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The Songs on The Blueprint, Ranked

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Today marks 13 years since Jay dropped The Blueprint on the same day that the towers fell. Prompted by the homie Lowkey’s question from earlier about which song people believe is the best on the classic LP, plus our own internal NMC debate, I decided to toss this list together.

This is neither up for debate, nor written in stone: I reserve the right to change this order tomorrow.


1. “Never Change”
2. “U Don’t Know”
3. “Song Cry”
4. “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”
5. “Renegade”
6. “Takeover”
7. “Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)”
8. “Lyrical Excercise”
9. “The Ruler’s Back”
10. “Girls, Girls, Girls Pt. 2”
11. “Girls, Girls, Girls”
12. “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”
13. “All I Need”
14. “Jigga That Nigga”
15. “Hola’ Hovito”

If you feel differently, leave your list in the comments and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.

Previously: Jay-Z’s Albums Ranked


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15 Responses to “The Songs on The Blueprint, Ranked”

  1. charles lee ray Says:

    Co sign Never change. ” If we stayed strong, we can get paper longer than pippens arms”

  2. JDayD21 Says:

    Crazy tough list to make. Wish Lyrical Exercise was higher… That last verse on Hola Hovito makes me wish it wasn’t last

  3. JDayD21 Says:

    switch Song Cry & Heart of the City

  4. MelJoe Says:

    i respect this list for the simple fact this my favorite album ever. but all i need and hola hovito are easily top 8, girlsX3 pt 1 is by far ahead of the second one, and any of the top 9 can be the best on the album. but keep doin lists like these with other classic albums

  5. mike of doom Says:

    seriously the worst list on the internet all week.
    Never Change?!?!!

  6. mike of doom Says:

    1. U Don’t Know
    2. Take Over
    3. Rulers Back
    4. All I Need
    5. Heart of the City
    6. Renegade
    7. Song Cry
    8. Blueprint
    9. Girls Girls Girls 1
    10. Girls Girls Girls 2
    11. Hola Hovito
    12. Never Change
    13. Lyrical Excercise
    14. Izzo
    15 Jigga That Nigga

  7. Sarkastix Says:

    1. U Don’t Know
    2. Girls Girls Girls 1
    3. Lyrical Excercise
    4. All I Need
    5. Heart of the City
    6. Renegade
    7. Take Over
    8. Rulers Back
    9. Blueprint
    10. Izzo
    11. Song Cry
    12. Never Change
    13. Hola Hovito
    14. Girls Girls Girls 2
    15 Jigga That Nigga

  8. Billy Kincaid Says:

    Looking at this list, if 14 and 15 were left off the album, you wouldn’t miss them.

    Not saying that “Jigga That Nigga” and “Hola Hovito” are bad (they aren’t), but those 2 should have been the bonus tracks.

  9. Gabriel Says:

    Izzo oughta’ be higher.

  10. Joey Says:

    Gotta switch Hola Hovita and All I Need. Cosign Never Change at the top spot. Probably my favorite Jay song of all time. The last verse is nothing but quotables. No one agrees with me but Blueprint beats Reasonable Doubt any day.

  11. TheCo!!inB Says:

    *blinks wildly*
    If “Heart of the City” isn’t the first song….I can’t do this with you Eskay. At times i feel like you got the knowledge to back up many a rap argument. Other times I feel like you wear microwaves as fitted caps. No disrespect tho. *daps*

    How is “Never Change” #1? Please respond.

  12. Brandan E. Says:

    why no one has Izzo #1?
    that was the track that set off the anticipation of the album!!
    remember when he 1st performed the track on the BET awards in ’01 the song wasnt even out yet…thats how everybody heard it first!!
    and it set everything off, everybody wanted to get that record!!
    so im goin wit Izzo #1

  13. Stan Says:

    Never Change is simply top 5 Jay EVER. Totally co sign the list.

  14. eskay Says:

    I don’t feel like “Izzo” has held up over the years.

  15. Jimbo Says:

    My personal ranking:

    1. Heart of The City

    2. Song Cry (I might blink and switch this to #1. The issue is that both this and Heart of the City can be considered top 10 greatest rap songs of all time so itz easy to go back and forth on favorites there)

    3. Lyrical Exercise
    4. U Don’t Know
    5. Never Change

    6. Renegade (I could argue it as higher up since I listen to it alot but I’m mad that Jay-Z stole Royce Da 5’9’s spot on the song since Royce is literally the best rapper in the world right now and he’s remained far more consistent than Jay and Em combined. Also this album has very few featured artists which I think makes it much realer and more personal so it doesn’t fit the theme to have eminem doing half of the song. That said it’s a collaboration of two of the best and they were both at their prime (a Jay and Em collaboration today would be terrible))

    7. Blueprint
    8. The Ruler’s Back
    9. Jigga That Nigga
    10. Take Over
    11. All I Need
    12. Girls Girls Girls
    13. Hola Hovito
    14. Girls Girls Girls 2

    15. Izzo (HOVA) (how was this a single? I hit ‘skip’ after 30 seconds of this annoying bullcrap. It really holds the album down)

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