Why Jay-Z’s Music Still Mattered On 9/11
It’s been ten years since one of the nation’s biggest tragedies struck and stopped the world on the morning of September 11th. Coincidentally that date back in 2001 was also the day that Jay-Z released his sixth album, The Blueprint.
The LP was surrounded by controversy because of the escalated beef with Nas, the single “Izzo” and the soulful sound that marked a change in the hip-hop industry.
Selling an outstanding 420,000 copies in its first week during a time of declining sales and national panic, The Blueprint silenced critics and surprised the world.
CNN featured an article about the success of the album that introduced Kanye West and Just Blaze and defeated the odds.
Tricia Rose, a professor at Brown University and author of “The Hip Hop Wars” wrote that the reason for Jay’s sixth release doing so well was the fact that young people respond differently to the country’s tragedies.
Bob Dylan’s Love and Theft and Mariah Carey’s Glitter also dropped that day but given the older fan base of those artists, a trip to the store was not as likely as the supporters of Hov.
“There was a lot of confusion and definitely an unsettled feeling, but New York, at least this area, was still functioning,” said Daniel Givens, a buyer for Other Music, a Brooklyn record store located about a mile from where the World Trade Center stood.
Add the fact that The Blueprint was one of the first major albums available for digital download on the new iTunes and you have a whopping first week that led to 2 million copies sold.
Fabolous debuted his first album that same day and sold 143,000 copies in one week with Ghetto Fabolous which proved that rap fans were still out getting their fix.
According to media professor Aaron Sachs, “Hip-hop heads (fans) have a different kind of relationship to music than fans of other genre…Being a hip-hop head means purchasing albums no matter what else is going on in your life or the world, especially an album as hot and highly anticipated as ‘The Blueprint’ was.”
Did you go out and cop Hov’s masterpiece that week the Towers fell?