Jay Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint is considered by many hip-hop fans and outlets to be one of the best rap albums of its time. USA Todayhailed the album’s production, granting it four stars and saying, “The musical backdrop here is more soulful than before, and Jay-Z’s sentiments have a harder edge.”
The album cemented Jay Z’s place as one of the best rappers of the new millennium. Tracks like “Heart of The City” and “The Takeover”appealed to hip-hop purists, while casual, mainstream fans enjoyed frequent radio play of “Izzo (H.O.V.A).”
The majority of the album’s production had been handled by a then unknown Roc-A-Fella producer named Kanye West. He had signed on to the label some months prior. While he aspired to produce his own rap release, the company had mostly used him for his production prowess until this point.
The story might have unfolded far differently than it did for this young Chicago rapper and producer. Entrepreneurs and businessmen alike can learn the following three lessons from West’s trajectory: [Read more…]