From the looks of things, Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 LP is apparently finished. Jay performed his single "D.O.A." (Death of Auto-Tune) on tonight's BET Awards — giving a shout-out to "the king," Michael Jackson, at the song's close — and after the show, the video for the record debuted. And when Jay popped up onstage, he was sporting a new close-cut haircut.
Anyone who's been following Jigga knows he's been wearing his hair longer than ever for the past year and change. He called his do the "Blueprint 'Fro" and explained recently on Angie Martinez's Hot 97 radio program that during the recording of his albums, he usually let's his hair grow. Well, Jay also usually knocks albums out in less than a month. Blueprint 3 took quite some time longer. Now, on to the video ...
(We do see Jay getting his hair cut in the clip, but that doesn't come until the end.)
"D.O.A." starts with a driver pulling into an alley. The driver gets out and opens the door for Jay-Z. And it just so happens that said wheelman is Hov's longtime friend Lyor Cohen, head of the Warner Music Group; Jay is dropping B3 via his Roc Nation label, through Warner subsidiary Atlantic.
As the clip continues, Hov gets into an elevator. He walks into a dark, abandoned warehouse, turns on the lights and the music comes on simultaneously. From there Jigga, wearing all black, starts performing. The video flips to Jay with a live band in a performance space, then flips back to Jay at restaurant. Later, boom! An image of an Auto-Tune chain exploding.
Back to the restaurant: Harvey Keitel comes to Jay's table and pays respects before leading Hov into a kitchen. Then, another boom: This time colorful clothes — just like in the lyrics — go up in smoke.
As the video progresses, we see Jay on a basketball court taking on this year's NBA MVP, his longtime friend LeBron James. Hov dribbles while his homey checks him. Jigga decides to shoot a jumper over his opponent instead of driving to the hole. We never see if he makes the basket but maybe we can infer that Jay's mantra of "I Will Not Lose" wasn't in effect that day, and he took an L. Unlike at the last game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals, James shook Jay's hand after the game.
... And now we finally see that haircut as the video comes to a close.
The video was aired as part of the BET Awards post-show. Co-host Jamie Foxx joked about Jay, saying, "death to Auto-Tune — except for me. That damn 'Blame It ...' is doing some things. Jigga gotta give me a pass."
Foxx, of course, was referring to his monster single "Blame It on the Alcohol," which dips heavily into the Auto-Tune pool.