When Jay-Z first emerged on the scene, he became notorious for his slippery style of staggered raps and liquid delivery; nowadays, he’s the famous name behind the shoes, the drinks, video games and clothing that have propelled him to social icon status. And with his newest album release, The Blueprint 3, Jay-z continues to push marketable singles to those who are looking for the best rapper alive. His formula of building albums around popular hits has enabled him to brand Superbowl ads, fashionable fragrances, and other merchandise that regular lyrical lions can only dream of selling.
As it stands, branding the crowd is much easier with a single and a t-shirt than a message and a melody. The Jay-z from Reasonable Doubt (1996) was the shrewd business man, wearing a talent for rhythm and
rhyme on his sleeve. But, in 2010, Jay-Z is decked out from head to toe in an all black outfit, which his company manufactures. Almost like a walking commercial, Jay-Z has mastered the technique of branding an audience with the fire of a hot single. He’s left the New York state of mind for an Empire State Of Mind, where everyone in his fan-base is also a customer of the commercial machine, whose cheapest item is the CD.