American Gangster

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 163 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 163

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. jkm.
    Feb 5, 2008
    4
    I'm tired of this getting put of Lupe the cool but its really not that good you could jay z on anything and it will sell doesn't mean that its good
  2. M.Mahar
    Nov 7, 2007
    4
    This is such a copy of the movie, "American Gangster." I prefer the movie over the album. Jay-Z is such a copy cat!
  3. RyanA
    Nov 5, 2007
    4
    Here is a guy who has made a life off of producing and rapping, not off kill and selling coke; the pretending has got to stop somewhere. Jay-Z has the capability to produce much better than this. That's not to say this album is with out merit, there are some decent songs scattered throughout, but nothing ground breaking. This album missed the mark. Better luck next time.
  4. LouisP.
    Nov 13, 2007
    4
    Seems I am one of the few that realizes that this time out, Jay-Z is not only dumbing it down but phoning it in. The producers fill the album with amazing head-knodders, bringing there best beats to the table but Jay-Z's material hardly regsisters. I hoped for a throwback album, on par with the days of "Resonable Doubt", what I found is the wordsmith has lost his way. With lyrics Seems I am one of the few that realizes that this time out, Jay-Z is not only dumbing it down but phoning it in. The producers fill the album with amazing head-knodders, bringing there best beats to the table but Jay-Z's material hardly regsisters. I hoped for a throwback album, on par with the days of "Resonable Doubt", what I found is the wordsmith has lost his way. With lyrics that barely flow and content that doesn't regsister on even a simplistic level, "American Gangster" is the first time Jay-Z doesn't only fail his audience, but himself. This album is nothing but a cash-grab hooked on the tail of a hit movie. He should be ashamed of himself. Expand
  5. footclan
    Nov 8, 2007
    6
    Best thing on the album is the Intro. Beats sound too similar. Yes the album is more raw. But no killer hook, expect better from jigga. A little overated this album.
  6. PJB.
    Jan 27, 2008
    4
    People hated on Kingdom Come, so now we get this pile of filler. I am still amazed how so many publications gave this album such high scores, when the only people who could really enjoy this album are those who never listen to hip-hop. This album is primarily produced by two of Puff Daddy's underlings, LV & and Sean C, who are also responsible for the disappointing Big Doe Rehab People hated on Kingdom Come, so now we get this pile of filler. I am still amazed how so many publications gave this album such high scores, when the only people who could really enjoy this album are those who never listen to hip-hop. This album is primarily produced by two of Puff Daddy's underlings, LV & and Sean C, who are also responsible for the disappointing Big Doe Rehab (Ghostface). Their beats are AWFUL. Generic soul samples with no variation or innovation make listening to this album a chore. It's almost pathetic to hear Jay-Z rapping about selling coke and cooking up drugs when he's been out of the ghetto since 1995. The only real highlight of this album is an appearance by Nas, who outshines Jay-Z not just on that track, but the whole album. Frankly, I don't know why Nas every squashed the beef between them. I would hate Jay-Z too if he was making millions claiming to be the best, while I was the true lyrical king of New York who only got respect from white boys and rock critics. Expand
  7. Aug 26, 2013
    6
    American Gangster, Jay-Z’s tenth studio album, is the unofficial soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s movie of the same name, but it is absolutely no concept album. I’m aware that the New York rapper wanted his audience to believe this and he even ‘forbid’ iTunes to sell the individual songs on their own, but there is no continuity at all, it follows the same desultory formula as every other ofAmerican Gangster, Jay-Z’s tenth studio album, is the unofficial soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s movie of the same name, but it is absolutely no concept album. I’m aware that the New York rapper wanted his audience to believe this and he even ‘forbid’ iTunes to sell the individual songs on their own, but there is no continuity at all, it follows the same desultory formula as every other of his albums before and after it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but promoting it as one is and made me resent Jay-Z. However, I managed to get over that disappointment and then, American Gangster really is a fine record and not only in comparison to his previous album, Kingdom Come. A multitude of able producers, a good general message, and most of all Mr. Carter’s rapping skills make it absolutely worth listening to and an entertaining hour of hip hop that can entertain you more than just once. There are only rare instances in which Jay-Z shows off his ingenuity in rapping No Hook, I Know, and Blue Magic but even the indifferent tracks are still above average when likened to other hip hop songs in this day and age. And while that does prove that Mr. Carter is one of the best rappers alive, it’s also undeniable that this is far behind of what he’s able to do the worst song on The Black Album is better than the best one on American Gangster. Expand
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Feb 4, 2011
    90
    It's excellent, to be honest. Jay-Z sounds relaxed and comfortable in his legacy on the mic: he's not feeling as pressed to perform as he did on Kingdom Come, and the MC just lets his talent flow effortlessly.
  2. This is a very good Jay-Z album. He is, for the most part, doing what he has done before: what he does best.
  3. There are also sparse, programmed beats from the Neptunes and lesser-knowns like No I.D., with Jay-Z fixing his flow accordingly. What unites the collection more than a specific sound is a narrative arc that loosely parallels Lucas' rise and decline.