The National Recording Registry was established in 2000 with the National Recording Preservation Act. The members of the board are selected by the Library of Congress and is made to preserve sound recordings that are ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States‘
Sounds important, doesn’t it?
Well, it is.
Inside that registry, you have different sounds from the likes of ‘James Brown and The Famous Flames: Live at The Apollo‘ in 1963 to Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ and then Neil Armstrong when he spoke the words ‘the eagle has landed‘ along with many other recordings in our nation’s past. So when it was announced that ‘The Blueprint‘ by legendary rap artist and entrepreneur JAy Z was being included it made for a reason to celebrate.
Depending on who you are and where you come from, ‘The Blueprint’ may have a different meaning to you. To some, it was just great music, to others it may have a been sense of hope after airplanes crushed the city to ashes. Regardless of the reason, it touched a lot of people across this nation and has a special place in music history.
September 11, 2001, won’t be remembered as the day the album was released. It will be remembered as one of the biggest terror attacks since Pearl Harbor to our nation. That morning two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center and brought the city to a halt. Around the same time that planes hit the Towers, ‘The Blueprint’ hit shelves.
With no sales numbers being recorded the week of its release, JAY Z ended up debuting on Billboard with the number one album in the country the week of September 29, beating out Nickleback, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey‘s ‘Glitter‘ soundtrack and Aaliyah‘s posthumous self-titled album.
But the music was timeless in itself. The music still gets played today. Producers like Just Blaze and Kanye West careers were made off of this project. With songs like ‘U Don’t Know‘ and ‘Song Cry,’ it was different moods that set the tone for the album. Bobby Bland‘s ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City‘ was sampled on ‘Heart of the City‘ and was an ode to how music changed in this era. And how can we forget the song that started a rivalry and rap beef that’s still talked about today with the ‘Takeover‘.
The album even brought legendary underground rappers to the mainstream when Jay linked up with Texas rappers UGK for the record ‘Big Pimpin‘. This album not only spoke to the streets that Jay Z called home at one time, but it also spoke to a generation of kids that wouldn’t have had listened to him before the Eminem-assisted ‘Renegade‘.
So from the halls of Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, NY to the project housing buildings in South Central Los Angeles, ‘The Blueprint’ was playing and it was studied. It became a blueprint. Now it’s treasured forever.