Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jay-Z: The Blueprint [Roc-A-Fella, 2001]
What is it pigs like Jigga say as they spread your legs and accuse you of wanting their money? Lay back and enjoy it? Assuming you don't believe this album is great art or reparation for chattel slavery, that's the way it is with Jay-Z's power pop. His flow is fluent, sure. But his confidence reigns supreme. Likewise his hooks, whether purchased, hired, or just what he was feeling at the time, and his rhymes, whose deepest cleverness is in their apparent effortlessness. Like Star Wars or Windows 95, he unlocks the gate to a luxurious passivity that may not be good for you in the long run but does the trick at the time. A-