If at first you don't succeed, try again. It seems as if Jay-z has taken this phrase to heart, as the lukewarm results from his highly anticipated "Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse" drove him to re-release the album in the format many wished he would have suck with in the beginning. While "The Blueprint 2" was either loved or hated, most agreed if the album was cut down to one disc the turn out would have been much better. Realizing this mistake it seems, Jay decided to release "The Blueprint 2.1" a cut down version of 12 tracks and two newly included bonus tracks.
While the "Blueprint 2.1" is cut down to a 12 tracks, the choice of songs from Jay-z or Roc-A-Fella Records has to make you scratch your head. While Jay planned to redo his mistakes from the original album, with the "Blueprint 2.1" all Jay-z has done is made the album worse.
Jay included the standout tracks of "A Dream", an ode to the late great Notorious B.I.G., "The Watcher 2" featuring Rakim & Dr. Dre, "U Don't Know Remix" featuring M.O.P. and the amazing tales of "Meet The Parents". But failed to include, to everyone's surprise are the vintage Jay sounds of "I Did It My Way", the southern classic of "Poppin Tags" featuring Twista, Killa Mike & Big Boi & the Kanye West produced "Some People Hate". Even tracks such as "Diamond Is Forever" and the title track "Blueprint 2", no matter the extremely wack hook, would have been nice inclusions. Instead we are thrown some of the worst commercial tracks on the album such as the horrendous "'03 Bonnie & Clyde", the erratic Just Blaze production of "Hovi Baby" and one of the worst tracks of them all "What They Gonna Do Part II". Also included are "All Around The World", "The Bounce" & "Excuse Me Miss", all of which are solid tracks, but not Jay at his best.
While one can argue all day about what the tracklisting for the "Blueprint 2.1" was supposed to look like, overall it's a good album, but not on the level of the original. While the original "Blueprint 2" has its flaws, overall it was still a great album. With the "Blueprint 2.1" you get a nice collectors edition for Jay-z fans, but not an album worth the admission, no matter the two bonus tracks "Excuse Me Miss Again", which is a nice Neptune's produced club banger, and "Stop", another horrific Swizz Beatz, Jay-z collabo. If you are a die-hard Jay-z fan, the "Blueprint 2.1" will be a nice addition to your Jigga man collection. But in the end we all have to wonder, "what could have been", if Jay actually delivered the album we all expected with the "Blueprint 2.1".