Next Tuesday, VH1 will celebrate Def Jam’s 25th anniversary with a special edition of Hip Hop Honors. All week long, we’ll commemorate the label with print ads from the past decade. And what better way to kick things off then with Hov’s classic, The Blueprint. I’d bet my bottom dollar the original title was The Ghostwriter.
When the album dropped, I was reluctant to listen. At the time, Nasir had my ear. Eventually, I put biases’ aside and was captivated by the production and Jay’s wizardry. I still feel “Lyrical Exercise” doesn’t get enough cred. Eight years and two sequels later, The Blueprint still serves as one of the game’s best templates.