Music Portrait | posted 06.04.2011
Blueprint
As if he were exchanged
Blueprint’s first solo album in six years, shows the way of the freestyle champion becoming a serious storyteller. And even musically there’s something new on Adventures in Counter-Culture.
Text Ulf Puntschuh , Photos Skye Rossi
1059-blueprint20111-www.hhv-mag.com

Blueprint is not only known for his enormous freestyle-techniques as MC but also for his eclectic production-work since he first busted on the scene in 1999. But what he serves his fans now, after 6 years of »silence«, is adventurous, even for a mastermind like him. Adventures in Counter-Culture, being his second official solo LP – not including his work with RJD2 as Soul Position – is not exactly treating the ears of common Blueprint fans like they might be expecting. The question here is: Where is old Blueprint with his classy late-80s production and his high level voice?
Well, he is still there somewhere but it is more difficult to find him – because the last six years have not gone by without changes. »I’ve actually put out some smaller EPs over the years while I’ve been working to just refine and perfect the style of music I’m doing now«, tells Albert Sheppard in an Interview we made a couple of days ago. The result of that process is a colorful mix of countless genres with a big part being electronic. »Most of my time was spent learning more about music composition, experimenting with new styles, playing keyboard, and writing melodies and songs.«
Going down this path of musical self-discovery has now lead to Adventures in Counter-Culture and will most likely surprise lots of Blueprint’s waiting fans. If you want to point out remarkable characteristics of the new LP you would have to talk about the enormous influence of electronic elements on the production level. The listener is being smashed by banging synthesizer and keyboard sounds from the first minute on. »I was always interested in electronic music and synths but I didn’t own one until 2006 when I bought my first synthesizer. After that I started experimenting with it and realized just how much potential was there to use it in a hip-hop way. So I decided to go back and start revisiting the original pioneers of electronic music like Kraftwerk and Daft Punk.«

»Most of my time was spent learning more about music composition, experimenting with new styles, playing keyboard, and writing melodies and songs.« (Blueprint) Serious, ciritical, grown-up
To call the album a 100% electronic piece of work, on the other hand, would not come up to it as well because there is much more to discover. †œIt’s a very eclectic record that I think summarizes all the music I have an affection for, electronic being one of them.†
And of course you have no reason to be afraid that Hip Hop gets a raw deal on a Blueprint album. Furthermore Blueprint manages to involve a lot of other genres like rock or folk into his diverse production work.

Lyrically the rapper from Ohio once again shows us his high quality skills. His exact observations and cynic descriptions draw the listener’s attention to society, politics and peoples problems with of modern day life. »Overall my message is that of discovery and learning thru challenging yourself.  Challenge everything you believe or what people tell you, and even challenge what people tell you is supposed to be †ºhip-hop†¹. My message on Adventures applies to society and politics, but it’s also about personal conduct and being an individual.« Grown-up Blueprint is more serious, more critical and more fun. And without devaluing his earlier work, Adventures in Counter-Cultures presents the listener a mature artist who has evolved from a freestyle-champion to a serious storyteller and critic of modern time (musical) culture. »The album is basically the summary of everything that I’ve ever learned about music; and it crosses many boundaries in the process.« And despite all the progress has old Blueprint never really disappeared. If you listen closely he is still there.

Please find Blueprint’s Adventures in Counter-Culture at hhv.de: LP | CD
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