(AllHipHop News) September 11, 2019 marked the 18-year-anniversary of one of the most celebrated albums in Hip Hop history. On that date in 2001, the same day as the 9/11 attacks, Jay-Z dropped The Blueprint via Roc-A-Fella Records/Def Jam Recordings.
In celebration of the masterpiece, Def Jam published an article titled "The Blueprint: An Oral History Of Creating A Classic And Releasing It Into The Shadows Of No Towers." The piece featured reflections from Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter associates such as Gimel “Guru” Keaton, Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua, and Lenny “Lenny S” Santiago.
One section focused on Lenny S reminiscing on the infamous battle between Jay-Z and then-rival Nas. The Blueprint hosted the first clearcut diss record in the feud. Hov sent direct shots at Esco on the Kanye West-produced "Takeover." Nas later responded with the scathing "Ether."
"I literally call [Jay] from a payphone. And here we are, Jay’s on the phone with me, convincing me that this has to happen in life. We have to go through ups and downs. We have [to] take losses in order to get greater wins. We have to fall in order to get up," recalled Lenny S. "He just spent 15 minutes convincing me why this was necessary and that it’s alright. This man just took a loss. A public loss to a rival rapper. And he’s convincing me, a young A&R, and obviously his friend and his brother, of like why I need to be okay with this and let it go and not take it to heart."
The current Senior Vice President of Roc Nation continued, "It just taught me as a man how to be a more mature adult. And to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty. Jay took the time when he could have been selfish, or pissed off, and took the time to school me. And that’s from The Blueprint.”
Numerous publications named The Blueprint as one of the greatest albums of the 2000 decade. Rolling Stone listed the LP at #252 on its "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" rankings. In 2013, Jay-Z placed The Blueprint at #2 in his extensive discography behind 1996's Reasonable Doubt.
Jay's sixth studio album also contained the hits "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Song Cry," and "Renegade" featuring Eminem. Earlier this year, The Blueprint was added back to Apple Music after being a Tidal exclusive since 2016.