Today in Hip Hop History: September 9, 2009
American rapper, producer and entrepreneur Jay-Z released his 11th studio album, The Blueprint, through his own Roc Nation in 2009. The Blueprint 3 remains the final installment in The Blueprint trilogy, succeeding The Blueprint (2001) and The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse (2002). The album was produced by several different producers, including but not limited to The Inkredibles, Kanye West, The Neptunes, No I.D., Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. It featured appearances from Luke Steele, Rihanna, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Kid CuDi, J. Cole, Pharrell Williams and others.
Majority of the recording took place in Hawaii so that Jay could get away from significantly populated cities and protect his record from being leaked early. It did anyways. The Blueprint 3 contained 6 total singles. The album cover was completely staged and produced by props, rather than created through Photoshop. It consists of several instruments painted stark white, with 3 large red painted parallel bars.
The Blueprint 3 debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with an initial release week sales of 476,000 copies. The album was Jay-Z’s 11th #1 album, breaking his previous record of 10, which he had shared with the late Elvis Presley. Within 4 weeks, The Blueprint 3 sold over 1 million copies and became his 11th RIAA Certified Platinum solo album. The album also received generally favorable critic reviews. The Blueprint 3 adds yet another commercially and critically successful album to his already stacked discography.