Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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SOTD: Song cry

The Blueprint Collector’s Edition

The Blueprint Collector’s Edition

Jay-Z’s first Blueprint album has always been a favorite release of mine, especially my favorite in the Blueprint series. I remember when the Blueprint III dropped, at Target I bought the box set with all three albums in it and it has always been one of my favorite physical releases (as a set) ever since. The packaging was super on point and it just made the “series” so much more cohesive as a three-part project.

There are a lot of songs on Blueprint that I love, and haven’t heard in forever because of Jay-Z’s lack of interest in Spotify. However, an absolute favorite of mine, and a lot of other music fans, is the track Song Cry.

The track is an emotional ballad in which Jay describes the pain of a long-term relationship ending, caused by his professional schedule and personal philandering. Since his pride and masculinity don’t allow him to visibly show his emotions, he employs the tear-jerking lyrics to do it instead.

Asked whether this track was about a specific girl, Jay told Bill Maher the content was formed from three different relationships.

This song is the third episode in the progression of Jay’s portrayal of women in his raps. As he told NPR in 2010:

I mean, a song on my first album was “Ain’t No Nigga.” […] It was like, this careless relationship. And then that went to “Big Pimpin” in ‘99. And on that same album was a song called “Song Cry,” and then “Song Cry” became “Bonnie & Clyde” on 2004, which became “Venus vs. Mars”on my last album. So there’s a steady growth in the conversations—that’s being had as it pertains to women, you know, as I grew.

Lyrics below.

[Produced by Just Blaze]

[Intro: Bobby Glenn + Jay Z]
Picture all the possibilities
Picture all the possibilities
Sounds like a love song
Sounds like a love song

The most incredible, baby
I can't see 'em comin' down my eyes
So I gotta make the song cry


[Verse 1: Jay Z]
Good dude, I know you love me like cooked food
Even though a nigga gotta move like a crook move

We was together on the block since free lunch
We shoulda been together havin' Four Seasons brunch

We used to use umbrellas to face the bad weather
So now we travel first class to change the forecast

Never in bunches, just me and you
I loved your point of view ‘cause you held no punches

Still I left you for months on end
It's been months since I checked back in
We're somewhere in a small town
Somewhere lockin' a mall down

Woodgrain, four and change, Armor All'd down
I can understand why you want a divorce now
Though I can't let you know it, pride won't let me show it
Pretend to be heroic, that's just one to grow with
But deep inside a nigga so sick

[Hook: Jay Z]
I can't see 'em comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry
I can't see 'em comin' down my eyes
So I got to let the song cry
I can't see it comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry
I can't see it comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry


[Verse 2: Jay Z]
On repeat, the CD of Big's "Me & My Bitch"
Watchin' Bonnie and Clyde, pretendin' to be that shit

Empty gun in your hand, sayin', "Let me see that clip!"
Shopping sprees, pull out your Visa quick

A nigga had very bad credit, you helped me lease that whip
You helped me get the keys to that V dot 6

We was so happy poor, but when we got rich
That's when our signals got crossed and we got flipped

Rather mine, I don't know what made me leave that shit
Made me speed that quick, let me see — that's it
It was the cheese, helped them bitches get amnesia quick
I used to cut up they buddies, now they sayin' they love me
Used to tell they friends I was ugly and wouldn't touch me
Then I showed up in that dubbed out buggy
And then they got fuzzy
And they don't remember that, and I don't remember you

[Hook: Jay Z]
I can't see it comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry
I can't see it comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry
Yeah, I've seen 'em comin' down your eyes
But I got to make the song cry
I can't see it comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry


[Verse 3: Jay Z]
A face of stone, was shocked on the other end of the phone
Word back home is that you had a special friend
So what was oh so special then?
You have given away without gettin' at me
That's your fault, how many times you forgiven me?
How was I to know that you was plain sick of me?
I know the way a nigga livin' was whack
But you don't get a nigga back like that!

Shit, I'm a man with pride, you don't do shit like that
You don't just pick up and leave and leave me sick like that
You don't throw away what we had, just like that
I was just fuckin' them girls, I was gon' get right back

They say you can't turn a bad girl good
But once a good girl's gone bad, she's gone forever
I'll mourn forever
Shit, I've got to live with the fact I did you wrong forever

[Hook: Jay Z]
I can't see 'em comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry
I can't see 'em comin' down my eyes
So I got to let the song cry
I know, I've seen 'em comin' down your eyes
But I got to make the song cry
I can't see 'em comin' down my eyes
So I got to make the song cry

Whenever he performs Song Cry his mood becomes somber and reflective, fitting with the track’s content. During his MTV Unplugged show, which stands as possibly the best live performance of “Song Cry,” he took time to personalize the content even further:

Let’s break it down
This song right here is for real, for all the hustlers right
Who had a girlfriend, and started off, their whole relationship started off you know, he did what he had to do for them, you know what I mean?
But along the way he got lost. Fast cars, fast money, you know the story
Trust me, he’s right here. Alright. Do believe it. On the real, son.

kk