Today In Hip-Hop: Jay Z Releases ‘American Gangster’
On this day, November 6, in hip-hop history…
2007: Released less than a year after Kingdom Come, American Gangster became Jay- Z’s tenth solo album to be certified platinum in the U.S. The critically-acclaimed album helped to solidify him as one of the best in the game not only in just the eyes of his fans but the industry as well.
As Jay’s first concept album, American Gangster was named after the 2007 biopic of the same name. The rapper was vocal about viewing the music as a movie all in itself, stating that almost every song is based on a specific scene from the film and later having it pulled from iTunes as “movies are not sold scene by scene, [the] collection will not be sold as individual singles.”
With production from Diddy & The Hitmen, Just Blaze, Jermaine Dupri, and The Neptunes and songs such as “Blue Magic” and “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is),” American Gangster was able to strike an almost perfect balance of street and commercial.
Beyond the it’s platinum status, American Gangster was able to please hip-hop fans while received general acclaim from critics, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and selling 425,861 copies in its first week. With the new album Jay-Z also paved a spot further in history, tying with Elvis Presley for the second most U.S. No.1 albums, now only after the Beatles. -Natasha Hogg