American Gangster: Jay-Z

AG Cover

01. Intro
02. Pray
03. American Dreamin’
04. Hello Brooklyn 2.0 Feat. Lil’ Wayne
05. No Hook
06. Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)
07. Sweet
08. I Know
09. Party Life
10. Ignorant Sh*t Feat. Beanie Sigel
11. Say Hello
12. Success Feat. NaS
13. Fallin’
14. Blue Magic Feat. Pharrell
15. American Gangster

The massive bootlegging continues to cripple the music scene. Online downloads and file sharing has even trickled over the movie biz. Two weeks ago a movie suffered the same fate as Hov’s volume three. The only difference is that no on got shanked. This same movie sparked the inspiration for Sean Carters new album American Gangster.

A dark Intro defines the term Gangster. The tone is set for a different type of Jay-Z. Far from the “Give It To Me” feel, Pray paints picture a of poverty and crime. The cracked led paint on the project apartment wall is so vivid. Marvin Gaye’s “Soon Ill Be Loving You” is the sample of choice for American Dreamin’. The wails of Marvin communicate a different message than the tracks subject matter. It comes through jumbled to me.

Hello Brooklyn is fucking wack, quote me on that. Hov spit on this one but this beat and hook did absolutely nothing. I guess the wool is pulled over SC’s eyes also. Lil Wayne thinks he’s Prince and I ain’t buying it. No HooK is easily my favorite track on AG. Jay rips through each verse showing that he could take his own life and arrange it into something raw. The stop and go flow coupled with his artist The Dreams “I dont need no hook…” reminds me of the Rainman’s way of laying lyrics down. Roc Boys grew on me from one play to a repeat fav. The celebratory feel brings me back to the Rocs hey days.

Sweet sounds like it was left on the cutting room floor when they laid down Streets Is Watching. Jumping from subject to subject Hov speaks about his current position. I Know is a song about drug addiction. The most I could say about the track is I get it. 50 did this on The Massacre with Baltimore Love Thing. The song sounds too happy with such a dark subject matter. Party Life is the super cool song. This is vegas lounge rap music. I could see Hov dressed to the nines like Burt Bacarach reciting each verse in a smoky room with cognac glass in hand. The is definitely for the grown and sexy.

Ignorant Shit
was the Loch Ness Monster for a few years. The track that sampled the same beat as Summer With Miami but was on another level. Jay murders the beats from beginning to the end. He even adds a verse to it that wasn’t on the original. Say Hello is the voice of many who get it by any means. The ones who chase the American Dream without regard for the hypocritical laws laid down for us to obey. Success just made me forget Black Republicans. Jay-Z turned the beat out and left it for dead. Hov removes the hook and pauses and drops bar after bar with disregard for song format. NaS resusitates the track then pumps half a clip into it. This is why Hip Hop ain’t dead. When two greats can do something like this its a wonder why new emcees don’t try to out write as they did.

Fallin’ is another banger on the album. It shows how one day you can be on top of the world and then down the next. Tracks like this only make me believe that the white touched SC hands at one time. Blue Magic grew on me (minus Pharrel’s voice) over time. The bass line goes perfect with Hov’s ol skool flow. Perfect choice for the first single. The title track American Gangster breezes through Hov’s struggle on the street to his life now. He flies through it that you have no choice but to start it over to gather the jewels.

I can’t front, the first few spins had this album rubbing me the wrong way. Don’t get it twisted I still think Hello Brooklyn is wack. But Hov drops lyrics from beginning to end. This album was made for the sake of Rap. It wasn’t a formulated industry album (you know your club song, south track, pop, etc) that floods the shelves today. Jay saw a movie that inspired him to give us something that’s missing.

23 Responses to “American Gangster: Jay-Z”

  1. Uno McFly Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 11:32 am

    All Smiles…now technically i cant say Anything involving the Word Brooklyn is Wacc…my Staunch Brooklyniteness wont allow it..but that song really is a head scratcher…But in part i do love it…Shows the world how Bleh..Lil Seinfeld is and maybe finally he can go bacc to whatever dungeon he came out if with all 748675483 of his Fake blood Flags and Dissapear into a deep deep deep drug induced coma

  2. Enchantress Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 11:36 am

    “Hello brooklyn” is wack

    is you crazy or fugheazy???

    *smh* at this cocky internet snob bastid (that’s trademarked!)

  3. Enchantress Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 11:37 am

    somebody check for the correct spelling of fugheazy* please

  4. Mindy marin Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 11:40 am

    “I know” puts me in a bunny trance.

    shits weird B.

  5. Reason Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I haven’t heard the album yet but after dissecting all of J’s former albums I know how he puts em together. Especially after that clip of him on David Letterman when he really went through what the stages in the album were. It’s pure genius & this is why these lame ass rappers in the game need to pay homage to the BEST ALIVE. (Not to be confused with the BEST OF ALL TIME, The Notorious B.I.G.) When I get paid on Friday I will be going straight to the record shop to cop what will be another classic to his already extensive catalogue.

  6. Reason Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    & I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really think Enchantress hates Uno. That must be rough broseph. Keep hope alive.

  7. Prince Carter Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    What can I say Jay is my favorite rapper to hate. Even if you don’t like Jay it’s his abilty to stop and grpas the attention of all hip hop, not the same fifty brinigs in his gimics when Jay’s droping I find myslef like the rest of the world wiating for what he has to say, and I wont lie I’m allways drawn in I had “ag” for about four day’s and it’s my reason for bring my Ipod with me, while I won’t say this new album is better than his first, for me this is a great story telling today the way he did a decade ago… peace jay I give you your stars for this one… “”"”"IT’s DA ROCK u bitches”"”"”

  8. Enchantress Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    This album makes me feel the same way I do when I hear Reasonable Doubt, Or Illmatic or Criminal Minded or The Infamous or Black on Both Sides or Organix or T.O.N.Y……(i could go on and on for days)

    i love you baybay

  9. S. Mathis Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    This album is awesome from beginning to end. Let me start by saying that disliking ‘HELLO BROOKLYN’ means that you need your head (and stereo system) examined. The beat bumps, Jay flows effortlessly to it, and Wayne sounds better singing then he ever did rapping to me, as he croons out “…have u seen her / and if she tell u somethin new betta believe her / she told me she like my New Orleans demeanor / and so I said / goodbye Catrina…” To quote Jay, Wayne came off ‘smoother then persian rugs.’ —- ‘PRAY’ is easily the most lethal track on this album from top to bottom, as Beyonce starts us off with a prayer for the industry that allows a 37 year old to continue toying with it as the best out (still)! What is hip hop going to do when Jay & Nas finally retire?

  10. Goat Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    S. Mathis is really Lil’ Wayne ya’ll…

  11. Uno McFly Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Well Goat are u suprised..that something Wayne said is something Gillie said??

  12. Mindy Marin Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I see mathis in my dreams

    both mathis’ssss


  13. Money C. Paycheck(back for the money) Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Wow let’s not steer off course into a ravine and kill ourselves Mindy. You swallow any harder we’re going to have to take his waist outta your lower intestine. Superlatives aside, this album is a classic and yes as a unreformed cyber cheat I did get the album before it’s release but I am copping the CD faithfully. Listen to have Lil Wayne on a song entitled Brooklyn 2.0 is an outrage; please take the time to understand what the little alien said about Jay and what Jay in turn said about the alien being compared to said god emcee. However seeing that I respect Jay-Z pulling off a chess move proving he is ten steps ahead of the game as usual the track did grow on me and the well catchy. So it gets a Brooklyn pass. Like Uno says anything Brooklyn is hard to deem “wack”

    *Where Brooklyn At?!*

  14. Money C. Paycheck(back for the money) Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    And yes Party Life is smoother than an ice cube floating in a glass of Cask and Creme. You can break out the Cavali to this one. Maybe even some JW Red Label. No brown paper bags on this one. Leave your Fortys at home, save the ripple for your chicken dinners.

    *Cooler than the other side of the pillow*

  15. Uno McFly Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Mc Paychecc…U win…Lower Intestine…Classique

    November 6th, 2007 at 9:23 pm


  17. Enchantress Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 12:53 am

    why are you cocky internet snob bastids looking really realy sexy all of a sudden?

    shout to Favre

    (like i know that man….lol)

  18. S. Mathis Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 7:53 am

    ‘Party Life’ is obviously a throw away that Jay retrieved from the trash heap to add to the album, for the sake of giving you a reason to buy the official copy versus the copy you downloaded 2 weeks ago. @ ANYBODY who likes that sucky song.

  19. Korean Slap Boxer Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 8:34 am

    S.Mathis you should not be talking about sucky songs when you like the one that mostly everyone detests….Hello Brooklyn

  20. Money C. Paycheck(back for the money) Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Wow is that a parting shot? I guess your sand paper Hello Brooklyn is smooth enough for you huh S dot? Lemme guess, Hello Brooklyn took you back to the golden era of ET when a little girl fell for an awkward looking alien with a glowing red finger…Weezy saying goodbye to Catrina doesn’t bode well for Brooklyn and seeing that your opinion is usually spewed all over these Hip hop reviews I though you had some insight. You do recall Jay shitted on any notion that Wayne is comparable to him (i.e Wayne saying he’s the greatest rapper alive since the greatest retired) Please don’t tell me the beat had you mesmerized, you’re better than that baby! And please, PLEASE, my bootleggers are on point, my download IS the official copy..LOL….Money!

    *No need to adjust your lens, I’m already focused*

  21. Uno McFly Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    man i just did like 13 hours on the plantation…i cant even think of proper posts to put up..but just wanted the Whole PMD nation to know I gots love for yall…

    Diddy and um…MC..did she say we started looking good all of a sudden…

    if by all of a sudden u mean from 11/12/198*…then yeah..IM looking FUCCIN FAB all of a Sudden.

  22. S. Mathis Says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Considering that the dumb to intelligent ratio in this country (and particularly amongst my people) is somewhere around 5:1, majority opinion means as much to me as it does to Republicans running for President. @ KOREAN——————————————————
    The fact that Jay has Lil Wayne on his album tells me that he takes Wayne’s ‘challenge’ as seriously as I do (its silly to fret over it). He must have some sort of respect for Wayne’s abilities since he certainly doesnt need him for any kind of promotion, record sells, or as any sort of measuring stick to mark his own talents. @ Money C. ———————-
    “…the dumb simply follow the drum…” – a certain rap producer you all know

  23. Randy Da hater from Utica Ave. (U.A) Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    OK I’m from Utica Ave as you know….which is in BROOKLYN…but hello BROOKLYN has a wack chorus….

    thank you, thank you, thank you….plz no boo’s needed…I know you hate me for saying it….But fuck it….I said it and what your going to do about it…the rest of the album hot

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