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The Inspiration Behind Jay-Z’s ‘The Blueprint’ Album Cover, Dave Courtney, Found Dead at 64

Dave Courtney, a former gangster who was associated with the infamous Kray twins, passed away on October 22, 2023. A social media post announced his death, stating that Courtney ‘took his own life’ at the age of 64.

Courtney who referred to himself as the ‘most feared man in Britain,’ was the inspiration behind the cover image on Jay-Z’s sixth studio album “The Blueprint” via Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Recordings. The classic hip hop album featured cuts like “Take Over”, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”, and “Song Cry”.

According to a statement from the Metropolitan Police, officers responded to a property in Plumstead, south-east London, where they found a 64-year-old deceased. His death is considered unexpected and is currently under investigation. The tough talking actor suffered a heart attack in 2017 and swore he would ‘punch anyone in the face’ who called to ask if he was ok.

The documentarian and author who said he was autistic and had ADHD was one of Britain’s most renowned gangsters, and he led an eventful life where he was closely connected with figures like the Kray brothers, Roy Shaw, and Lenny McLean.

The inspiration for Jay -Z’s ‘The Blueprint’ album front cover came by way of a photograph of Courtney delivering a speech at Oxford Union, a debating society at the University of Oxford. Courtney regarded this as the ‘proudest moment’ of his life.

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This photograph of the gangster became part of a book titled ‘The Firm’ by photographer Jocelyn Bain Hogg, which chronicled the lives of South London gangsters. At the time of The Blueprint‘s release in 2001, Jay-Z was in a battle with Nas, a former member of the rap group “The Firm.”

During an interview on the YouTube channel ‘Gangster Tales’ in 2022, Courtney explained, ‘In this book, there is a photograph of me – an aerial photograph taken from the balcony of me addressing the Oxford Union. He [Jay-Z] actually looked at it like, “wow, there is a convicted felon teaching future parliament. He is the lecturer in the Oxford Union, teaching the next Lord Mayor, Prime Minister, Chief of Police.” He thought that was really funny. So what he did was he replicated the exact same picture and put his head on it, using it for the cover of ‘The Blueprint,’ his highly acclaimed album.'”

Before Courtney died he had sought to chase his gangster life for career in showbiz, like Jay Z did and mentions several times on The Blueprint album,- but the former U.K. gagsters started referring to himself as OBE ‘One Big Ego’ and making a living from appearances in numerous TV documentaries and a number of low-budget British gangster films.

The south London native starred in, directed and produced several films own film, Hell To Pay, as well as featuring in films such as Six Bend Trapp, Clubbing to Death and The Dead Sleep Easy. He also published six books most notably Dodgy Dave’s Little Black Book.

Meanwhile Jay Z’s Blueprint which was mostly produced by Trackmasters, Kanye West, Timbaland, Just Blaze, and Bink,is certified 3x Platinum by the Recording industry Association Of America (RIAA) for selling 3 million copies in the the US. The album is also certified Gold in the U.K. by the British Phonographic Industry for selling 200,000 copies in streams and sales and Platinum in Canada (100,000).

The post The Inspiration Behind Jay-Z’s ‘The Blueprint’ Album Cover, Dave Courtney, Found Dead at 64 appeared first on World Music Views®.

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The Inspiration Behind Jay-Z’s ‘The Blueprint’ Album Cover, Dave Courtney, Found Dead at 64


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