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American Gangster

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Editors’ Notes

Over 20 years in the game, Jay-Z rose from fast-rapping occasional guest star and Big Daddy Kane hype man to arguably the world’s most famous and beloved emcee—not to mention entrepreneur extraordinaire and Beyonce's husband. Released in 2007, American Gangster is his 10th album, directly inspired by the Denzel–as–Frank Lucas film of the same name. Fittingly, the lyrics are almost exclusively about a drug kingpin’s life, while the production (from Just Blaze, The Neptunes, No I.D., and The Hitmen) is awash is lavishly soulful ‘70s-style samples and interpolations. Guest verses are limited (just Nas, Lil Wayne, and Beanie Sigel), and Jay's lyrical wizardry is on full display throughout. It’s certainly among his best albums, with fleshed-out story-songs that are vividly cinematic, triumphant, bleak, boastful, and sensitive all at once. Check out "Roc Boys," "Ignorant Sh*t," "Hello Brooklyn 2.0," and "Sweet."

Customer Reviews

So long

Finally iTunes this has been out since 2007


Jay originally said he didin't want this album on iTunes because he didn't want mainstream listeners to hear it and not understand it's concept. Why it's on now after four years I don't know. Still a classic. Top tracks-Fallin', Roc Boys (And the Winner Is...), Ignorant S**t and Blue Magic. Also check out Success with Nas, also good.


Wow This Took a While to Get Here O_o


Born: December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Embodying the rags-to-riches rap dream, Jay-Z pulled himself up by his bootstraps as a youth to eventually become the reigning rapper of New York City and, in turn, a major-label executive following his short-lived retirement from music-making. In the wake of his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z's albums sold millions upon millions with each release, and his endless parade of hits made him omnipresent on urban radio and video television. He retained a strongly devoted fan base and challenged whatever...
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