Jay-Z fans would already class him as culturally significant.
His self-appointed nickname Hova (short for J-Hova, a play on the Hebrew for God, Jehovah) shows he holds himself in high esteem.
But now it’s official.
His sixth album, 2001’s The Blueprint, has been added to a list of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” recordings in America. Or to give it is its formal title, the National Recording Registry.
Additions to the archive have to be at least 10 years old and can include anything from music to recordings of significant moments in history.
The Blueprint joins audio relics like Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech, a recording of the first transatlantic phonecall from 1927 and an 1888 version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
It’s the first rap album from the 21st Century to be added.
Tupac and Public Enemy have recordings on the list already.
Nevermind by Nirvana, Radiohead’s 1997 album OK Computer, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Metallica’s Master of Puppets are all in the archive too.
The Blueprint is widely regarded as one of Jay-Z’s best albums and was met with rave reviews when it was released.
In 2003, it was ranked 464th on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest albums of all time – it then climbed to 252 in a revised list released in 2012.
The Blueprint happened to be released on 11 September 2001 – the day of the 9/11 attacks in New York.
It sold over 427,000 copies in its first week and stayed at number one for three weeks.
Jay-Z donated a dollar from every ticket sold on the The Blueprint tour to relief efforts.
The album also marked the first time Kanye West was introduced to the masses thanks to his production on four of the tracks including Jay-Z’s first top-10 single Izzo (H.O.V.A).
‘The perfect album’
Who is the best rapper of all time? It’s a question often debated by hip-hop fans – although 1Xtra’s DJ Ace says this achievement by Jay-Z should end the argument for good.
“The Blueprint for me is the perfect album. If we think about consistency, impact on general culture – Jay-Z might have to be number one.”
The “growth” Jay-Z has shown since The Blueprint is another reason Ace holds him in such high esteem.
“We’ve seen all facets of his life, watched him grow from a boy to a man. From talking about cars, money and girls to talking about how important it is to vote or give back to your community. This latest accolade is well deserved.”