Jay-Z's The Blueprint Inducted Into Library of Congress' National Recording Registry

Rapper Jay Z performs onstage during day 2 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 12, 2014 in Indio, California.
Rapper Jay Z performs onstage during day 2 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 12, 2014 in Indio, California.
Photo: Christopher Polk (Getty Images for Coachella)

‘Hov is cemented in history, y’all!

The new National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress has dropped, and Jay-Z’s The Blueprint is on the acclaimed list!


The rest of the 2018 class includes notables such as legendary saxophonist Dexter Gordon’s “GO,” Sam and Dave’s 1967 single “Soul Man,” and Nina Simone’s 1964 single “Mississippi Goddam,” the latter of which was in tribute to civil rights activist Medgar Evers following his murder, as well as the four little girls who were killed in the 16th Street Baptist church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.

Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly,” the titular single from the film’s soundtrack, made the list, as well.

“I would compare Curtis Mayfield’s work on ‘Superfly’ to the work of the great post-Impressionist painters,” said musician and record executive Don Was. “Mayfield took textures that were then popular in rhythm and blues—like wah-wah guitars, congas, flutes, orchestras—and blended them into something altogether new. … I think it’s wonderful that 50 years after its inception, the music of ‘Superfly’ still resonates with listeners and is being honored by the National Recording Registry.”

“The National Recording Registry honors the music that enriches our souls, the voices that tell our stories and the sounds that mirror our lives,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a press release. “The influence of recorded sound over its nearly 160-year history has been profound and technology has increased its reach and significance exponentially. The Library of Congress and its many collaborators are working to preserve these sounds and moments in time, which reflect our past, present and future.”

Thanks to the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian must select 25 titles that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old, under the guidance of the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB). The current total number of titles in the registry is 525.

Jay-Z’s induction makes his album the most contemporary title on the 2018 list. The complete list is below.


2018 National Recording Registry

  1. Yiddish Cylinders from the Standard Phonograph Company of New York and the Thomas Lambert Company (c. 1901-1905)
  2. “Memphis Blues” (single), Victor Military Band (1914)
  3. Melville Jacobs Collection of Native Americans of the American Northwest (1929-1939)
  4. “Minnie the Moocher” (single), Cab Calloway (1931)
  5. Bach Six Cello Suites (album), Pablo Casals (c. 1939)
  6. “They Look Like Men of War” (single), Deep River Boys (1941)
  7. Gunsmoke — Episode: “The Cabin” (Dec. 27, 1952)
  8. Ruth Draper: Complete recorded monologues, Ruth Draper (1954-1956)
  9. “La Bamba” (single), Ritchie Valens (1958)
  10. “Long Black Veil” (single), Lefty Frizzell (1959)
  11. Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Vol. 1: The Early Years (album), Stan Freberg (1961)
  12. GO (album), Dexter Gordon (1962)
  13. War Requiem (album), Benjamin Britten (1963)
  14. “Mississippi Goddam” (single), Nina Simone (1964)
  15. “Soul Man” (single), Sam & Dave (1967)
  16. Hair (original Broadway cast recording) (1968)
  17. Speech on the Death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy (April 4, 1968)
  18. “Sweet Caroline” (single), Neil Diamond (1969)
  19. Superfly (album), Curtis Mayfield (1972)
  20. Ola Belle Reed (album), Ola Belle Reed (1973)
  21. “September” (single), Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
  22. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (single), Sylvester (1978)
  23. She’s So Unusual (album), Cyndi Lauper (1983)
  24. Schoolhouse Rock!: The Box Set (1996)
  25. The Blueprint (album), Jay-Z (2001)

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.


Minnie the Moocher and Sylvester are equally noteworthy additions.