s easy to see why Jay holds this piece of work in high regard. He changed the course of hip hop on the same day our nation was altered forever.