The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse

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The Blueprint2: The Gift & the Curse
Studio album by Jay-Z
Released November 12, 2002
Recorded December 2001 – September 2002
Genre Hip hop
Length 53:28 (The Gift)
58:47 (The Curse)
1:52:15 (Total)
Label Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Producer Darrell "Digga" Branch, Just Blaze, Kanye West, Timbaland, The Neptunes, No I.D., Charlemagne, Big Chuck, Ron Feennster, Heavy D, Jimmy Kendrick, Dr. Dre
Jay-Z chronology
The Blueprint
The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse
The Black Album
Singles from The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse
  1. "'03 Bonnie & Clyde"
    Released: October 24, 2002
  2. "Hovi Baby"
    Released: November 12, 2002
  3. "Excuse Me Miss"
    Released: February 4, 2003
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 64/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club (favorable)[3]
Entertainment Weekly (C)[4]
NME (8/10)[5]
Pitchfork Media (7.5/10)[6]
PopMatters (mixed)[7]
RapReviews (8.5/10)[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
Spin 4.5/5 stars[10]
Village Voice (favorable)[11]

The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse is the seventh studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released on November 12, 2002. The album serves as the sequel to his sixth album The Blueprint. Parts of the album were later reissued as The Blueprint 2.1 in 2003.

This album, like Jay-Z's previous four, debuted at #1 with over 545,000 units shipped in its first week of sales, and has sold 2,117,000 units as of February 2012 in the U.S.[12]


Production for the album began three months after Jay-Z's critically acclaimed and commercially successful sixth studio album The Blueprint and also around the time when the rapper had just turned 32 years old. Production was handled primarily by Just Blaze and Kanye West - both of whom had recently established themselves as both of one of hip-hop's most celebrated producers due to the success of The Blueprint -, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (also known as The Neptunes), and Timbaland, while other producers include No I.D., Darrell "Digga" Branch, Charlemagne, Big Chuck, Dr. Dre, Jimmy Kendrick, Heavy D, and Ron Fennster. The album, unlike The Blueprint which almost devoided guest appearances, features a majority of feature guest appearances, even out-of-genre artists that include Lenny Kravitz and Sean Paul, and guests include West Coast rapper and producer Dr. Dre, Rakim, Beyoncé, Beanie Sigel, Scarface, etc. The album also includes an uncredited verse from Kanye West, who produced many of the album's tracks, on the Timbaland-produced track "The Bounce". Pharrell also provides vocals and hooks of many of his produced tracks, for example "Excuse Me Miss" and "Nigga Please". Though the album has no strict concept, the album contains two discs. The first disc entitled "The Gift" features mainstream, pop-oriented music that three of its singles had achieved commercial success. The second disc entitled "The Curse" contains dark, emotional, and bravado street songs such as the dark-toned retelling of "Meet the Parents", the emotional substance of escaping the dangerous ghetto in "Some How Some Way", the Nas-diss "Blueprint 2", and the bravado "Nigga Please".


The album received mixed to mostly positive reviews from critics. Critics applauded the album for its production -- mostly aimed at Kanye West, Just Blaze, and The Neptunes -- as well as lyricism from Jay-Z and blend of mainstream rap music and dark street rap while critics criticized the large amount of guest artists and pop-oriented sound.

Track listing[edit]

Disc one: The Gift
No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "A Dream" (featuring Faith Evans & The Notorious B.I.G.) Kanye West 4:12
2. "Hovi Baby"   Just Blaze 4:21
3. "The Watcher 2" (featuring Dr. Dre, Rakim & Truth Hurts) Dr. Dre, Scott Storch 5:57
4. "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" (featuring Beyoncé) Kanye West 3:25
5. "Excuse Me Miss" (featuring Pharrell) The Neptunes 4:41
6. "What They Gonna Do" (featuring Sean Paul) Timbaland 4:53
7. "All Around the World" (featuring LaToiya Williams) No I.D. 3:52
8. "Poppin' Tags" (featuring Killer Mike, Twista & Big Boi) Kanye West 6:00
9. "Fuck All Nite" (featuring Pharrell) The Neptunes 4:19
10. "The Bounce" (featuring Kanye West) Timbaland 4:18
11. "I Did It My Way"   Jimi Kendrick, Big Chuck 3:42
Disc two: The Curse
No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Diamond Is Forever"   Big Chuck, Ron Feemster 3:55
2. "Guns & Roses" (featuring Lenny Kravitz) Heavy D 4:25
3. "U Don't Know (Remix)" (featuring M.O.P.) Just Blaze 4:27
4. "Meet the Parents"   Just Blaze 4:58
5. "Some How Some Way" (featuring Beanie Sigel & Scarface) Just Blaze 5:37
6. "Some People Hate"   Kanye West 4:31
7. "Blueprint 2"   Charlemagne 4:49
8. "Nigga Please" (featuring Young Chris) The Neptunes 4:38
9. "2 Many Hoes"   Timbaland 3:34
10. "As One" (featuring Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Young Gunz, Peedi Crakk, Omillio Sparks & Rell) Just Blaze 3:48
11. "A Ballad for the Fallen Soldier" (featuring Marc Dorsey) The Neptunes 4:42
Bonus tracks
No. Title Producer(s) Length
12. "Show You How"   Just Blaze 2:58
13. "Bitches & Sisters"   Just Blaze 2:38
14. "What They Gonna Do Part II"   Darrell "Digga" Branch 3:47

Chart history[edit]


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[13] 2× Platinum 200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[15] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Chart procession and succession
Preceded by
8 Mile Soundtrack
Billboard 200 number-one album
November 24, 2002 - November 30, 2002
Succeeded by
Up! by Shania Twain

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jay-Z Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2002-11-12. 
  2. ^ The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse at AllMusic
  3. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2002-12-06). "The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse: Jay-Z | Music | MusicalWork Review | The A.V. Club". Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  4. ^ Archived January 25, 2008 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  5. ^ "NME Album Reviews - Jay-Z : The Blueprint 2 : The Gift & The Curse". Nme.Com. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Hill, Marc L. "Jay-Z: Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  8. ^ "Jay-Z :: The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse :: Roc-A-Fella Records". Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ Ryan, Chris (2003-06-24). "Jay-Z, 'The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse' (Roc-a-Fella) | SPIN | Albums | Critical Mass". SPIN. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  11. ^ Nick Catucci (2002-12-31). "Songs in the Key of Z - Page 1 - Music - New York". Village Voice. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  12. ^ Grein, Paul (2012-02-29). "Week Ending Feb. 26, 2012. Albums: Half of the Top 10 | Chart Watch (NEW) - Yahoo! Music". Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  13. ^ "Canadian album certifications – JAY Z – The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse". Music Canada. 
  14. ^ "British album certifications – JAY Z – The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  15. ^ "American album certifications – JAY Z – The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]