Release Therapy:
11/6/07

ARTIST: Jay-Z
ALBUM: American Gangster
LABEL: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam

WHO HE IS: President Carter came out of retirement with last year’s Kingdom Come, but many of his diehard fans felt like he had grown up a little too much. Looking to recapture the essence of his criminal storytelling skills, Hova regrouped, watched a screening of American Gangster, and created a new album that’s way more Reasonable Doubt than “Show Me What Ya Got.” My man!

LATEST SINGLE:
“Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…)”

PRODUCERS: Diddy, Sean C & LV, The Neptunes, DJ Toomp, Just Blaze, Jermaine Dupri, NO I.D., Bigg D

GUESTS: Lil Wayne, Nas, Beanie Sigel, Pharrell

XXL’S VERDICT?
Check out the January/February issue to see XXL’s official review of American Gangster.
Meanwhile, CLICK HERE to read XXL’s November cover story interview with Jay.

ARTIST: Cassidy
ALBUM: B.A.R.S. (The Barry Adrian Reese Story)
LABEL: Full Surface/J

WHO HE IS: After his successful debut Split Personality put him on the map with the single “Hotel” in 2004, this battle rap vet seemed poised for rap stardom. But just before the release of his follow-up I’m A Hustla in 2005, Cass was locked up for his involvement in a Philadelphia murder. After serving 8 months, he was released in March 2006. His third album reflects the hardships he’s been through, with a lot more reflective and conscious material than previous efforts.

LATEST SINGLE:
“Innocent (Misunderstood)”

PRODUCERS: Swizz Beatz, Hi-Tek, Neo Da Matrix, Kanye West & Devo Springsteen, Bink, Nottz, The Individualz, Cassidy

GUESTS: Bone Thugs, Eve, Swizz Beatz, John Legend, Mark Morrison, Angie Stone

XXL’S VERDICT? CLICK HERE to read our review.

ARTIST: Statik Selektah
ALBUM: Spell My Name Right
LABEL: Showoff/Brick

WHO HE IS: This Lawrence, Massachusetts born DJ made his name on around Boston’s club scene and on the city’s WBOT Hot 97.7. But it was his mixtapes, with big name artists like Nas and Mobb Deep, that took his brand national and landed him frequent spots on Sirius Satellite’s Shade 45. After linking with up-and-coming MC Termanology, his rep for spotting talent has only gotten bigger. For his debut, he’s showing his muscle by assembling a laundry list of your favorite rappers’ rappers.

LATEST SINGLE:
“6 N Da Mornin’” f/ Joell Ortiz, Sheek Louch & Kool G Rap

PRODUCERS: Statik Selektah

GUESTS: Jadakiss, DJ Premier, Q-Tip, M.O.P., Termanology, KRS-One, Joell Ortiz, Styles P, Cassidy, Freeway, Doug E. Fresh, AZ, Uncle Murda, The Alchemist, Large Professor, Red Café, Kool G Rap, Talib Kweli and many more.

XXL’S VERDICT? CLICK HERE to read our review.

ARTIST: Nas
ALBUM: Greatest Hits
LABEL: Columbia

WHO HE IS: The new Def Jam Nas seems to have discovered that controversy sells, but the old Nas liked to let his music speak for itself. Take a trip down memory lane with this collection of notable tracks from all of Nas’ Columbia albums, from Illmatic to Streets Disciple. The album also includes two new, previously unreleased tracks.

LATEST SINGLE:
“Surviving The Times”

[Watch Video Here]

PRODUCERS: Trackmasters, Salaam Remi, DJ Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, L.E.S., Chucky Thompson, Megahertz,

GUESTS: Lauryn Hill, Cee-Lo, Puff Daddy, AZ, R. Kelly

XXL’S VERDICT? We didn’t review it, but there are some undeniable classics on here!

  • Rollin 20

    Cassidy Is Fiiiyah ;) Nas Too . Jay Z Too Shiiit Statik Selektah Too . HAHAH Biiitch Fuuull Surface

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  • john cochran

    who decided that cas should drop the same day as hov? not very smart. Ill give it a listen when Im done with American Gangster.

  • nappy_pappy

    wow ride dick much? lmao

  • blu3bl0od

    American Gangster is soo shitt..
    cassidy’s album is so much bettr..
    the beats and his lyrical flow..
    killed jay

  • Jack

    Was Cassidy born yesterday the cd his life story all he can talk about is being in jail and a car crash what about up to that point and dropping the same day as Jay-Z.

  • Vuitton Gotti

    Cassidy is my nigga, Jay cool too, most likely I’ll cop both.

  • Worley

    Warning: American Gangster is wack. Download the five joints he got that are worth anything. Save your money.

    • Real hip hop

      Worley, you hella dumb. Too soft? Jay talked about drugs, gettin money and crooked cops, shit that real ganstas go through. But you probably wanted Jay to rap about his cars, bling, and bitches. Oh yeah, Jay said you like that Ignorant shit don’t you? Ha Ha.

    • BOOGOLOGY

      YOU GOTTA BE A CORNY ASS PERSON WITH A NAME LIKE “worley”.

      EMERGENCY FLASH:
      YOU JUST DOWNLOADED SOME WILLY NELSON, IF YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS JAY-Z( you dumb mutha…..)!

      Basically what I’m saying is “STAY DA FUCC OUTTA HERE”!

    • t.h.

      My dude you crazy!!! American gangster is Wack?? Yeah clearly you love that IGNORANT SHIT don’t you!! Damn Jay called you out. Look its clearly one of the top albums period of 2007 not just hip hop albums. It’s people like “Worley” that is kiling true hip-hop!!!

    • No-ID

      Need I say….Reasonable Doubt 2….and the Lil Wayne Feature set it off…..Album of The year..PERIOD!!!

      • Kay B

        Yo fuckers are straight up clowning, you dumb fucks seriously think that the be a rapper greater than JAYHOVA? This is food for thought you lil’ fucks so i suggest you get a plate and let Jay feed ya. Brooklyn stand up! ONE

  • Online

    CASSIDY B.A.R.S is the SHIT MY NIGGA!!! I GIVE IT A 5/5. BUY HIS CD FUCK JAY-Z!!! AMERICAN GANGSTA IS GARBAGE

  • Anonymous

    What are you talking about…Jay’s album is crazy. Its hot!! You must be workin for Jim Jones undercover. Propaganda police. Ya’ll fenin to shine.

  • E SAINT LOUIS

    JAYZ ALBUM IS RAW!!!! THA HATERS JUST DONT UNDERSTAND WERE JAY FLOW IS RIGHT NOW. JUST LIKE YALL WAZ HATING ON KINGDOM COME, THE SHIT WAS HOT 2 ME. BUT AMERICAN GANGSTER IS 1 OF THE HARDEST CDS THAT CAME OUT 1!!!!!!

    • iLL

      E Saint you gotta remember, their more than likely 15 year old white boys who dont know anything about hip hop or rap to for that matter. So excuse them; for they know not what they do. They just ride band wagons on what everyone else feel is hot.

  • Wez

    American Gangster is XXL, a classic.

  • BOOGOLOGY

    AMERICAN GANGSTA IS FIRE! FUCK DA HATERS!

  • http://snapple615@aol.com Anthony P

    The times have changed and so has the great Hov. He has definitely stood up against all odds while other rappers tried to sound like everyone else. He is still true to himself as he continues to grow as an icon and the head of the hip-hop empire. He is the truest rapper and the realist. People need to realize that rap is Jay-Z. This new album is one of his best works ever and it will be a pioneer album on the movement towards the New York Revolution. Good Luck to the haters, because they are going to need lots of it.

    • BOOGOLOGY

      That’s what I’m talking about. This album is already a “CLASSIC”. NUFF SAID!

  • Dee

    AMERICAN GANGSTER IS CRAZY! I FEEL LIKE “REASONABLE DOUBT” JAY IS BACK. MOST PEOPLE WONT LIKE THE CD CAUSE LIKE JAY SAID, YAH LIKE THAT IGNORANT SH*T!

  • THEGOD

    y’all muthafuckas gotta be kiddin me? Ignorant Shit 1st off was recorded bout 4 years ago and its still relevant….thats called greatness. see hovi baby “i’m so far ahead of my time….” then right after that Say Hello…OMG!!! that shit…yo fuck whoever ain’t feelin it. its your preference but you suck at judging albums. Cass shit hard too but I’m A Husla is way better. he got soft. statik Selecktah (sorry i spelled it wrong..lol) his shit is hot just listen to it…preferly Punch Out!

  • http://archrival.com wildinlikelarrydavis

    Yo that cassidy album is CRAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

  • http://archrival.com wildinlikelarrydavis

    yo, cassidy’s album is phenomenal!!!! everyone that hates on him probably still lives at home with their momma and just loves to hate just to hate….listen to the music…i can’t believe xxl gives all these one hit wonder southern groups xxxl and gives cassidy a L … y’all are haters…just like your boss elliott… i love the jay-z album as well. two great rap albumsss..go cop both…

  • Jay-eF of the A-Team

    so far, i’ve been able to listen to cas & jay albums …… damn, cas shit is nice. This nigga
    got it men. Jay shit aight too ….espaicially Say Hello, Roc Boys & Blue Magic

  • http://www.myspace.com/mc585 M.C

    On the real not to hate on jay or anyhthing but I’m not really into that whole american gangster album..I could give you a hundred reasons why…However, Jay got longevity { if he still wanna reminisce about hes drug dealling days on records} and think that i’ma buy that sht”..He’s on some other sht”.. Cass’ is everything that the game needs..Yeah on this album he spit a lot about GOd and Life..But then again that’s the sht you young niggaz need. He almost got life of some bullsht that happen..He raps about that/ how the game is wack now/ how niggaz need to basically wake up and smell the fucking coffe. Jay told us he’s story already. He told us on REasonable dought’–I personally don’tt hink he should be rhyming about these shts anymore…Statik–I wanna check out his sht cause he’s from around the way…Bean TOWN all day every day…Www.myspace.com/mc585

  • http://yahoo.com gman aka #1 BLOOD

    CaSSidY is the best after this song and I’m fillin this shit

    this song is crazy this shit is so hot yall niggaz who dont like it 2fuckin bad you bitch

  • PSA

    Jay is the GOAT FUCK YA HATERZ!

  • meech313

    Jay-Z’s American Gangster is Reasonable Doubt status. I’m sure Cassidy’s album is tight (haven’t heard it yet, but will download). Had to go cop Jay album early.

    GOAT!

  • Lion

    Cop that new cassidy that shit is hot beginin to end straight up nice same cassidy but more of a joe budden mind set…its crazzzy lion

  • Nehemiah

    Please don’t nobody sleep on Nas. If u dont have his albums get the greatest hits to see what real lyricism is. Back then u didnt need gimmicks or bullshit just skills.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com jonam

    Men it`s so good of cassidy releasing that single coz if not for that all them haters will still hv de gats of talking shit but now cassidy hv zip dem mouth for real i can tell.

  • LARRY

    American Gangster is a classic. From storytelling to the Smoothness and Vibe of the album is on some mature grown up shit. I love it

  • BLOODY ACE

    AMERICAN GANGSTER WAS WHACK FALLIN AND GUESS WHO IS FIRE BUT OVER ALL GARBAGE CD

  • Bkblaze

    American gangster is not bad but on the real jay ant GOAT, not with all the biting hes done of biggie, NAs got the crown!!! Ether.

  • Block Prin$e

    American Gangster is the modern day Reasonable Doubt. Those who don’t realize it’s a classic now, will realize it 3 years down the line just like Reasonable Doubt was. It aint been no classic ALBUMS being put out the last 5 years. At this point, Jay is undeniably the KING of HIP HOP hands down, no argument. He has surpassed Pac, Big, and Nas by far. If u had any doubts, American Gangster should’ve gotten rid of any of em. CLASSIC!!

  • http://any mellie riches

    Who the fuck cares everything is everything jay is the shit cas will be there soon.besides philes is so hood and jeezy got them brown paper bags and rich boy aint so rick.rap is rap and music is music so just lean wit and rock wit it BITCHESSSSS.

    MELLO AKA BUCK$

  • http://www.rapers.com gee

    BlOoD$ NiGa Wat gEe St8T fRoM oTaRa 274

  • Mystery

    its like dis.. *American Gangster* is a album that basically lets tha world know Jay can do anything he want cuz he already paid his dues. Us HOVA fans understand him and luv tha album but if u just recently became a Jay-Z fan after “Show me what you what” obviously u aint gonna like *American Gangster*, yall wont understand the CONCEPT… yo lets not forget Diddy’s production was bangin too, this thing of ours called HIP-HOP aint about regions…. its about JAY. “Aint no livin person can test him/ only the 2 restin in heaven could be mentioned in the same breath as him” When yall gon realize tha SOUTH IS WACK???? select few.. Word to Lil’ Wayne and Chamillionere

  • kill cam

    jay-z is da shit n cas is well cas nigga cant fuck wit jay man he been in the rap game 2 short a tym 2 even think of steppin 2 the king n realising his album on the same day wen american ganstas comin out he been smokin 2 much joints peace

  • Big Mike

    That Jay shit is fiyah I’m sorry, you niggas can’t deny that shit. You can pratically say Jay made the soundtrack for the movie, but that is only if you know music. As for as Cassidy shit, I get sick when I say his name, of course some yall like them bullshit songs like, Laffy Taffy and Two Steps, or let me guess, Lip Gloss right yeah you niggas do