Jay-Z Reveals The Blueprint 3 Album Cover

Ever since Jay-Z called off his retirement to get back into the rap game, he has been teasing the idea of doing a threequel to The Blueprint, and even after he announced that he was working on tracks for the album with Kanye West, it still didn't feel real. But now that the release date is closing in, the inevitability of Jigga's second follow-up to his instant classic The Blueprint actually coming out is becoming thrilling. And it's only getting more real: Today, Hova put the album cover up on the front page of his Web site.

It's one of the rapper's more inventive covers, eschewing an image of himself for a piece of conceptual art that features a bunch of instruments (including keyboards, saxophones and French horns) with an overlay of three red bars. Those bars appear again in the top corner of the cover, suggesting that it is going to be some sort of logo for the album.

Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 is set for a release on September 11, eight years to the day after the drop of the original Blueprint. The album will be primarily be produced by Kanye West (whose production style really shone brightly on the first Blueprint and turned him into the most in-demand producer in the hip-hop world) and will feature the already-huge tracks "D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)" and "Run This Town." Also along for the ride are producer No I.D., West protég&233; Mr. Hudson and Brooklyn indie rockers MGMT. Jigga also had himself a triumphant weekend filling in for the Beastie Boys in a headlining slot at the All Points West festival in New Jersey, where he paid tribute to Adam "MCA" Yauch (whose cancer diagnosis derailed their appearance at the fest) and blew through a few Blueprint 3 tunes.