Blueprint - Blueprint Who
Record Label: Weightless Recordings
Release Date: September 8th, 2010
Columbus rapper and producer Blueprint is a hidden gem. From his various projects, including Soul Position with producer RJD2 and Greenhouse Effect with fellow artist Illogic, to his solo outings on Rhymesayers and Weightless Records, this is most definitely an artist constantly on the verge of blowing up. He may not be a big name in the mainstream scene, but his ridiculous talents are definitely deserving of more attention. Blueprint is the complete package; a lyricist-turned-producer-turned-lyricist-again that excels in both areas equally. His next full-length album, Adventures in Counter-Culture, is set to be released on the Rhymesayers Entertainment label sometime in 2011. But, he recently released a five-track EP titled Blueprint Who at a “pay what you want" price to tide fans over until then.
How is it?
In short: pretty good. Every song on the short EP samples classics from The Who, from “Baba O'Riley” to “Pinball Wizard,” as well as clips from interviews the members have given over the years. The EP opens with the title track “Blueprint Who” and a decent sampling of The Who live. Blueprint showcases his flow in a short, one verse song about what makes him unique. The production combines a simple drum beat as well as heavily distorted guitar riffs, but unfortunately comes off as a little boring and uninspired. While the backing music technically does its job, it's nowhere close to what Blueprint is capable of.
That theme continues on through the rest of Blueprint Who. Lyrically, it's an intense and rolling project. The production is not much to write home about, but this only helps to showcase Blueprint's rhythm and vocal capabilities. The one exception to this pattern is the final track, “Pain.” Exceptional beats driven by The Who's classic organs and heavy guitar chord punctuation both serve to create a track that doesn't just ask you to listen, but beats down the door and demands to be heard. Combine this with an amazing appearance by Illogic and deep lyrics about turning pain into productive energy and you have, hands down, the EP's best track.
Blueprint Who is a lop-sided exhibition of Blueprint's wide array of talents. From a vocal and lyric standpoint, Blueprint is at his best. Never once do any of his lines feel awkward or forced, and he does a great job of staying away from the pit of cliches some hip-hop artist plumb for inspiration. The production side of this EP is one of Blueprint's weakest outings. Nothing on Blueprint Who is terrible in any way, but a few of the beats feel awfully unimaginative. That being said, the sampling is great. The Who is one of my favorite classic rock bands, and it was interesting to see how parts of their songs gelled with such a different genre of music. Blueprint is an artist who deserves to be in the spotlight and, because of the passion and perseverance he's exhibited so far, I hope we see him there soon.