After listening to Blueprint’s brand new album King No Crown (Weightless), it made me ask something: has he changed? What prompted me to say this? A few things. For one the Printmatic one continues to be one of the most solid rappers out today, and has been this day since I first heard him 14 years ago in the song “Time To Unravel”. It was his verse that made me go “holy shit, who is this?” Ten years ago, I stated his 1988 album was one of the best of 2005 and ten years later, I still feel that way. I’ve enjoyed his work over the years so what made me feel he has changed in any way?
For one, he continues to develop and polish, if not fine tune his matter of speak, which means he does not want to sound exactly the same with every release. He is consistent but on this album he sounds more like someone who could easily be alongside the likes of Talib Kweli. Blueprint’s lyrics continue to be personal and while some of the metaphors can be heard within, it’s less about darting around the issue and being direct and to the point, whether it’s about a relative or his own progression in life. The type of flow I’ve always enjoyed from Blueprint happens in the title track around the 3:14 mark and it made me go yes, and while it is the only part of the album where he does this, it at least showed me he isn’t afraid to do that style that was a big part of what also made Greenhouse Effect great. What works on this album is that he shows more growth and maturity, to let people know where he came from, how traveling is a big part of his life and career and that he isn’t willing to keep himself back in time for anyone.
With a hint of ego and pride, Blueprint says he is more than willing to be the voice of a generation. He should be but the lack of a major label contract has kept him out of the loop. He is someone who not only has something to say for a younger generation but for older fans who simply want to hear the music continue as a vibrant artform that grows along with themselves. He is someone who has always understood how he wants to be heard by continuing to produce his own music, so what you listen to is the creation of the mind of Albert Shepard. Regardless of level of status, Blueprint remains a voice that continues to be a force that never loses its passion, and it’s from the heart that makes him move forward with new stories to share.