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Editors’ Notes

Back in 2005, the Ohio MC Blueprint looked to 1988 as an anchor point for hip-hop culture—sampling key breaks, beats and rhymes over the course of a boast-heavy, post-millennial rap record. "Fresh for '88, you suckas”, he declares on the album’s intro, directly quoting KRS-One; on “Boombox”, he distorts a key sequence from Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” for his own tribute to the iconic portable music player. Blueprint harnessed the toughness, competitiveness and wit of late-’80s rap to fuel his angsty critiques of modern hip-hop.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Largely responsible for making Columbus, OH, a viable medium for hip-hop, Blueprint may have a cartoonish-sounding voice, but his lyrics are definitely not one-dimensional, varying from complex narratives to rhyme-battling punch lines to office humor. His productions are equally as dense and versatile, which makes sense given that his career as an MC developed side by side with his ambitions as a producer. Blueprint (born Albert Shepard) first discovered hip-hop in elementary school through his cousin...
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1988, Blueprint
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