Personnel includes: Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, Rakim, M.O.P. Beanie Sigel. Scarface (rap vocals); Faith Evans, Beyonce Knowles, Truth Hurts, Lenny Kravitz, LaToiya Williams (vocals); Ken Lewis (guitar, percussion, background vocals); Eric "E-Bass" Johnson (guitar, bass); Erve Pope (keyboards); Just Blaze (scratches); Kanye West. Producers include: Kanye West, Just Blaze, Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, Heavy D. Mere months after its release, Jay-Z pared down his platinum-selling BLUEPRINT 2: THE GIFT AND THE CURSE to fit on one disc featuring his most solid material. While the original Part 2 of BLUEPRINT was hardly rife with filler (and impressive in that lack), when the strongest tracks are culled an even more powerful, sharper record emerges. Jay-Z still leads off with the provocative "A Dream" which not only features a mock discussion with Biggie Smalls during which the late rapper approves Jay-Z's skills, but directly samples a bit from the legend's hit "Juicy." Of course "Bonnie & Clyde '03," the ubiquitous hit-single duet with Beyonce Knowles, shows up a few tracks later. Then the listener benefits from not having to switch discs and wait for easily the most stunning track, "Guns & Roses," with its Cake sample and Lenny Kravitz guest vocal. While some may prefer the full BLUEPRINT with all its twists and turns, BLUEPRINT 2.1 offers fans, particularly those who know Shawn Carter more for his hits, a more focused option.