The Ecstasy of the Blueprint 2

Submitted by MCalibur on July 29th, 2009 at 10:54 PM

This is a drastic departure from my previous diary entry (thanks for the all the love btw) but an item on the message board this evening piqued my interest and sent some of my right-brain synapses firing.


The answer to MMBhorn's question is Big Boutros' suggestion: The Ecstasy of Gold.


While it's not a "jump around" type song, it's perfect for specific situations such as second half kick off or key second half defensive series (ala Iowa '97). The song has a mountain of intensity behind it for fans to get amped up and scream their asses off and for players to get hocked up on adrenaline and unleash some Barwis-esque fury at some poor unfortunate on the opposition.


There's also actually a football tie-in for this song. It was featured in a Nike Football commercial a year or two ago with Troy Polamalu and LaDainian Tomlinson:


Additionally, there's a hip-hop connection; Jay-Z used it in a track on 2002's Blueprint 2. The track was also called Blueprint 2 and was on the second disc (hmmm, the number 2 comes up again and again weird...). While this isn't a reason for consideration per se, it does at least provide something current for the student section and players alike to relate to.


Finally and most importantly, while the lyrics and song aren't Jay-Z's finest there are many lyrics that could be forged into descriptors and anthems for the past/current/future state of Michigan Football once you absract the subjects and/or objects in the phrases. Gems like: 


"Y'all and your articles, hard to spit at Jay

Y'all from afar threw darts my way

What you thought, I would naught have nothing to say? Nope!



"And now you'se can't leave

You opened the door dog, I'm at you annually"



"It's time to wake up the dead

You sound a little naive in them articles that I read"



"I've been real all my life, they confuse it with conceit

Since I will not lose, they try to help him cheat

But I will not lose, for even in defeat

There's a valuable lesson learned, so it evens it up for me"



"When the grass is cut, the snakes will show..."



"I'm back before you had a chance to miss me

ma' can't save you this time, n***** is history..."



"I won't rest till you on one knee

You want war then war's gonna be..."


Not to mention the many overtones of the title: Blueprint 2. C'mon, it's too perfect...


Now, obviously an all out rap song (a dis no less) will have many stone cold traditionalists in the Michigan community all up in a tizzy. That's what makes  'The Ecstasy of Gold' such a perfect basis: it provides a link from the old to the new. It has passion; It has swagger; and the music provides a perfect fit for the musicianship and sound of the Michigan Marching Band. This must happen.


(God I'm so ready for some Michigan football)



July 29th, 2009 at 11:05 PM ^

Jay-Z is the man. It's a shame his more recent stuff isn't of the same quality as his early stuff a la Reasonable Doubt. I hope Blueprint 3 marks a return to the beginning.


July 29th, 2009 at 11:19 PM ^

How about 99 problems but a BLANK ain't one. Fill in the blank with Lil' Bro, Buck, boiler, get the point......will be tough for the longer team names.


July 31st, 2009 at 2:38 PM ^

Heard of Nas... he's being called out in this particular song being referenced. Listen to what Jay says about him and tell me you don't agree? For example:

"They call me this misogynist, but they don't call me the dude
To take his dollars to give gifts at the projects
These dudes is all politics, depositing checks
they put in they pocket, all you get in return is a lot of lip
And y'all buy the shit, caught up in the hype
Cause the n**** wear a coofie, it don't mean that he bright
Cause you don't understand him, it don't mean that he nice
It just means you don't understand all the bullshit that he write
Is it "Oochie Wally Wally" or is it "One Mic"?
Is it "Black Girl Lost" or shorty owe you for ice?
I've been real all my life, they confuse it with conceit
Since I will not lose, they try to help him cheat"

Tim Waymen

August 2nd, 2009 at 2:47 PM ^

You're going to use filler-filled double album Blueprint 2 to diss Nas? What happened to Takeover?

Nevermind, Nas beat Jay-Z with Ether anyways. I like Jay-Z, but he hasn't made a good album since The Black Album (a classic). He accuses Nas of having "one hot album every 10 years average." First of all, the only bad Nas album is Nastradamus. Even bling-phase "I Am.." is pretty good, with maybe 1 or 2 bad songs on it. Jay-Z has struck out plenty a with a few albums and he has plenty of filler all around. I don't think there is much more to say than this though: Illmatic is one of the best, if not THE best, hip hop record of all time. While great, neither Reasonable Doubt nor The Blueprint holds a candle to Illmatic.


August 2nd, 2009 at 11:55 PM ^

The reason I refer to this song is because it was the original topic of the thread. To me, the takeover attacks nas from a record sales/ "success" perspective.

I could see why people say Illmatic is one of the greatest albums of all time... it is. But even if that were true, Jay-Z is more consistent across albums.(To note, I put Reasonable doubt right up there with Illmatic, though.) I like Nas, but I think people have the false impression that Jay-Z isn't a "conscious" rapper while Nas is. That's why I like the lyrics I provided above. And Oochie Wally was probably the worst mainstream track Nas was ever on. You can just see in the video how ridiculous he looks/acts. That's not Nas and he should never, ever do that again.

To add another MC to the mix, I love Andre 3000. He's probably the only rapper today who can have a full verse before the beat drops, and still be the best part of the song. (International Player's Anthem)


August 4th, 2009 at 1:59 PM ^

I just realized your photo's from "The Program", right? When I was a kid, I saw the movie and loved it. It wasn't until recently that I realized Michigan was in the movie. Good stuff.

At any rate, I definitely agree with you, I think I just prefer Jay-Z. Maybe it's the whole package/swagger, plus like you said, one-take hov.. not many people can do what he does.

At any rate, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on Big L, Big Pun, and other rappers whose careers were cut short right before really blowing up.

Tim Waymen

August 4th, 2009 at 6:10 PM ^

Haha yeah my picture is. My handle, Tim "All The" Waymen is the Michigan QB who battles Joe Kane for the Heisman and leads Mich over ESU. I actually saw the movie a few years ago and found it terrible but it's really funny because it's so hokey. Not to diss your taste, but then again, you were only a kid when you saw it.

I don't know enough about Big L, and Big Pun only had one album--I only have "Not a Player," which is pretty good. I remember when I was in summer camp like 11 years ago, I had a counselor who would always play Capital Punishment. I wasn't so much into rap then so I don't remember enough of the album.

Is Big L's album good? I read a little about it and it seems to have good guest appearances on it. It's possible that he would have ended up as just another Roc-A-Fella rapper, like Freeway and Beanie Siegel, who suck. IMO, the only other Roc-A-Fella rapper that's any good is Kanye. College Dropout is a classic, he's not the best rapper, but he knows it. Too bad he doesn't get the fish sticks joke.

Btw, do you have Jay-Z Unplugged? It's such an awesome live album and really showcases his talents as a performer. Plus the Roots band is great. The live version of "Can't Knock the Hustle" is one of my favorite tracks ever. Also find all the unreleased Nas tracks that you can. Some of them are unbelievable. "Silent Murder" and "Be a N---- Too" are ridiculous, and "War Is Necessary" is just off the hook. It was on the GTA 4 soundtrack and is just incredible.


August 9th, 2009 at 10:08 PM ^

That's another reason why I love Jay- one of the few rappers who can pull that off. I have his unplugged albums. "Can't Knock the Hustle" with Mary J Blige is just soothing.

Big Pun actually had two albums "Yeaah Baby!" was the second. I like both albums, but Capital Punishment is more classic. (He also had a third, compilation album released after his death.)

With Big L - I really prefer his free styles to his album-work, unfortunately his career was cut short.
'98 Free style:

Tim Waymen

August 3rd, 2009 at 5:26 PM ^

I was trying to take the battle to the next level...the blogosphere. Nas is one of my favorite musicians of all time, up there with the Beatles. I love Jay-Z too, but Nas is tops in my book.

Oh don't get me wrong: I love the song "Hate Me Now," but I hate its bling aspects ("Gucci this, Fendi that"...WTF) and I can't help but snicker during Nas's part in "It's Mine" by Mobb Deep in which he talks about seeing Halle Berry at a Barbra Streisand concert. (Otherwise, It's Mine is one of the best Mobb Deep songs out there, although it doesn't match the amazingness of Shook Ones, but very few songs do.) While I like most of the stuff that came out in the late 90s, Nas made some huge mistakes that he hopefully won't repeat again. I Am... was still awesome and actually wasn't all materialistic mid-90s rap, but it definitely featured it.

I get you though. Honestly, Nas's conscious rapper status is a bit overblown. I just like listening to Nas more than Jay-Z, plus a Jay-Z album just isn't as good as a Nas album. I don't doubt that he's one of the best. In fact, he's possibly the smartest free-styler of all time--the guy doesn't write anything down! Plus, my take on Jay-Z is that his music is more for the everyman...just listen to Song Cry or Can I Get A.


July 30th, 2009 at 12:15 AM ^

I love this idea and have suggested it to the Band Staff. I also included a link to this diary so they can see the community support for this idea.

I want this to happen SO BADLY it's hardly even funny. I'll be sure to post if I hear anything.


July 30th, 2009 at 10:33 AM ^

I know I and many others here have said this before, but there has to be a way (mikes?) to get the band to raise the volume. I love the suggestion fro Big Boutros, but more volume itself will increase crowd participation and overall noise, both of which are sadly necessary.

panthera leo fututio

July 30th, 2009 at 9:09 AM ^

Q: What's worse than buying a cd full of filler for a single* that's not even on it?

A: Buying a double cd full of filler for a single that's not even on it.

*"Guess Who's Back", ft. Scarface and Beanie Sigel - I was tricked by the presence of "Somehow, Someway", featuring same artists. Incidently, this might not be a bad song for halftime performances either: we could just get Memph Bleek to come out and whistle the hook.