If [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] weren't his own boss, we probably would have gotten [article id="1603222"]The Blueprint 3[/article] a long time ago. Since Hov has been making the record without having to worry about any deadlines or quotas to meet, the long-anticipated project has been taking longer to concoct than even Jay himself wants.
Usually Hov takes a couple of weeks to knock out an album; if he records 15 or 16 songs, the best 13 or 14 go on the album. But B3 has been several months in the making, and a couple of dozen tracks are in the can already.
"I really don't, to be honest for you," Hov said at his "2 Kings" gathering in Arizona over the weekend, when asked about a release date for the album. "If I don't have any time constraints, I'll mess around, I'll never get it done. I'll be [artist id="846"]Axl Rose[/artist] out here! It'll be 12 years later and we'll be talking about [article id="1595991"]Chinese Democracy.[/article] I really like the [time constraints]. But whatever happens, [the album] may turn out better, 'cause it'll be done when it's right."
[artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] — who has produced [article id="1605128"]most if not all of the album's tracks[/article] so far — said he only needs to give four or so more beats for Jigga to work his blue magic over. (Kanye also explained the [article id="1605130"]"Jockin' Jay-Z" sample[/article].)
"I made a bunch of songs," Jay said. "We're gonna get in the studio and get down to what's supposed to be on the album and when. Right now, Kanye is making a new batch of music that's going to be phenomenal, and at the end of the day, when it's ready for the people, then we'll serve it up."
On Saturday, Jay was in Scottsdale hosting his third annual [article id="1605230"]"2 Kings" dinner and afterparty[/article], presented by Sprite Green. Cleveland Cavaliers star (and Hov's friend) LeBron James was the co-host for the mixer, which brought together executives from major corporations, rappers such as Young Jeezy and Busta Rhymes, athletes including Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Shaquille O'Neal and stars from other genres of entertainment like Spike Lee and Chris Tucker.
Jay told MTV News that James is one of the few people who've heard the in-progress Blueprint 3, and that he welcomes any criticism his NBA All-Star homie brings.
"He listens to lyrics so he picks up on things early," Jay said of James. "I welcome that from anyone. Anyone who makes it in the room, their opinion is valued. But him being my brother and all, he picks up on lyrics, so I'm always anxious to hear his opinions on what I'm making."
"He does the same thing to me," James offered about the constructive criticism Jay gives him about his game. "If I'm out there not getting enough rebounds, or missing too many free throws, he lets me know about it."