Can I get a…free listen to the new Jay-Z album? Why yes, yes you can.

2 Sep

Listen to Jay’s new album, The Blueprint 3, before it drops on 09/11/09 (also the 8-year anniversary of the release of the original Blueprint).  The first two singles have already hit rotation (“D.O.A.”and “We Run This Town”).  Nearly every track features a guest artist, among them Kanye, Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Drake, Swizz Beatz, Young Jeezy, and Pharell.  Through one casual listen, my standouts from non-released singles include the opening track “What We Talkin About”, with a smooth early-90’s-era electro-contemporary beat and “Hate”, a cocky back-and-forth with Kanye brushing off the inevitable haters the two superstars have to deal with at this point in their careers.

The rest of the album is a bit hit and miss, a collection of duets of questionable necessity wrapped in alternating Kanye-soul or Kanye-spazed-out beats.  Less disappointing is Jay’s unwavering swagger on nearly every track.  It’s clear he’s settled nicely into his role as CEO of the hip-hop game and his bravado alone carries some of the weaker tracks, reinforcing the fact that many of the featured artists don’t lend any memorable presence to their respective tracks.  Overall, not in the top half of his catalog, but after his #45 Jordan-esque return from retirement, we should feel lucky we get to see an all-time great back in the game.

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