Deena Smith, Broadside Correspondent

“Please don’t bow in my presence/ how am I a legend?/ I just have 10 number one albums, maybe now 11.”

It may sound premature and just a little cocky, but the preliminary album sales for HOVA’s new album The Blueprint 3 support this speculation.

Sean Carter, better known to the mainstream population as Jay-Z, never ceases to amaze the public or critics with his lyrics and mature musical themes.

Released eight years to the day after his sixth studio album The Blueprint, which marked a historic milestone in Jay’s career, The Blueprint 3 will be serving as a lesson for other artists on how to achieve music that is more than just lyric-deep.

Even though this marks the longest turnaround for Jay-Z, the album hasn’t suffered in any way. The Blueprint 3 opens up with “What We Talkin’ About,” setting the stage for the rest of the album.

The lead in track addresses the lack of meaning in today’s lyrics and the need to reform the rap genre.

“Empire State of Mind” features strong vocals from the fellow New York artist Alicia Keys.

The song shares Jay-Z’s experiences from his home city, describing the everyday activities—both good and bad.

The purpose is to bring awareness to hardships and sacrifices some New Yorkers make. Taking such a strong stance in support of positive reform to a genre that has been straying away from its roots for years—is the reason Jay-Z is one of the greatest rappers in the game right now.

The Blueprint 3 tracks are flooding the radio airwaves and are selling like crazy on iTunes already.

Songs like “Death of Auto Tune (D.O.A)” and “Run this Town Tonight,” feature Jay-Z’s two closest comrades Kanye West and Rihanna.

Fortunately for Jay-Z’s record sales, not all his hits were leaked on to the Internet. Club-bangers like “On to the Next One” featuring the hit producer Swizz Beats, and “Off That,” which features up-and-coming singer and rapper Drake, are destined to be successful.

I won’t delve into all the tracks, but I will say most of them could turn out to be hits. Some critics have said this Blueprint installment pales in comparison to the first, but in my opinion, it is unfair to compare the albums, especially given everything Jay-Z has done since then.

He’s been married, switched record labels and expanded his business ventures. This is not the same Jay-Z and this is not the same Blueprint.

Last Friday, the same day of the album release, Jay-Z gave a concert in his native New York at Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from the concert were donated to the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and the Children’s Benefit Fund, created specifically for extra support for families who lost police officers and firefighters in the 9/11 tragedy.

Jay-Z said during interviews he felt it was important to give back to those who died during the tragedy and that Americans need to “support and honor the families of those that lost their lives in the line of duty.”

Even references to the NYPD and NYFD’s bravery on 9/11 in his track “Thank You,” saying “this is your song, not mine,” exemplify the depths of his passion to bring recognition to an important issue that has been placed on the backburner for years.

Jay-Z fans will realize the greatness of The Blueprint 3 and hip-hop fans will recognize the strong impact this album can have on other rappers.

As Jay-Z warns on one track, “Y’all should be afraid of what I’m gonna do next.”