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American Gangster [Explicit Lyrics]

( 9 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
"Y'all n*ggas got me really confused out there. I make "'Big Pimpin'" or "'Give It to Me,'" one of those -- that had me as the greatest writer of the 21st century. I make some thought-provoking sh*t -- y'all question whether he fallin' off." When you've built up a back catalog of eight studio albums and walk the earth as one of the biggest, most high-profile artists of the '90s and 2000s, you're bound to get some mixed signals from those who pay attention to you. However, the jury did not take long to reach a verdict on 2006's Kingdom Come: the consensus on it as a major fall-off was as swift and strong as the consensus on Reasonable Doubt as a classic. Once used copies of...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
"Y'all n*ggas got me really confused out there. I make "'Big Pimpin'" or "'Give It to Me,'" one of those -- that had me as the greatest writer of the 21st century. I make some thought-provoking sh*t -- y'all question whether he fallin' off." When you've built up a back catalog of eight studio albums and walk the earth as one of the biggest, most high-profile artists of the '90s and 2000s, you're bound to get some mixed signals from those who pay attention to you. However, the jury did not take long to reach a verdict on 2006's Kingdom Come: the consensus on it as a major fall-off was as swift and strong as the consensus on Reasonable Doubt as a classic. Once used copies of Kingdom Come became easily attainable for less than two dollars, it was apparent the next Jay-Z album might not be so anticipated. He'd need to get some fresh inspiration and make some corrective maneuvers. Fortunately, both came unexpectedly -- rather than by desperate force -- after he saw an advance screening of the early-'70s period piece American Gangster, which played a direct role in nine of the songs on this album of the same name. While several tracks connected to specific scenes are also rooted in productions trading in the regal grit that made up so much '70s soul, the album is not a straight narrative, broken up by tracks like the boom-clap of "Hello Brooklyn 2.0" produced by Bigg D and the glitzed-out pair of "I Know" a half-icing Neptunes layer cake and "Ignorant Shit" where Just Blaze transforms the Isleys' quiet storm staple "Between the Sheets" into a high-gloss anthem. Combined with the tracks laced with '70s soul -- including six produced by Diddy & LV & Sean C, one by Toomp, and two by a newly forged partnership between Jermaine Dupri and No I.D. -- it all adds up to an album that seems nearly out of time, at least when it comes to the years spanning Jay-Z's career, without resembling a true regression. "Success," for instance, takes its lead from The Black Album's "Public Service Announcement," with blaring organ over heavily weighted drum knocks, yet despite the likeness, it's one of the album's highlights. And while Jay mentions American Gangster and protagonist Frank Lucas directly, and intersperses some tracks with dialogue, the connection does not overshadow the album. It's not like he's yelling "Shaft's Big Score 2K7!" or "Leonard Part Six, Part Two!" It's all as natural as Scarface riffing off Scarface. And that might be the most common complaint about the album -- it's really just another case of Jay-Z being Jay-Z, albeit with different presentation. Unless you know each verse from Reasonable Doubt through Kingdom Come, it might sound like he's dealing with no variation on well-worn themes, the exact same thoughts and emotions that make up older tracks about his past as a drug dealer -- the rise, the arrogance, the conflictedness, the fall, and all stages in between. When he's in the right frame of mind, though, as he is throughout much of the album's duration it is a bit sluggish in spots, he's as affective with his subject as Isaac Hayes and Marvin Gaye were with romance. Just as key, the level of insolence and spite on display here is as high as it has ever been. "I got watches I ain't seen in months/Apartment at the Trump, I only slept in it once/N*ggas said Hova was over, such dummies/Even if I fell I land on a bunch of money" has more of those qualities than all of Kingdom Come. One could say that's not really saying much, but regardless of context, this is a very good Jay-Z album. He is, for the most part, doing what he has done before: what he does best.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
Jay sounds relaxed, no longer worried about impressing anyone. Instead, he follows the story from the uptown dope-king ambition of "American Dreamin' " to the big-payback crash of "Fallin'."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/6/2007
  • Label: Roc-A-Fella
  • UPC: 602517499898
  • Catalog Number: 001022902
  • Sales rank: 42,108

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Intro (2:00)
  2. 2 Pray (4:24)
  3. 3 American Dreamin' (4:47)
  4. 4 Hello Brooklyn 2.0 - Lil Wayne (3:56)
  5. 5 No Hook (3:13)
  6. 6 Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)... (4:12)
  7. 7 Sweet (3:26)
  8. 8 I Know (3:42)
  9. 9 Party Life (4:29)
  10. 10 Ignorant Sh*t - Beanie Sigel (3:41)
  11. 11 Say Hello (5:26)
  12. 12 Success (3:30)
  13. 13 Fallin' (4:00)
  14. 14 Blue Magic (4:08)
  15. 15 American Gangster (3:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jay-Z Primary Artist
Bashiri Johnson Percussion
Shannon Jones Vocals
Jeanne LeBlanc Cello
James Lewis Bass, Guitar
Sandra Park Violin
Sue Pray Viola
Andy Snitzer Alto Saxophone
Mario Winans Strings, Drums
Jeff Kievit Trumpet
Charles Pillow Tenor Saxophone
Mike David Trombone
Kanye West Vocals
Eileen Moon Cello
Sharon Yamada Violin
Juan Carlos Perez Background Vocals
Lisa Kim Violin
Arden Altino Bass, Piano, Strings, Keyboards, fender rhodes
Ed Goldson Bass, Guitar
Adonis Stropshire Vocals
Still Phil Drums
Liza Lim Violin
Dawn Hannay Viola
Kenneth Whalum Tenor Saxophone
Matthew Lehmann Violin
Minyoung Chang Violin
Marty Reid Guitar
Sarah OBoyle Violin
Angela Wood Vocals
Cheri Dennis Vocals
Keyon Harrold Trumpet
Keon Bryce Background Vocals
Jeanine Wynton Violin
Leisa Johnson Vocals
Timon Abuptah Strings
Jayms Madison Vocals
Saunders Sermons Trombone
A.J. Walker Vocals
Technical Credits
Ernie Isley Composer
Chris Jasper Composer
Jermaine Dupri Producer
L.V. Producer
Sandra Park String Contractor
L.A. Reid Executive Producer
J. Peter Robinson Art Direction
Darin Smith Engineer
Mario Winans Producer
Andrew Wright Engineer
Tony Dawsey Mastering
Diddy Producer
No I.D. Producer
Shawn Carter Producer, Executive Producer, Art Direction
Angelo Aponte Engineer
The Neptunes Producer
Just Blaze Producer
Andrew Coleman Engineer
Ryan West Engineer
Kenneth Whalum Arranger
Eric Weissman Sample Clearance
Cedric Hollywood Jr. Engineer
Gimel "Young Guru" Katon Engineer
Victor Abijaudi Engineer
Derrick Selby Engineer
Hector Delgado Arranger
Steve "Rock Star" Dickey Engineer
Chris Flame Producer
Seth Firkins Engineer
Drew Hollywood Programming
Jordan "DJ Swivel" Young Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    this album rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this album rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great!

    A very good albulm.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not HATE just truth

    This is exactly what is wrong with Hip Hop music.It gets to a certain point"that point being:hmmmm!money",and then ceases to soldify what a past artist is trying to express.A large amount of Hip Hop these days are not willing to go all out take risk in the name of creativity.My prediction is this album will tank but the singles will live forever.I say buy this off itunes.99 cents a song.It's worthless.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just what we needed "SAY HELLO"

    I never really liked to listen to Jay Z until I got wind of this album. I never knew how political this man really is. It's just what some of our people need to hear at this time. Say Hello is my favorite. I request it everytime I'm out. For some reason though, they never play the 3rd verse but that's OK because I make sure it's heard through me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Will he ever stop!! It's the ROC, Trick!!

    Jay-z is still the King of NYC!! Blue Magic is the hottest club joint right now!! I was in the club last night and the D.J. spun that record 3 times in a row! The club went crazy!! I had to listen to the snippets to validate the whole album was fire....No complaints!! And that line when he says "The fishscale in my veins like a piecies" What??hold up a second Weezy! Jigga is the best!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    True Gangster

    The new album has nothing to do with Denzel Washington/Russell Crowe film of the same name. Nor is it the sound track for the movie, but instead a concept album inspired by the movie. This is his second post retiremnet album, and Jigga sounds fresher and back to true form.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Step back and listen, young ones...This is REAL Hip Hop

    There are several misnomers when it comes to Rap music. It lacks creativity, it doesn't have mass appeal, it's not an art. This album proves all of the above wrong. Jay Z brings hope to the true Hip Hop fans that the art is not in fact dead. This album will please fans from all demographics with it's retro feel with the modern methodical rhythm often associated with the "East Coast" rap artists. A true fan of Jay Z will enjoy the return to what made him great. Younger audiences unfamiliar with previous releases such as Reasonable Doubt will see that Jay Z is beyond the club banger or a commercial hit he's back to the classics...and it's been a long time coming. Welcome home, Hov!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews