Release date: September 08, 2009
The Blueprint 3 is the eleventh studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released September 8, 2009, on Roc Nation. It is the final installment in The Blueprint trilogy, preceded by The Blueprint (2001) and The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse (2002). Production for the album took place during 2008 to 2009 at several recording studios and was handled by Kanye West, The Neptunes, Jeff Bhasker, Al Shux, Jermone Harmon, No I.D., The Inkredibles, Swizz Beatz, and Timbaland. Jay-Z told Rolling Stone magazine his method of selecting producers: "If Timbaland makes ten great tracks then he produces the album, if Kanye West makes ten great tracks then he produces the album; if he makes three, I'll take three. I let the music dictate the direction." However, the final track listing reveals, that West produced the majority of tracks on the album, and three done by Timbaland.
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 476,000 copies in its first week. It became Jay-Z's eleventh US number-one album, breaking the record he had previously shared with Elvis Presley, and produced five singles that achieved chart success.
The album was the 9th best selling album of 2009 in the U.S., selling over 1.52 million copies in 4 months; the album is now at over 1.86 million sold and still in the Top 30. The Blueprint 3 is the second highest selling hip-hop album of 2009 domestically. Despite being released in 2009, the album was the 7th highest selling Rap Album of 2010 with sales of over 266.000 copies. As of November 2010, after 56 weeks on the Billboard 200, the album has sold 1.935.000 units. It was the 5th Highest selling Rap Album of 2010 according to Billboard.
The Blueprint 3 was ranked the best album of the year by Billboard, and seventh best album of the year by MTV. Rolling Stone named it the fourth best album of 2009 in its year-end list.