The Totally Official Unofficial XXL Mag Dot Com Review Of ‘American Gangster’…
I have to call this review the unofficial dot com review since there will prah’lee be another review on this site that totally gushes over this album. It’s certainly worth listening to if for nothing else to hear Jay-Z reach into his old bag of tricks of brag rap. KanYe might be my favorite current brag rapper, but it’s fun to listen to where the genre hit its apex.
Jay-Z has so much money that he sleeps on pillows filled with crumpled $100 dollar bills. And like all the smart billionaires he watches every dime. It makes no sense to use that money to open up after-school centers since the ‘hood is going to jail anyhoo. Better to keep the pies flowing through the projects and maintain the code of the streets. Eff the children.
‘American Gangster’ is the ultimate Disney-fication of street hustling. It’s the perfect poetry for someone who needs to understand the justification for selling drugs. You forget all about the lives that are toppled wholesale from the drug trade, whether they be users, their families, the kids on the corners, or their victims that challenged them. ‘American Gangster’ defines drug dealing as the beautiful struggle. T.I., Young Jeezy, and yes you Lil’ Wayne, take notes.
I don’t think the movie that inspired this album will be as good as the CD. That’s not to say this is a great CD, but when its good its better than 96.469% of the shit that is out here. My favorite track is the collabo joint with NaS. I think the last time I heard Jay-Z flow with that kind of focus and determination was on that Roc joint with Beanie and Freeway. Is that shit called ‘What We Do’? Nothing else on the album is as hardbody as this shit. ‘Roc Boys’ is slick and I can see this joint getting fools amped at the show when the live band puts it down. The Neptunes got a couple of joints on the album and you have already heard ‘Blue Magic’. Jay-Z also uses Pharell and his Chinese weedcarrier to produce the requisite track for the ho’s.
The Neptunes and Jay-Z go together like fucking hot sauce on the wings from the halal spot. They make that funky smooth disco rap shit and Jay-Z always seems to be in the pocket for their production. Jay-Z has made Neptunes music classic The Clipse, N.O.R.E. and Philly’s Most Wanted… Not so much. If the Neptunes would have produced ‘Kingdome Come’ I don’t think we all would have shitted on the end product. When I say we I mean all the people that have ears connected to their brains and not their assholes.
I’m happy to say that ‘American Gangster’ doesn’t fly off the deep end like KC did. No cornball Coldplay crossover maneuvers on this disk either. Shit was getting dicey for a moment. I thought Jay-Z was going to start doing emo collabos on the regulack. No OK GO treadmill tracks on this piece. Just Hip-Hop music. What a novel idea that seems like now? If you are a Jigga fan then I don’t have to tell you to go out and buy this album, but if you were sitting on the fence and trying to decide whether to see the ‘American Gangster’ film or copp the ‘American Gangster’ CD do yourself a favor and buy the CD. There’s no way the movie will be this entertaining.
Russel Crowe? Denzel Washington? Never heard of ‘em.