There's a real dope interview with Hank Shocklee over at HipHopGame, which you can read in its entirety here

I'd pull some quotes from it but for for whatever reason my dude Brian who runs that site and did the interview has some shit on the page that won't allow me to copy and paste. Boo hoo.

Whatever, click the link, read the shit, then come back here and comment. There's not all that much about Hank creating original music for American Gangster, but it's not like we can expect too much in-depth coverage about the technical shit from any urban sites. That'd mean these sites actually cared about music, rather than beef and bullshit, and god forbid we have that.

Still, I like how Hank is talking about having to go back and basically analyze just how music from whatever year he needs to make it for in the movie, was actually made back then. And he's damn right. Music from 1969 was made differently than music from 1975, in terms of the instruments used, the arrangements, the style of playing, and so on ad so forth. So when you are making music to fit a film, particularly a period piece, where the music needs to fit the actual year of the scene to a tee, getting all this information down pat is key. As a musician or producer, you also need to put yourself in the mind frame of the person who was making the music at that time. What instruments would that producer lay down first? How would they cut the vocals? What kind of tape were they recording on? Things like that. It's bigger than turning on your laptop and firing up some VST soft synths in cubase and then adding little vinyl crackling samples on top of the shit to make your beat sound like it came from a record.

-Paul Cantor