American Gangster

from Jay Z – Ranking His Own Albums on Rap Genius

Meaning

What Hova says:

4 ½, cohesive


American Gangster was released in 2007, following the disappointing Kingdom Come. The album was inspired by Denzel Washington’s movie (whose voice is sampled in the intro of the album) and by New York’s lifestyle. That’s how Jay Z explained it

It’s a New York City true story, you know. So as soon as the movie came on, it was like familiar, things that my pop seen and my uncles seen and, you know, different things like that, things I’ve seen growing up. So they resonated with me in a way, the story, as well as, I mean, even though everything happens, you know, the way it turns out, you know, it’s one of those movies that where you champion the bad guy, because the bad guy, you know, he don’t seem like a bad guy, and the good guy — I mean the good guys are bad. You know, that complex — the complexity of human beings in this thing was amazing to me. I loved the complexity of the human beings

Metacritic gave it a 83 score, the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart and sold 1,131,000 copies overall earning a platinum plaque.

You can check out the lyrics of the album here and the cover art breakdown here!

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