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American Gangster (Edited)

by Jay Z
American Gangster by Jay Z
Released: Nov 2007
Label: Roc-A-Fella
"I used to give a f*ck / Now, I give a f*ck less," Jay-Z states on "Success," and here he's abandoned Kingdom Come's beach chair for a spot on a dirty street corner. The album is painted in washed-out grays and dark blues, drained of hooks and informed by the loss and soulful sway of soaring horns and rattling bongos. This is nostalgia as blood lust, gangster rap as social commentary, and Jay wears his politics on his sleeve throughout, aiming at Imus on "Ignorant Sh*t" and licking shots at Reagan on "Blue Magic." This is an excellent return to form.
Sam Chennault