So in preparation for the release of the Blueprint 3, I'm going to dedicate a set of posts to Jay. To start things off, I'm going to rank Jay's album covers.
1. Reasonable Doubt
The original cover that started Jay on the path of the smooth gangster-like hustler from the PJ's that has held form to this day. Even better than this cover is the original cd artwork of a 9mm laying in the street. Subsequent releases are plain black with words.
2. The Blueprint
In what is one of the more different of Jay-Z album covers because it isn't a full on frontal assault of Jay's visage, the Blueprint cover shows some artistic merit at least in the photographic sense. The blue theme worked well.
3. American Gangster
This cover is better than the album to me. Even if it isn't like an original idea from Jay or thematically.
4. The Dynasty
I'm not a fan of the bandanna but the Roc sign and the Rocawear chain are working. Then you have the overlay of the word Dynasty. I think this might be the best cover artistically when you look at those additional components but the photo itself is blazay.
5. In My Lifetime: Volume 1
I still think they should have called it heir to the throne, but the basic look of it gives you the Hustler's ambition in a way. No jewels, nice watch and a simple leather jacket.
6. The Black Album
The original idea behind dropping a "black" album was ill. To drop a record with no promotion, but to have people walk by and see a new Jay-Z album and see how many copies it sells is arrogance at it's finest. This, was a good album with an average cover.
7. Kingdom Come
Okay we give you a half a point for the lame hologram. But you lose it for using Red.
8. Volume 3: The Life and Times of S. Carter
My favorite album but a weak cover.
8. Volume 2: The Hard Knock Life
LMAO, I don't even believe you in this one. You're trying too hard Jay.
9. The Blueprint 2
I know they did an entire photo shoot and this is the one they picked? It's like he didn't even make it to wardrobe.