Recovering from a mediocre release last year with ‘Kingdom Come,’ Jay-Z released the highly anticipated album ‘American Gangster.’ With a concept clearly inspired by Ridley Scott’s urban gangster flick of the same name, Jay delivers a solid album that contains both content and heart. The strong lyricism and smooth production exceeds all expectations and continues to solidify Jay’s spot among hip hop’s elite.
The ‘Intro,’ itself, is a precursor to the album as it opens with a snippet of a Denzel Washington dialogue. The track introduces the American gangster over a dark beat consisting of a heavy bass-line and shifting synths.
The strong bass continues over to ‘Pray’ as Jay raps about the tribulations and pitfalls of being a drug dealer. Arguably the best storytelling song on the album, Jay’s knack for vividly describing scenery and events is uncanny. ‘This is why I be so fresh I’m trying to beat life / because I can’t cheat death