On the same day that the Twin Towers fell in a horrific attack on his home state, rapper Jay-Z dropped what would ultimately become the most important album of his career: The Blueprint.
The 13-track album featured huge hits like “Izzo,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and “Song Cry.” There is much debate about which of Hov’s albums are considered a classic, but The Blueprint is universally held as Hov’s best work and one of the best albums in the history of hip-hop. Jay sold two million copies of The Blueprint and the album went double platinum.
Because of its “cultural and historic importance to the American soundscape,” the Library of Congress has chosen to archive The Blueprint along with other songs and speeches that have helped shape the landscape of Americana.
“The National Recording Registry honors the music that enriches our souls, the voices that tell our stories, and the sounds that mirror our lives. The Library of Congress and its many collaborators are working to preserve these sounds and moments in time, which reflect our past, present and future,” said Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden.
The Blueprint isn’t just Hov’s best album, but it was a coming out party of sorts for budding producers Just Blaze and Kanye West. The two produced seven of the 13 tracks, including “U Don’t Know” (Blaze) and the epic diss track, “Takeover” (West).
Music from Earth, Wind and Fire, Curtis Mayfield and Nina Simone were also selected to be archived this year.