by Jay Z
Released: Apr 2003
Like most double albums, Jay-Z's Blueprint 2 needed pruning. This is a more succinct and focused paring down of that album onto one disk. Sure, "Poppin' Tags" is missed, but the album's strongest tracks remain: the VIP seduction of "Excuse Me Miss"; "Meet the Parents'" intricate narrative; the spaghetti ghetto noir of "The Watchers"; and the sugary arrogance of "Hovi Baby." Even with the trim, this is an uneven and, by Jay-Z's standards, mediocre album. Though the hits definitely bang, there's a tossed-off vibe and a lack of cohesion that makes it seem as if Jigga was on cruise control.