American Gangster: I don’t like it

Not the movie, which I’m sure is the next Scarface (and maybe even watchable!), but the new Jay-Z album, which is only a commercial for the movie.

First of all, I was highly disappointed by the beats by Diddy and his new Hitmen, these guys LV and Sean C, who once did a beat I kinda liked on a Fat Joe album I can hardly remember otherwise. I was willing to believe Diddy was capable of bringing the heat, because, you’ll recall, I enjoyed that Press Play album quite a bit, even though I don’t recall these two guys in particular having any tracks on it. I figured he had turned some sort of corner in his career, in which he realized that if he’s not gonna be able to rap worth a shit, he should at least spring for the best collaborators.

Obviously I was mistaken. The shit these guys are coming up with here does indeed sound like the kind of shit you’d expect to here on one of those Fat Joe albums post-whatever that song was that he had with R. Kelly, but a Jay-Z album? To the extent that these beats are worthwhile, they’re feats of wanton sampling more so than anything else. There’s definitely ’70s soul horns and what have you, if you’re into that sort of thing (and I’ve just determined that I’m not – at all), but nothing they’ve done with them is especially interesting. In particular, the drums sound like they came from one of these mail-order DVDs labeled Hip-Hop Drum Sounds.

As far as the roughly half of the album that wasn’t produced by those guys, well, I don’t like it either. That song with Lil’ Wayne that kinda sounds like a half-assed Beastie Boys knock-off, complete with Paul’s Boutique sample? It’s definitely no “99 Problems.” I’m at a loss for how it ended up track 4 while “Blue Magic” and the title track – neither of which I’m particularly crazy about either – are considered bonus tracks. I guess they didn’t fit this album’s concept as well. Both of the songs co-produced by Jermaine Dupri kinda remind me of other songs that genuinely were good ideas, but that’s about the best I could say about them.

Of course the version of the album I had didn’t have the new version of “Ignorant Shit.” Just Blaze is right in that his flip of that one Isley Brothers song that everyone and his mother used to rap over is way more creative than the rest of them. He’s also right in that it’s too bad that the other version has been floating around on the Internets and on mixtapes and what have you since forever. It kinda ruins what would have been the rush of hearing it for the first time just now. Still, you kinda wish Jay-Z had come up with something more than what he did for that last verse, about Imus.

Which brings me to this album’s other main flaw. Namely, Jay-Z’s rappin’. Now, I can appreciate the fact that Jay-Z is getting old, and old guys just can’t rap as well as young guys. But it doesn’t sound like he’s doing much here in order to compensate. Sometimes it sounds like he’s just rattling off the first few things that come into his head. I realize that’s always been a part of his process, but I wonder if he shouldn’t reconsider his process. Maybe if he actually sat down and committed pen to page, he could be that much more particular about the stuff he does end up spitting.

Also, if you notice the old Jay-Z seems a lot more touchy feely than the young Jay-Z. In several of these songs he mentions his parents and his life growing up in the awful, awful ghetto, which I suppose is fine in that it adds a bit of autobiographical detail to an album that could use something, anything. But it mostly has the effect of making his raps sound like a whole lotta excuse-making. Like that one god-awful Bone Thugs record from earlier this year. No one’s saying that growing up in a poor area isn’t a (new) miserable experience, but Jesus H. Christ. Have some balls about yourself, if only because it makes for better rap music.

In fact, my fear is that one of these days I’m gonna go back and listen to some of his older stuff, which I enjoyed at the time, and all it’s gonna be is a whole lot of, “My dad walked out on my family, and my neighborhood was full of crime and poverty. So I was left with no other choice but to deal drugs, but at least I got all of these nice clothes. Have I mentioned how nice my clothes are?” But with better beats and with better rappin’. But still. Fortunately, like most black people, I don’t listen to a whole lotta older music anyway.

  • http://wmdeez.wordpress.com nation

    I prefered Kingdom Come… and Fade to Black was too amazing for him to make albums in 2 weeks for media hype

    • http://xxlmag.com DMT

      I can’t take anything you write seriously because your a complete gimmick! Your gimmick it to hate on everything and piss people off so they respond to your blogs and the more hits you get the more paychecks you keep get to collect because your not a good enough write with with enough insight to get the hits without the gimmicks. If you want an honest review of this c.d go to Billy Sunday’s blog. You may disagree with him but at least you get an honest review.

      • thoreauly77

        and so you posted a comment about how you won’t post any comments to support the blog?

        anyhow bol, i am still going to check this out since you obviously drank a bottle of haterade before writing this.

    • gee

      lol

  • j

    You don’t anything your opinion don’t count. Some just like to be negative and that is you. Nov.6 classic album. Go get it. Bol you should blog for Bill O’Reily you both hate black people about the same. LOSER. Let me guess you will have smart comment back so go ahead. You like the white boy in school that get hits all the time and laugh about it and take the abuse.

  • May

    Not to diss you or anything Bol, or to say that I’m a Jay-Z stan (which I am far from), but how many times did you listen to AMERICAN GANGSTER?

    Because for me personally, I never like Jay-Z’s albums on the first listen. Not even on the second, third, or even seventh listen. I have to take my time with his albums, put ‘em away, and come back later to them for me to fully appreciate what Jay has to say. For instance, let’s take THE BLACK ALBUM. I thought that album was disappointing at first. It wasn’t like any other albums I liked, such as THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP or GOD’S SON, in the sense that I understood the lyrics the very first go round. But I stuck with THE BLACK ALBUM for quite a while, and I eventually liked it. I bump it from time to time.

    What I’m trying to say here is, I still want AMERICAN GANGSTER, no matter what you say. I know it’s gonna take some time for the album to grow on me just because Jay-Z made it, but that doesn’t matter. I know it ain’t gonna be a waste of money, that is for sure.

    Surely I’m gonna be at the Best Buy @ 86th Street & Lexington Ave to copp.

    • Josh

      Why would you listen to an album 7 times if you don’t like it?

      There’s a difference between an album growing on you/appreciating it over time and starting to like something because it’s beat into your head.

      This is why so many people find themselves singing along to “Crank That Soulja Boy.”

      They hate the song, but have heard it so many times that they get addicted to it.

      Kinda like what McDonalds does with its advertising campaigns.

      And while I agree with you that some Jay albums take time to grow on you (See Vol. 1 which, if I remember correctly, everyone hated when it came out; The Dynasty; and The Black Album), others just sucked (See Blueprint 2 and Kingdom Come), while yet others were great on the first listen (See Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint).

      To round it out, Vol. 2 was good but a little overrated and Vol. 3 had so many great songs (mostly produced by Timbaland), but kinda got ruined by the Amil and Mariah Carey joints.

      If an album’s good, it can grow on you and become great.

      If an album’s great, it can possibley grow on you and become classic.

      But if an album sucks on first listen, chances are it just sucks.

  • May

    Not to diss you or anything Bol, or to say that I’m a Jay-Z stan (which I am far from), but how many times did you listen to AMERICAN GANGSTER?

    Because for me personally, I never like Jay-Z’s albums on the first listen. Not even on the second, third, or even seventh listen. I have to take my time with his albums, put ‘em away, and come back later to them for me to fully appreciate what Jay has to say. For instance, let’s take THE BLACK ALBUM. I thought that album was disappointing at first. It wasn’t like any other albums I liked, such as THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP or GOD’S SON, in the sense that I understood the lyrics the very first go round. But I stuck with THE BLACK ALBUM for quite a while, and I eventually liked it. I bump it from time to time.

    What I’m trying to say here is, I still want AMERICAN GANGSTER, no matter what you say. I know it’s gonna take some time for the album to grow on me just because Jay-Z made it, but that doesn’t matter. I know it ain’t gonna be a waste of money, that is for sure.

    Surely I’m gonna be at the Best Buy @ 86th Street & Lexington Ave to copp.

    • Doobie

      Great points May. First impressions don’t mean much at all when it comes to albums: most of the albums that I’ve heard that sounded good upon first listen turned out to be pretty mediocre and, most of the greatest albums that I’ve heard didn’t impress me much at all at first. A little extra time and attention paid to the details pays off in the long run.

  • og bobby j

    I dont know dog…Roc boys and Success are both fire….thats my opinion….

  • Incilin

    I aint heard the album yet, but I gota say the singles thus aint get me all that excited. Although I thought Roc Boys was great, minus his Lyor Cohen channeling.

  • Worley

    Jay-Z is cliche at this point just like 50. We all know what they are going to say beforehand. If anything, Jay should talk about his corporate hustle–some of the stuff going on in his new life. We ain’t trying to hear nothing about no memories from 15, 20 years ago. Let me hear something about how you pimpin’ the corporate machine, tell me about Beyonce’s stank, tell me about pissing off white folks in the suburbs or something, anything but stale memories.

    • Chillin

      He did do that its called “Kingdom Come”. Guess you forgot to listen to that. Which is the reason for this album Kingdom Come is too far beyond the current market to be understood.
      This is the album that everybody was saying they wanted that resonable doubt type Jay-Z. This movie just provided the inspiration to go back to that point in time and give the public what they said they wanted.

  • http://governmentnames.blogspot.com Government Names

    I never thought I’d see the day when I agree with almost everything in a Byron Crawford post.

  • ga_finest08

    The tracks I’ve heard so far are alright, I don’t see a classic stemming from this, the one thing I don’t get is the proposed album cover. Jaz-z American Gangster? C’mon, i’ve always admired Jay-z for being the one artist who could pull off the kingpin act without having to be gangster about it. The smart hustler, that cool nigga, that fade to black nigga. That cover alone is the first sign that the album just might be a trailer soundtrack, getting u hype to see the movie. The movie has sold it self, doesn’t need a commercial album, i pray the album as a whole can carry its own. Im pretty sure he doesn’t want people to stop buying the record after the movie hype goes down. Need another blueprint.

  • jrwriter

    I dont agree with that shit. first everyone says kingdom come wasnt hard enough(translation: it went over too many heads), now jay releases AG, in which the nigga’s lyrics are hard, real, and on point, but the production also is sick(see “success, no hook, fallin, american dreamin, i know, pray, american gangster, sweet, say hello…well just about the whole damn album). All this old jay-z, new jay-z bs, Stop the hate! This nigga is still better than your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. In a day and age where soulja boy and dipset are the fan favorites, how can you you love nigga’s who can’t rap and hate the ones who can? For you dumb niggas who like to say that wayne is better than jay, wayne took took his style and ran with it and still dont talk about nothing except making shit rhyme. So if American Gangster isnt hot, tell me who’s album is better?

  • pee scholar

    first and foremost i’m probaly the only person who reads bol and still thinks kingdom come was an amazing album……(i did that so wack critics can just skip my blog.) But AG does not sound that great, it actually sounds like wat i expected when i heard about kingdom comes release. But i agree with bol he does sound like he is getting old and the wittiness of his punchlines are deteriating fast…. When it comes to substnace its almost like he is struggleing to come up with something. And for a concept album(yeah right)that was really just an excuse to rap about cocaine again. i haven’t heard a track (other than roc boys and blue magic) that had anything to do with the movie. American ganster was a pretty good track but still not alot of concept for an album. The beats definitley were throw aways from the reasonable doubt era, but still prolly the best feature on the album. Real jay fans(the ones that think “bring it on” was prolly his greatest verse!) will prolly hate this album cuz its a blueprint imposter with reasonable doubt beats.

  • ddubbzz

    I’m not surprised by this review at all…

  • Around and Around

    Bol Says,
    Now, I can appreciate the fact that Jay-Z is getting old, and old guys just can’t rap as well as young guys. But it doesn’t sound like he’s doing much here in order to compensate.
    ———
    I don’t know about that, the flows Jay Z has had in other tracks as of late have been hot fire word to Dylan

  • j

    Now age have something do with it. When Most of the dudes that rap are in there 30′s it only so many young dudes rapping. Like my dude said you hate to over your head Jay now he come with the Hood talk then you got people like he not hood no more he glorifying drugs. You know what it music entertainment people hate Jay because he got so much money. You would love Jay if he got arrested like Wayne or TI, or get caught with drugs then you would say he is hot. That is what you like Ignorant Shit( figure it out.) So if give to you and you still hate. Lryics as never fell off just got better and he reads something that most of don’t do. (not Magazines) Now if he comes out with a political album then you will still hate. BUT CAMRON can make a song about GLITTER and that is hood. You NIGGGAAAAZZ yeah i said you niggaz are INGNORANT.

    • Tray

      Glitter is a good song though because his flow on that is about ten times better than any song on this album. Besies, it’s not really about glitter.

    • Cinsere

      LOL! Fam…if you think that people’s opinion of Jay is SOLELY based on the money that he has, then who’s really the ignorant one?! Just because that’s your line of thinking, it doesn’t make it everybody else’s. The dude just ain’t got it no more…plain and simple.

      • Josh

        Yo Cinsere, how did you respond to a comment that wasn’t written in English.

        To wit:

        “You know what it music entertainment people hate Jay because he got so much money.”

        You must have psychic abilities of which I wasn’t aware.

        • Cinsere

          Lol…yeah, it took me a few reads to really understand what he was trying to say. Going by May’s rules, it is now officially a “great” comment…lol.

  • Fin

    The Puff tracks are the weakest thing on there, the singles are garbage, but there are some really good tracks that show the old Jay. I’d say this album has maybe 3 great tracks 2 OK ones and the rest is the generic crap we’ve grown to expect from Jay.

  • The Kanadian

    Roc Boyz N’Success=Str8 Fire

  • http://www.yorapper.com YoRapper

    Really? I think your just depressed dude, listen to the album in a month. Check my review out:
    http://www.yorapper.com/review-jay-z-american-gangster/

    And please proof read what you write.

  • king equality Victorious

    yeah man what I heard so far is ok nonthing special but nowadays what is People dont even go cop the truely talented stuff no more The movie was a big let down to me long as hell and still left out alot of details They lucky denzel was the lead if it wasnt for him the movies really boring Yeah I know all yall seen the clear bootleg to . They should change the title to sleepless in harlem I cant beleive this nigga was inspired by this shit which is probly bullshit to he just using the movie buzz to sell the record

  • CHUMS

    Bol,

    The American Gangster LP is a soundtrack to the movie. Jay Z already admitted that he was trying to get his new Album to be the offical soundtrack. So thanks for reinventing the wheel. Whats the next big insight? Let me guess… the sky is blue and the grass is green. Your insight is incredible.

    I understand the lack luster drums sounds via the Hitmen, but the 70′s soul music distain is a little off to me. Usually people in their 20′s learn about motown and the 70′soul music from their parents on Sunday mornings either cleaning the house or doing chores.

    Well you like Press Play by Puff, so your parents were playing? Maybe NKOTB was your ish growing up? Mabye you bark just to be heard or to get paid.

    Quote: “People asking me why I’m rhyming different? Beacause my bestfriend got shot my mind is different” the game

    Now imagine a person’s mindset when they are chasing the Billion Dollar Plateau.

    How can you help your people when you don’t have any resources? Look at Bill Gates and his wife. They do more for AIDS research then the entire U.N.

    Don’t be mad, just contribute a verse.

    MC

  • gutta

    i agree with May and Worley. with every jay album you have to really listen to it to appreciate it but ive heard the entire album and even though im kinda dissapointed by it, im still going to buy it because im a loyal hov fan. My thing is artists like jay-z have loyal fans but the music thats being put out lately is garbage and thats why ppl arent buying albums as much,people are getting smarter in that nobody is going to risk there hard earned dollars on a garbage album or shit sandwich as bol may say and not saying american gangster is a shit sandwich but the album could have been better and the beats arent as hot as the they made it out to be. just because u out your “heart and soul on the album doesnt mean that people are obligated to go pay for it when it may turn out to be a trash album. i “took a chance” on buying cassidy first album without hearing alot of the songs and after buying and listening to it a couple of times i felt like i wasted my money and to anyone thats not rich thats the worst feeling in the world. as far as the amercian gangster, the best songs on the album to me are success,no hook,ignorant sh*t(even though its old),blue magic is hot but doesnt fit with the sound of the album so its a bonus cut, hello brooklyn is tolerable, the rest of the album is alright, but i was more surprised to hear jay even sounding off-beat on a couple of cuts and i think dead presidents 3 should have made the album. but overall its good just not has more bark than bite if you ask me.

  • NYY

    WOW!! I CANT BELIEVE IT. FIRST NEGEATIVE REVIEW ON AMERICAN GANGSTER COME FROM BOL!! WOULDN’T EXPECT ANYTHING DIFFERENT. LUCKY FOR YOU BOL; JAY WILL BE AROUND A LIITLE LONGER SO YOU CAN CONTINUE TO WRITE ABOUT HIM…..

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka Sinistah

    hopefully i get my posts posted this time…

    Bol’s a Rocket-Scientist…..

    but nah i can fuck wit da album for what it is, i expected more, but it’s cool in the ride for now!

  • DocZeus

    To hear how much Jay-Z’s flow and lyrics have retograded you only have to hear the first two verses of Ignorant Shit and then listen to the rest of the album. Its like Jay-Z’s forgot how to flow.

  • Cinsere

    Though this analogy has been done to death…it is SO true:

    Jay-Z = Michael Jordan

    Should have stayed retired with their final shots sealing their legacy…but they just couldn’t stay away. And while there were moments here and there where you’d be like “yo…he’s still got it”…they were few and far between…and you couldn’t help but realize that their prime had CLEARLY passed, because something was just off. The timing. The precision. The swagger. The killer instinct. It just wasn’t there anymore.

    No hate…just the truth.

  • j

    I think you guys have been listening to too much garbage to say that his lyrics have fell off. He is still sharp. You dudes don’t read enough to understand Jay. You dudes say Wayne is nice and he is straight doo doo. I know I am in another world now. To say this album isn’t hot. Next you going to say that Nas fell off.

    • MrWillDoIt

      Well said, my friend!

      “How sick am I? I wish you health”

      versus

      “I’m twisted like string on your boot.”

      Come on people! We can’t dumb it down anymore!

  • The Infamous Mr. P

    well bol as much as i like to contradict your sinical criticism on the hip hop world and its reocourring habit of regurgitating music from its conception, and by that i mean sampling and played out song concepts. i have to agree with you. its obvious that as far as the music is concerned theyre trying to relive the good ol days when rap and its sound was raw and real back in the 80′s. jay tryin to relive the past for the sake of commercial success is like bringing back baywatch and casting haselhoff again as the male lead, he has a better chance at getting the role as a drunk homeless guy trying to eat a hamburger of the floor, wait a minute…anyway, i thought kingdom come was better, and hed probably be better off actually putting time and effort into his own artists rather than his stagnant career. oh yeah and im sure that the movie is gonna suck as much as the cd, denzel might as well just start narrating documentaries.

  • shaddy

    FUCK A CRITIC!!!!!!!!!…..NO REALLY FUCK A CRITIC!

  • Redd

    ofcourse you dont like it BOL you dont like JAY-Z.

  • MrWillDoIt

    I have heard the album in it’s entirety and I have say that it is, in my opinion, a hip-hop classic.

    It would be unfair to this masterpiece and send the wrong message if I said that it is leaps and bounds beyond the material that anyone (including Kanye) has put out in the last two years….After all, a classic is timeless and can stand up against any music of any era.

    Bol, maybe you have set the bar too high for Jay-Z. Understanding that he is the greatest is one thing, but he is not flawless as an artist and CANNOT be everything to everyone.

    “F**k crtics, you can kiss my whole asshole. If you don’t like my shit, you can press fast fow’.”

    Stop trying discredit one best things that hip-hop has left. Jay-Z is a part of a dying breed. What will you say, sir, when all you have is Souljah Boy?

    P.S. Keep the Bone Thug name out of your mouth! Chuuuch!

  • tj

    cinsere man you just layed that shit out right.

  • ri067953

    Jay-Z now = Jaz-O

  • Content

    I disagree. From what I’ve heard of AG Hov is back to form.

  • Fire

    From what I’ve heard of American Gangster, it’s been a decent album, except for “Hello Brooklyn”. How the hell did that make the album? Maybe YN should ask the producers that. Anyway, it’s nowhere near as good as pre-retirement Jay, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the shit sandwich that is Kingdom Come. And no, Kingdom Come did not go over my head, it just sucked, and that’s coming from a big Jay Z fan. He’s never fallen off lyrically, but, as is the case with most artists in any genre of music, the older stuff is better. In any case, I’ll probably get the CD and go see the movie.

  • halfNice

    Hey Bol, I don’t give a fuck about the new Jay-Z album.

    However, I’ve got a question for you. What did you think about the comments made by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Dr James Watson, that black people are less intelligent than white people? Your views on that will be way more interesting (even if it’s got nothing to do with hip-hop) than if Jay-Z has produced another lukewarm post-retirement album.

  • http://xxlmag.com houston’s finest

    WELL I TRUST UR OPINION ON THIS ONE BOL. FUCK AMERICAN GANGSTA. I’M DOWNLOADING THAT FREE JIM JONES MIXTAPE. THEN CAM ON NOV. 7TH

  • King B

    Bol you need to stop hating with your fat ass…the album is goin to be hot just admit it bitch

  • JD

    A

  • clarknova

    I hated Kingdom Come, didn’t even really like the Black Album beyond a few singles, hated Blueprint 2.0…I haven’t really gotten behind a Jay record since Blueprint. I have bumped the ever loving shit out of American Gangster and I think it’s Jay’s most cohesive work in a long long time. It’s too early to call it a classic, but I am really feeling it and I’m not even really a Jay fan. Let it be known tho: I DO like old soul loops, and I really like “Hello Brooklyn.” So it seems like sonically American Gangster is right up my alley.
    BOL, do you really think AG isn’t better than 50′s shitbomb or T.I. vs T.I.P? Just curious.

  • NOR CAL MUFUCKAS!!!

    NO MORE TALK OF WHY PEOPLE DONT BUY CDS ANYMORE. WHY PAY FOR SOMETHING YOU CAN GET FOR FREE? SIMPLE AS THAT.

    AND JAY-Z IS WAY TOO COMMERCIAL THESE DAYS TO BE CONSIDERED THE BEST. HONESTLY HOW SERIOUS IS ANYONE TAKING AFTER THE MARKETING FIASCO FOR KINGDOM COME. FIRST TIEM I WANTED TO KILL MYSELF DURING MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL. THIS IS JUST A LONG ASS COMMERCIAL FOR THE MOVIE. IF DENZEL WASNT IN THIS MOTHERFUCKER HE WOULDNT HAVE DONE THIS. AND I CAN TELL YOU RIGHT NOW JAY-Z IS A FUCKING IDIOT FOR SAYING HE SAW THE MOVIE AND IT INSPIRED HIM SO JAY-Z GETS INSPIRATION FROM MEDIOCRE MOVIES WITH MEDOCRES ACTORS, HOW GOD DAMN LAME IS THAT. IT INSPIRED THAT FUCKING MONEY MACHINE IN HEAD GOING CH-CHING REAL LOUD. BLACK TEENS ARE THE EASIEST TO MARKET TO. AND AS AVID FILM FAN AND FILM MAJOR I WILL SAY THAT THIS MOVIE IS GOING TO BE MEDIOCRE AT BEST ESPEACIALLY WITH TI AND COMMON IN IT AS WELL. RUSSEL CROWE IS CRAP AND DENZEL GIVES THE SAME PERFORMANCE IN EVERY MOVIE.

    I DONT GIVE A FUCK WHAT ANYONE SAYS THE BEST NEW YORK GANGSTER MOVIE EVER IS KING OF NEW YORK. WALKEN IS FLAWLESS AND FISHBURNE IS FUCKING DOPER THAN SWEET LADY H. ALSO IT WAS AN ORIGINAL IDEA AT LEAST AS FAR THE CHARACTERS AND THAT WHITE BOY COPPER GETS SLAMMED INTO A FIRE HYDRANT AT 40MPH

    • Fire

      You think Denzel Washington’s a crappy actor?

      Whatever you’re on, I want a pound of it.

  • fla all day

    jay z need some drama in his life or something to inspire him. like beyonce leavin him, caus his shit been wack!!

  • gerold

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=nWOQRw-iHos

    No let it burn slow you hating ass nerd

  • Beeyo

    LOL at rap, rappers and rap fans. And the internet.

  • Anzwer

    such a hater..it don’t matter what jay does you still hate…you should change your day job or start writing about rock music..

  • not a classic

    u thought curtisss was garbage, american gangster takes the cake for worst album

  • T.R.E.Y.

    you’re slippin’ Bol. with the humor i mean.

    and i mean you’re free to shit on every good album that comes out, but really, it might be better to get back to torturing your ears with the “advanced” stylings of That Paranoid White Guy’s Music to Kill Yourself To and just leave rap to the people with taste. really now. what’s the last mainstream rap album you’ve liked other than P. Dids’s?

  • will communication

    nice Gin Blossoms reference

  • Casper

    Lol @ May

    If you ain’t feeling the music on the SEVENTH listen, something is wrong

    Fuck letting it grow on you

    When it’s hot, it’s hot… and vice versa

  • INF

    NAH bol u bugging that album is fire, like people been saying with Kingdom come everybody complained he wasnt talkn enuff of the street shit now he gives you the hard shit and people stll complaning..

  • http://www.rizzleworld.blogspot.com allnice

    The public holds Jay to a higher standard than other rappers. American Gangster is wack when you consider Jay’s talent and business know how. Plus he already embarrassed himself by retiring and then returning. Kingdom Come would have been a classic album, but he ruined it with his new lovey dovey style that Bol mentioned.

    Son has seriously lost his edge. I don’t blame that on the great life he is living. I think that his swagger came from other cats like Dame Dash, BIG, and all the other people he was hanging out with. Now that they are all gone, he is just showing us who he really was all along.

    This album still generated alot of buzz though. Jay gets even more legendary and popular as he ages which is definitely rare for a hip hop icon (only dead rappers like 2pac and Biggie can hang). I don’t think people care if Jay-Z can rap or not anymore. He can still do his thing by just showing up and putting in a solid effort. He doesn’t need to black out like he used to. I don’t know if that is good for the fans or not, but that is the meaning of success. You just don’t have to go hard like you used to.

    • Home School

      Generated his swag from Dame Dash?? Where do you see Hov running off at the mouth and being an asshole like Dame was in Roc-A-Fella’s heyday. As for American Gangster it is tight from what i’ve heard. On that “Success” track Jay is talking real reckless.
      “I got watches I ain’t seen in months
      Room at the Trump I only slept in once
      Niggas say its over for Hov, such dummies even when I fall I fall on a pile of money”

  • Jdizzel3000

    Homo ass nigga not even postin my shit up im sorry if i make to much sense for you dumbass.

  • http://myspace.com/jamaicanhottgyal Gena

    U r bugging out! American Gangsta isn’t that bad. U clearly dont know music and im starting to believe that u didnt even listen to the album. Whatever the case may be at the end of the day he’s still numero Uno!

  • Triple D

    Nigga no one likes you anyway… fuck you and your opinion. I wanna see you drop an album half as good as American Gangster, or any other Jay album.

  • yo

    Blah Blah Blah

  • T.R.E.Y.

    lol@Hov’s swag comin’ from Dash

    at least with BIG ya can make a half-assed case.

  • Ali

    I only agree on 2 things

    #1 I ain’t crazy bout Blue Magic either although tha rest sounds great

    #2 i gotta admit tha hello brooklyn 2.0 beat is tha worst piece of shit I’ve ever heard haha…..lyrics r good but damn r u kiddin’ me? u’ve coulda put fart noises intead and it woulda sounded better

    other than that….American Gangster: XXL

  • gh

    american gangster is the best album of jay-zs career.bol u are just hating.u know it and i know it.
    if he had rapped abut bragiibng shit u woulda hated.if he had rapped over non sampled beats u wouold have hated.
    if he had made club records u would have hated.so ur blog cant be taken seriously cos u would have hated on everything anyway.now take ur man boobs and ur tacos back to ur moms basement

  • Jdizzel3000

    First off can you really take any nigga named bol seriously? anyhow this is what im talking about

    “We ain’t thugs just for the sake of just being thugs
    Nobody do that, where we grew at nigga, duh
    The poverty line we not above so I come with mask and glove
    Cause we ain’t feelin’ the love
    We ain’t doing crime for the sake of doing crimes
    We moving dimes cause we ain’t doing fine
    One out of three of us is locked up doing time
    You know what the type of shit can do to a nigga’s mind?
    My mind on my money, money on my mind
    If you owe me ten dollars you ain’t giving me nine
    Y’all ain’t give me 40 acres and a mule
    So I got my glock 40 now I’m cool
    And if Al Sharpton is speaking for me
    Somebody get him the word and tell him I don’t approve
    Tell ‘em I’ll remove the curses
    If you tell me our schools gonna be perfect
    When Jena 6 don’t exist
    Tell ‘em that’s when I’ll stop saying bitch
    BITCH!”

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^pppffffffff… yeah jay really done fell off spittin garbarge like this…smh

  • Teddy

    massive jay fan but its very painful to agree on alot of this iv been downloading the songs as they have come out and like i like em at first listen then i listen to em bit more then they r not as impactful beats or the rhymin i jay is rhyming of beat a hell of a lot on this album n the metaphors n shit u find on earlier shit aint here as much its still dope for sure but i wanted that – dynasty roc la familia intro shit, that blue print – i don’t know shit, that kingdom come – the prelude shit, blue print 2 – hovi baby, bitches and sisters, thats that vicious jay, his just not on this album maybe on success and for sure on ignorant shit but ignorant shit is an old track i think thats a cop out u gotta put an old track that sbeen out so long on an alumb even if its that dope its been out for years just give ur self more time then 2 months to make an album

  • Ruff Huff

    it sounds like he doesnt like rap music… everything he says he doesnt like about the album is rap/hiphop in general… maybe you should go listen to nickelback or some gay ass emo shit and go blog on their website because all you ever do is talk shit about rap music and the rappers that make it… but your on a rap website writing for a rap magazine…. this combination just doesntmake sense… and this guy is just bullshit

  • http://kellsfetish.com Lo-Doe

    I have the official album. The lyrics are in the book(ing) and it’s a decent album. The production was nice especially by Puff (Diddy). Puff’s first album “No Way Out” was classic. The production on that album and a lot of the beats had an old gangsta feel to it. That’s why Jay let Puff do his thing on this album, he reflected back on Puff’s classic joint and knew what time it was. My favorite joints is “Pray” & “I Know”. Them 2 songs is nuts.

  • Dog

    The faggot blogger who goes by J is a Jay Z dick ridder to the fullest so don’t pay him no mind. I like Jay. I think the album will be good but not a classic. YO J GET OFF JAY D__K YOU HOMO.

  • the one

    Im sorry I have to agree with Bol. I don’t like the album as a whole. I like, like 4 songs. Sorry, I have the album myself and I gave It a couple of listens to be sure of my opinion. After I heard the first three songs that was on the radio, I was seriously like damn, this nigga Is back. But then I got the album, the official album and Im not Impressed. I expected more from Jay. Im not feelin the beats at all. There are literally 4 hot songs on this album. Sorry. No hate, just expected more after hearing those first leaked songs.

    I also can’t believe I agree with Bol for the first time ever.

  • JAYSTONE

    Damn fire you are right.this albulm is cool compare to Kingdom come.Anyway KG is a great albulm.some of you fools listern to song for the beat only.shit as long as the lyrics is dope i could give a fuck about a wack beat.you know what Roc boys is better than ayo technology or in the club.hell Nas song i gave you power is better than In the club ever through these 50 songs has great beat and catchy hooks.who cares about hooks anyway.Case example is 2pac who has probem with beat selection.My reason is that all the great MC dont rely on hot beat.If illmatic or reasonable doubt are to drop today y`all would think they are wack.if not then common latest abulm will be platinum by now instead of wack rappers like D4L,young joc,jezzy,Dem Franchise boys to name but a few.I dare say America Gangster is a classic.

  • Cinsere

    Josh says:

    Yo Cinsere, how did you respond to a comment that wasn’t written in English.

    To wit:

    “You know what it music entertainment people hate Jay because he got so much money.”

    You must have psychic abilities of which I wasn’t aware.

    Haha…yeah, it took me a few reads to really understand what the hell he was saying. But by May’s rules, that now makes it a “great” comment…lol.

  • JAYSTONE

    @ cinsere,what the fuck are you smoking.AG is the shit.maybe you aint feeling the beats.if that is the case go and listern to youg joc.dont get heat up.

    • Cinsere

      “And while there were moments here and there where you’d be like “yo…he’s still got it”…they were few and far between…and you couldn’t help but realize that their prime had CLEARLY passed, because something was just off. The timing. The precision. The swagger. The killer instinct. It just wasn’t there anymore.”

      Reading is important, my dude…you should try it some time. I ain’t say nothin’ about the beats. It’s Jay…he doesn’t sound the same.

      (LOL @ “don’t get heat up”…moron)

  • JAYSTONE

    halfNice says:

    Hey Bol, I don’t give a fuck about the new Jay-Z album.

    However, I’ve got a question for you. What did you think about the comments made by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Dr James Watson, that black people are less intelligent than white people? Your views on that will be way more interesting (even if it’s got nothing to do with hip-hop) than if Jay-Z has produced another lukewarm post-retirement album.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    yeah. i have been askig bol to blog about that cracker.bol i hope you are listerning.

  • Cello

    I don’t understand why one would allow your opinion to effect their interpretation of an art form that can only be truly appreciated on an individual level. I don’t think the artists are the problem with Hip Hop, the problem with Hip Hop are the masses the let bloggers like you affect their personal experience. Each time I break the rapping on a new disk I am ready for the ride. The artist will let me know if I am in for the full route or I just have to get off because it’s not going my way. Open your own mind people and interpret this artist by your own standards.

  • DirtDogggy

    Finally a XXL blogger that gives a honest opinion and not dick ridding Jay’s marketing money that he obviously droped off at XXL a couple weeks ago.

    I like the Nas track, everything else is average.

  • Weasel

    C’mon now mu’fuckas,
    This Jay album is str8 fire, ni99as be criticisin jus 4 da sake of it. The beats are gr8 & diverse, and Jay still spits fire far far better than ur favourite rapper. “Do you fools listen to music or you jus skim thru it…”
    And Bol, I think you should start reviewin Rock albums ‘coz Hip-Hop is clearly not for you
    1

  • Young Randall

    Yur just a fool and and as far as u being a columnist yur input on rap is horrible from all the albums i think this is one hovs best album. But t from the looks of things u sound like a struggling columnist just trying to start some controversy.

  • killasSkeem

    I dont know what sucka ass hater wrote this bullshit article but You need to listen again, with a hater free ear, and judge the music for what it is and quit comparing this album to his past classics.I see why you mentioned the song with Weezy, thats tracks weak, but most all the others are tight as fuck!!Much better album than Kingdom Come ten times

  • Jerod

    Fuck Byron Crawford. Hater.

  • http://www.myspace.com/challzthenegotiator Challz

    I stopped reading after I read this statement:

    “There’s definitely ’70s soul horns and what have you, if you’re into that sort of thing (and I’ve just determined that I’m not – at all),”

    Then how can you say anything about the poor production? That doesnt mean the production is poor it just mean you were looking for a different sound. You dont like soul horns? What the hell does that mean? Are you a cornhusker or some shit? Im lost…what hip hop head doesnt like soulful horns? You lost me with that statement and I never read another word. Your whole blog went to shit after that so really your convo dont exist.

    peace,
    Challz

  • guttaMAN

    the album is incredible.
    i think Bol woulda hated on it no matter what it sounded like.
    if GOD did an album Bol would hate it.