The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse

The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse

by Jay-Z


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It was only a matter of time before Jay-Z dropped a double disc. Fortunately for his fans, like a fine wine, the Brooklyn rapper seems to get better with time. Although it makes a few missteps, the sequel to 2001's critically hailed The Blueprint features some of the hottest joints of the Jigga Man's career. The album's first and overall weaker disc, subtitled The Gift, comes off a little like hip-hop karaoke, as Hova gratuitously cops material from 2Pac (" '03 Bonnie & Clyde," featuring Beyoncé Knowles), Dr. Dre ("The Watcher 2," featuring Rakim, Truth Hurts, and the Doc himself), Digital Underground ("All Around the World"), and the Notorious B.I.G. ("A Dream," featuring Big's widow, Faith Evans). But it isn't totally a derivative dud. "The Bounce" is yet another grade-A, Timbaland-Hova collaboration, and Jay perfects his Dirty South flow alongside Big Boi from OutKast and other members of the Dungeon Family clique on "Poppin' Tags." It's on Disc 2, The Curse, however, that Jay picks up steam. He indulges his rock jones on the Heavy D–produced "Guns & Roses," featuring Lenny Kravitz singing and playing on the guitar hook, and tries to score heaven points by admitting to random acts of charity for Columbine and 9/11 on "Some People Hate." The Curse ends with the live-sounding, Neptunes-produced "A Ballad for a Fallen Soldier," where Jay waxes poetic about the parallels between the lives of a soldier and a hustler. Although it would have been a better single disc, The Blueprint 2 solidifies the foundation of Jay-Z's now-sprawling hip-hop empire.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/12/2002
Label: Roc-A-Fella
UPC: 0044006338125
catalogNumber: 063381
Rank: 10080

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jay-Z   Primary Artist
Debra Killings   Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Christian Love   Vocals
Mike Elizondo   Guitar,Keyboards
Terri   Background Vocals
Camara Kambon   Keyboards
Marc Dorsey   Vocals
Eric Johnson   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
J. Smith   scratching
Sleepy Brown   Vocals
LaToiya Williams   Vocals
Truth Hurts   Background Vocals
Raje Shwari   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Christy Love   Vocals
Michelle Rosario   Vocals
Christy Love   Vocals
Scott Storch   fender rhodes

Technical Credits

Smokey Robinson   Composer
Bobby Russell   Composer
Dr. Dre   Producer
Sean "Puffy" Combs   Composer
James Mtume   Composer
Richard Travali   Engineer
Delroy Wilson   Composer
John McCrea   Composer
Jimmy Douglas   Engineer
Timbaland   Producer
Mike Ging   Engineer
Pharrell Williams   Composer
Damon Dash   Executive Producer
Shawn Carter   Composer,Executive Producer
Jean Claude "Poke" Olivier   Composer
Neptunes   Producer
Kanye West   Composer,Producer
Chad Hugo   Composer
Christopher Wallace   Composer
Kareem "Biggs" Burke   Executive Producer
Darrell Branch   Producer
Eric Johnson   Instrumentation
J. Smith   Producer,Instrumentation
Superfly   Engineer
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
Heavy D   Producer
Denaun Porter   Composer
Shane "Bermy" Woodley   Engineer
David Maurice   Engineer
Big Chuck   Producer
D. Branch   Composer
E. Del Barrio   Composer
D. Harper   Composer
C. Francois   Composer
C. Simmons   Composer
K. Johnson   Composer
V. White   Composer
M. White   Composer
D. Grant   Composer
E. Hawkins   Composer
D. Meyers   Composer
J. Jefferson   Composer
B. Hawes   Composer
Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton   Engineer
Theron Feemster   Producer

Customer Reviews

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The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
How they propose to deal with my perfect present? When I unwrap "The Gift & the Curse" in one session Ain't no livin person can test him Only two restin in heaven can be mentioned in the same breath as him Seven straight summers, critics might not admit it But nobody in rap did it, quite like I did it If you did it I done it before, you get I had it Got mad at it and don't want it no more Jay has done it again
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Blueprint 2 is TIGHT!! You can't deny Jay this time, he followed up the Blueprint perfectly. He surprised me with such a good double album(most arent that good). I like all the different styles he touched, he even did a song with Lenny Kravitz, Guns n Roses. You can say what you want about all the geust appearances, but I think Jay is at a level where he cant go any higher and its tight that he is giving some spotlight to other members of the Roc. My favorite songs are "Poppin Tags", "Hovi Baby", "I did it my way", and "Diamond Is Forever". "A Dream" is a classic and i really liked the Bonus tracks. He really shows his lyrical talent with Ballad for the Fallen Soldier and Meet the Parents. Only thing i dont like is him comparing himself to Jesus and God, but he is at the top of the game with Eminem. Blueprint 2 is a hands-down classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got every album and really listen to them...I maintain arguements and win. during times of hardships i listen harder tryin to find out things in life that come through the songs i hear. the gift and the curse is how i feel... soft on one side but hard on the other...Truly the Gansta and A gentalman...holla front
Guest More than 1 year ago
Best Cd Ever! Jay-Z is a monster YO! This album should easily get 5 mics in the source! The Best part of this cd is that it has 25 tracks, not a normal 13, im feelin the numerous tracks, it's risky, but Jay knows what he's doing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay Z has done it again. Many said that Jay couldn't top the Blueprint, but Blueprint 2 is just as good if not better. Trust me, you're listening to a true Jay Z fan and I can recognize the real fromt the fake and Jay has done it, just staking his claim as the King of Hip/Hop. Make sure to check out tracks like Excuse Me Miss, I did it My Way, Blueprint 2, The Watcher 2, Guns and Roses and of course Show You. The lyrically genius is still number 1...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z once said Nas had a spark when he started but now he's just garbage. Well Jigga must have been forecasting his own future because that's almost where he's at himself. What happened to the man that gave us Reasonable Doubt and even Blueprint 1? If Blueprint 2 is a great album, like all the reviews I've read, then it's great on the strength of its sound and not its lyrics. If we start judging hip hop albums as great by sound alone, then hip hop is dead as a genre of music. This album is really oversampled and relies too much on the same old cliches. If Jigga is king then it's only because the rap industry is jumbled with garbage rappers. Remember, a one-eyed man is king in a city of the blind!!! Holla
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was pleased to listen to this album. I thought Jay might finally take a fall on this CD (because it a double...we all know how doubles are...hit and miss...most miss) after all other other good albums he has put out. Actually I wouldn't be surprised to see him get another 5 mics for this album. He has taken a chance with the overall sound direction and guests on this one instead of sticking to the same exact formula from the Blueprint. Of course Jay-Z haters aren't going to say that but... Ok, the hot stuff. "Excuse Me Miss" is going to have to be a single. It's tight although it shares some stylistic elements from "Luv U Better." "The Bounce" is hot also. Timbo brings it as usual. "I did it My Way" is kinda different, but it is catchy. He drops a little behind the scenes industry info for yall. Those are MY highlights from the first CD (this does not mean that the others song suck. They are all good except for "'03 Bonnie & Clyde"...hated it!) On CD 2, it starts off on FIRE! "Diamond is Forever" says it all. The Roc is it. "Guns and Roses" is another hot one. I know some of you say it performed live on SNL. Heavy D surprised me on this one. "U Don't Know (remix)" introducing MOP to the record label is extremely hot. Every verse is bringing that heat. Jay might get a hip-hop quotable for his verse on that song. "Some How Some Way" is Jay's usual somber track on the album (fittingly since this is on "The Curse" CD). He, Beanie, and Scarface sound pretty good together. Don't be surprised if they form a group together. They are just that good. After this, you have "Ni@@a Please" which is outright dope. That and "How you Do This" is Jay-Z at his arrogant best. "Blueprint 2" (more Nas dissing) and "As One" are filler songs. "A Ballad for the Fallen Soldier" and "Bi$%#es and Sisters" (guaranteed to start controversy) round out the best songs on the album. The one thing people will notice is that he borrows a few words here and there from (of course) Biggie, Tupac, and others, most surprisingly, Mobb Deep. Overall, I would give this album a 4.5. I wish would have included that "Ain't No Half-Steppin" remake he supposedly did and some of the diss songs (against Nas and Jaz-O he has recorded. He could have put them on "The Curse" CD as extra, unlisted, hidden tracks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best rap cd out since BluePrint. This is a classic. End of story!!! The first track The Dream kills any song out right now by any artist!!!! No one can come close to topping that joint.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the album is tight it is jay-z you know what I mean, but I think Jay should of got swizz beatz to lace him with a couple of tracks and thats just real because a album ain't an album if ain't got swizz on it. Now if he had some swizz on there you know it probably would have been a classic, but I still love the album I'm just saying that it should of had some swizz on it. You know that Funk! Although, I got to give much respect to the Guns and Roses track with Lenny Kravitz that's some classic type hip hop right there! "life is all about guns and roses" "It's the roc" holla p.s. Jay needs to holla at my brotha swizz to do some remixes or something.
Guest More than 1 year ago
like he said if u dun it he did it b 4. jay is interesting and he is easy to understand not sayin that his lyrics are is..very much so..but unlike nas he doesn't try to sound intelligent or deep.. he does what come natuarally! i feel on first listen that this album was weak, but after listenin to it again and a 3rd time i must say i am throughly impressed..he does not stick to the script.. he uses rock.. the man used frank sinatra song.. i woulda like it more if it was frank.. but anyway.. he also uses the clint eastwood theme from a western.. who picked up on that.. that was just sick.. this cd is off da hizzle.. and may i say another classic.. who did it like this for this long.. he needs to be named the king of rap .. like how mr. jackson is the king of pop!! i have all 7 of jay's studio albums and 3 of nas' so i know who's betta!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The entire CD is on point, he works with alot of different beats and samples some familiar tracks. The lyrics are ambigous and makes one think about alot of situations. The only dislike I have is that he has alot of guest appearances on this cut. But, all in all....Great CD!!! He did it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay the albums his hot especially the Curse Jay cockiness goes on the the Gift with tracks like I Did it my Way comparing his crew to the Rat Pack, Hovi Baby with a sharp catchy hook with a teiffic flow, Excuse Miss and nice and subtle club damce song for the LADIES, and countless other tracks. On the Curse thats when Jay proved he still has the crown with tracks like Meet the Parent, Blueprint 2, Guns and Roses, Some How Some Way, Diamonds is Forever, A Ballad for the Fallen Solider and countless other songs and add to that the 3 bonus tracks. JAY Z you'll always be king
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z has seen better days lyrically. The lyrics on this album are dull for the most part and the songs really succeed from the guests and the beats. "The Dream" is a classic hip-hop tribute song, dedicated to Notorious B.I.G. and even featuring his first verse from the legendary "Juicy". "The Watcher 2" is another great song that Jay seems to be lyrically an A on his lengthy verse and Dr. Dre and Rakim both deliver excellant follow up verses. "03 Bonnie & Clyde" is a robbery from 2Pac's "Me & My Girfriend", but both versions seem to be good to me. "What They Gonna Do" is a kinda reggaeish club song that only survives because of the chorus, beat, and Sean Paul's parts. "The Bounce" is a great club song as is "Poppin Tags"(which features Twista, Killer Mike, and Big Boi). Now the 2nd disk is a lil better, but not by much. The opening song "Diamond Is Forever" succeeds from good rhymes and a great beat. "Guns & Roses" is a good song with Lenny Kravitz and "Meet The Parents" is a sad story song that tends to get a little hard to follow at times. "Some People Hate" is a good song with a good beat and a great chorus. "Blueprint 2" is a good song with a great beat and okay rhymes. "A Ballad For A Fallen Soldier" is a good song, but sounds out of place for a reason. "B****** & Sisters" is also an okay song. Besides these mentioned songs, the album isn't very good. Luckily, Jay gave us "The Black Album", which is alot better then this one. Still you should get this, just don't expect a classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd has fallen further into the world of pop than this hip hop head can handle. Take a listen to jay z's first album, you'll wonder what happened to this guy too. Not bad overall, but like a bad movie from al pacino, it can't be thaaat bad...
Guest More than 1 year ago
"I had a dream i said, bout who he said, bout big i said, thats big he said , dig what he said , proceed he said , indeed i said , so breathe i did , dont repeat what i say i said , he said nuthin , he agreed with his head , he just nodded like this , i believed it to be a yes , i repeated what was said , it came to me like a - last evening i said ,still playboy whats the greeting he said , first thing i wanted to know was the reason he was dead , mo money mo problems , better believe it he said , careful what you wish for , might receive it he said , i see said , jealusy i said , got the whole industry mad at me i said ,but B I said hov remind yourself , nobodys built like you , you design yourself , i agree i said , my one of a kind self , get stoned everyday like jesus did , but he said i said has been said before , just keep doin your thing , SAY NO MORE . This is the greatest CD ever , Noone comes close to Jay-z anymore , he is the greatest MC alive , if not ever. Jay goes so many places weve never seen him go to on this album , stellar production combined with hovs genious on the mic give him his second classic in row .
Guest More than 1 year ago
Did he rush this album in two weeks, like Ja Rule's "The Last Temptation"? This album was not good. Even the dance songs were un-feelable. The Lenny Kravitz song was terrible, and his samples were bad. Not even M.O.P. couldn't lend a hint of originality, flavor, or enthusiasm. I guess you can tell how good/bad the album is going to be by the first single. It is, sadly, was the remake of Tupac's classic. The guy has to resort to copy-catting. The "battle" between him and Nas may have brought the best out of Nas, but it did not have the same effect on Jay-Z. In contrast, it has showed that regardless of his hip hop witicisms, he's still a lazy lyricist. His skills have diminished overtime. As hip hop music has now turned into mindless, MTV- (c)rap, you can see how the decadence has had its effects on your favorite rappers. With the exception of the Wu-Tang clan members and Eminem, everyone is compromising themselves to fit in, stay in the game, and essentially SELL OUT. To be honest, I was amazed at Jay-Z's cockiness. He called himself the "revolutionary Che Guevara" (which he couldn't even pronounce correctly). He's NOT Jehovah nor Che Guevara, and no matter how many shirts he has with the martyr's face (with his platinum chain dangling infront of Guevara's face, which I see as a huge disrespect), he could never compare to ANY hero, GOD, deity, so on and so forth. The songs, like this review, are all over the place. Jay-Z may have brought in a bevy of producers for his two-disc "effort", but because of this, there is no absolute style nor feeling to the album. There are way too many guest appearances for my taste. Contrary to popular belief, Jay-Z is not the "best at what he does". There are way too many rappers, many of the great MC's being "underground", for Jay-Z to give himself that title. He's simply the most well-known rapper in the game, next to Eminem. And who can argue that Eminem isn't better than Jay-Z? No one. Jay-Z was dethroned, but it wasn't his enemies' doing. It was actually his weak lyrics that did it and his cockiness. The reason rappers take aim at him is because he's not the best. He's just the self-professed best. No matter what his record sales are, he has lost all respect. The jig(ga) is definitely up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This C.D is fire. You would think since he has a double disc that he might slack a little but he didn't each song is just as good as the 1 before. "Meet the Parents" that was jus 2 deep. And "Gunz and Roses" fire now thats some lyrical content 4 ya!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this cd is so cool the beats are cool and his lyrics are way tight, THis cd is good. Specially the song with dr dre
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's hot as usual, we can't stop the unstopable. He did the impossible then he did it 2 (The Blueprint - The Blueprint 2) and this Joint will keep you "Up All Night".
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z is the man he keeps comeing out with better and better cd's people said that he couldn't top Vol 2 hard knock life but gift and the curse is better get the cd now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Eleven months ago Jay-Z informed the world that he would release the follow up to his immediate classic, The Blueprint. Instead following the same plans he throws out the window and creates a completely different BluePrint. The results are pure genious from track to track the vocal style varies and reveals why Jay is head shoulders above 90% of the hip hop industry. The album opens with A Dream an extrordinary piece about an imaginary conversation between Jay and Biggie. Then moves into Hovi Baby,The Watcher 2, Bonnie and Clyde, Excuse Me Miss, What They Gonna Do a series of certified club bangers. Diamond is Forever open the second disc and the stylistic extravaganza continues. Reggae, Rock and Bounce are all thrown in the mix and the result is exceptional. When Jay stops to parallel the struggles of a soldier and young street lieutenant he shines brightest. The most mind blowing track from the second disc, is a tale of past sins coming back, to haunt us in the song Meet the Parents. Until other artists are willing to take the risks and match the work ethic Jay-Z will remain victorious. Nas put that in your blunt and smoke it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
As one of Jay-Z's biggest fans I was disappointed with The Blueprint2: The Gift and the Curse. My main problem with the CD isn't the quantity of songs it's the quality. This could have easily been one of the best albums of the year had it been condensed to one disc. If "All around the World" had been eliminated from disc one it would have had a nicer flow to it. But after hitting that bump it sorta kills the rhythm that the first disc had going. Disc two could have been more focused on lyrics and harder beats. My next complaint is that a majority of these songs are rereleases of previously heard tracks. The first track lifts an entire verse from the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy". It wasn't really even necessary, as Jay could have easily created a flow about similarities between him and Big. This is followed by "'03 Bonnie and Clyde" completely lifting Tupac's "If You Were My Girlfriend". Then we get a rehash of "U Don't Know", which is great with M.O.P. but it lacks originality. This is immediatly followed by "Meet the Parents" in which Jay tries his hand at storytelling, (Nas does it better)but uses the exact same beat he used on "Lyrical Exercise"(Breathe Easy) from the Blueprint. "2 Many Hoes" is good but it was also good when Mase released it and it was a Neptunes produced track. And lastly the horrible "As One" which P. Diddy already sampled the beat from Earth, Wind and Fire, is redone on this disc and sadly, Puffy did it better with Bizzy Bone. The bright spots on the album comes when Jay-Z gets creative without the help of any of his guests. And that's about 75% of the album so it's a pretty decent album. I'll it give 3 Stars but it's lacking compared to the Blueprint.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We never thought Jigga could top Reasonable Doubt and last year he did with the instant classic The Blueprint. So, I am not surprised that he has now topped the Blueprint as well. Jay-Z is one of those artist that we are going to be old and listening to like when our parents where listening to Marvin Gaye and Al Green. He is truly the greatest rapper of our time and with this album he has blessed us once again. The first track A Dream with Faith Evans and Biggie was off the chain. I am so glad someone actually put the origional artist on their record instead of just stealing their beats (sorry Murder Inc.). Thanks Jigga for another classic album and I speak for all hip-hop fans when I say, what's next?