American Gangster

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 181

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  1. JamesH.
    Jan 11, 2008
    10
    Perfection.
  2. JoshN
    Nov 5, 2007
    10
    Jay Z hits hard with his new album. Much much better than Kingdom Come, though it is still not his best. Vintage Jay-z. If that's what you want, enjoy this album for what it is worth
  3. Fufa
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    this cd Is crazy I guess everybody is a jay fan again right ? Damn that's crazy.
  4. SashaR.
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    I dont usually like jay, but this is a master piece right here.
  5. [Anonymous]
    Nov 7, 2007
    10
    Excellent album. And no, this isn't a Kanye record. First of all, it's a pro rapping, not a producer. Secondly, if you think Hov is taking a page from Kanye, you obviously have not heard Reasonable Doubt.
  6. leyod.
    Nov 8, 2007
    10
    jigga back dis rite here iz fire
  7. StanP.
    Jan 2, 2008
    10
    Clearly one of jay's better albums...he makes the reappearance most were hopig for in kingdom come, which I feel wasn't one of his best albums but it was kind shaking off the rust. the American gangsta album has several hits and after watchin the movie it makes one appreciate the album more. if you don't appreciate the album watch the movie and then listen. I believe Clearly one of jay's better albums...he makes the reappearance most were hopig for in kingdom come, which I feel wasn't one of his best albums but it was kind shaking off the rust. the American gangsta album has several hits and after watchin the movie it makes one appreciate the album more. if you don't appreciate the album watch the movie and then listen. I believe someone else stated that jay-z is a story teller and this is a rapped story about the hustle of frank lucas as well as jay-z. Expand
  8. DonlaW.
    Mar 17, 2008
    10
    Let's be real about something here. Almost every album Hov puts out has the potential to become a hit. Nothing will ever be bigger than his Blueprint, but this album cuts it pretty close. It's quite different seeing that the entire theme is based on the hit movie. From what most of us know, he's the first to do this. I've listened to every track and as he promised Let's be real about something here. Almost every album Hov puts out has the potential to become a hit. Nothing will ever be bigger than his Blueprint, but this album cuts it pretty close. It's quite different seeing that the entire theme is based on the hit movie. From what most of us know, he's the first to do this. I've listened to every track and as he promised before he released it, it would be one to remember. Sleeping on this album is like going backwards on a highway. Expand
  9. ricky
    Nov 10, 2007
    10
    this album is just great. all-round.
  10. Blake
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    A Brilliant Masterpiece!!! You Go Hova!!!
  11. SumT
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    An awesome album when you compare it to the other more comercial albums being released now. His best since Blueprint, maybe even better.
  12. HarveyW.
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    Crazy
  13. GangstaD
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    One of Jiggas best albums. Best album since The Blueprint and in some cases better. Period.
  14. AmberC.
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    HOV proves again why he'll never be irrelevant! I love him and this is the best him we've seen in a while!! ROC IS IN THE HOUSE!!
  15. LarryC.
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    This is black superhero music! Some are suited for retirement. Others are not. I thank God, as a true rap and Hip Hop fan, that Jay-Z is the latter. HOV returned to recording with his pop-laden Kingdom Come. Full of deeper meaning and more conscious lines and messages than typical for the Greatest MC rap knows, Kingdom Come failed to hit with his true followers.
  16. Dontrelle
    Nov 7, 2007
    10
    A great album by the greatest MC in the world!! Probably, my choice for album of the year. It's that good.
  17. TranquilD.
    Nov 7, 2007
    10
    This is vintage Jay-z, the flow, the concept, even production is sick. Except for Hello Brooklyn 2.0 every track is timeless, so glad to have Hov' back. ITS UR BOY!!
  18. Anthony
    Nov 8, 2007
    10
    This Album real dread y'll and coming from the Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago).
  19. JordanB.
    Nov 9, 2007
    10
    "American Gangster" is up there with Jay's first album "Reasonable Doubt." Jay-Z is definitely one of the best and most consistent hip hop artists of all time.
  20. Landong.
    Nov 9, 2007
    10
    best album since the blueprint.
  21. Ryu
    Dec 1, 2007
    10
    Quite good. Hip hop(rap) is still dying though.
  22. BobF.
    Dec 2, 2007
    10
    Stop hating! This is a great album.
  23. kd
    Dec 9, 2007
    10
    A hip-hop masterpeice. Every song hits its mark.
  24. ajayd
    Sep 11, 2009
    10
    Stop tryin to compare this to lupe...lupe has nothing on Jay. THis album is a hip hop master piece.
  25. ADub
    Nov 10, 2007
    10
    bringing it back to reasonable doubt and blueprint. this album is his 3rd best. very soulful and diddy finally is back on his game. fluid album.
  26. AC
    Nov 19, 2007
    10
    My boy Jigga is back for more and what an incredible effort it is!! "American Gangster" is without a doubt a brilliant achievement by him and in my opinion just as good as his classic LP "The Blueprint". "Pray" is by far the best track in the whole entire album but don't get me wrong, all the songs are solid and catchy. All in all, this is in my Top 3 favorite of the year, right up My boy Jigga is back for more and what an incredible effort it is!! "American Gangster" is without a doubt a brilliant achievement by him and in my opinion just as good as his classic LP "The Blueprint". "Pray" is by far the best track in the whole entire album but don't get me wrong, all the songs are solid and catchy. All in all, this is in my Top 3 favorite of the year, right up there with Interpol's "Our Love To Admire" and Arcade Fire's "Neaon Bible". A must buy for any true music fan. Expand
  27. DevarG.
    Nov 5, 2007
    10
    Great album. 10/10. Its good to see Jay release a solid album. I'll give it a few months before declaring that its a classic though.
  28. Cat
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    Just as good as the Blueprint and Reasonable Doubt!! Best rap album of the year, by far. I highly recommend!!
  29. DamienD
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    The coolest album of the year, nuff said.
  30. Ric
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    This album is the ish.
  31. son.
    Nov 6, 2007
    10
    A great bounce back effort after Kingdom Come.
  32. briann.
    Nov 7, 2007
    10
    jay gets his swagger back on this one, fresh drop. cop it quick.
  33. Drake
    Nov 7, 2007
    10
    A strong contender for album of the year! Truly brilliant stuff here!
  34. Gill
    Nov 8, 2007
    10
    Just as good as "The Blueprint" and "Reasonable Doubt". One of the best all around records of 07.
  35. TraeG.
    Nov 21, 2007
    10
    Anyone who thinks Jay is "coasting" on this record, obviously doesn't (truly) listen to lyrics. Even without breaking a whole lot of new ground, as far as lyrical content goes, American Gangster is still light years beyond what most rap artists are content to put their name on these days (lyrically or otherwise). Even more refreshing is how sonically bold the tracks are. Rock Star, Anyone who thinks Jay is "coasting" on this record, obviously doesn't (truly) listen to lyrics. Even without breaking a whole lot of new ground, as far as lyrical content goes, American Gangster is still light years beyond what most rap artists are content to put their name on these days (lyrically or otherwise). Even more refreshing is how sonically bold the tracks are. Rock Star, indeed. While some long for an album where Jay sits down and writes his lyrics while pain-stakingly constructing an album over a 2 to 3-year period, American Gangster makes it clear that musical inspiration and spontaneity are as much a part of his genius as lyrical ability. Expand
  36. Aug 22, 2011
    10
    This album is excellent. Every tracks is on the topic of being an "American gangster" it sounded more like classic Jay Z then "kingdom come" Jay Z. This album proves why Jay Z is one of the best rappers of all time.
  37. MichaelE.
    Nov 6, 2007
    9
    Exceptional. One of the best albums of the year. Definitely better than the disappointing "Kingdom Come". This is the calibar of material that we've come to expect from Jay Z.
  38. JoeL
    Nov 7, 2007
    9
    A Classic when judged against todays music
  39. UNReal101
    Nov 8, 2007
    9
    Every lyric, every beat, every calculated step of this album comes together to pull off an excellent journey through the mind of Frank Lucas & the feel of the 1970s. Haven't heard something this entertaining since 'Hip Hop is Dead' from NaS... well there was also Kanye's ish, but this is a real Hip Hop album.
  40. JayO.
    Nov 10, 2007
    9
    First time through the album, I didn't think there was much there. Obviously tracks like 'No hook', 'Ignorant Sh*t', and 'Fallin'' stood out right away. However, after the third time listening to the album, I was hooked on every single song. 'American Gangster' is an amazing C.D. and a great complement to, not only the movie by the same First time through the album, I didn't think there was much there. Obviously tracks like 'No hook', 'Ignorant Sh*t', and 'Fallin'' stood out right away. However, after the third time listening to the album, I was hooked on every single song. 'American Gangster' is an amazing C.D. and a great complement to, not only the movie by the same name, all those who grew up and the lived that street life. Expand
  41. Kevin
    Nov 13, 2007
    9
    This CD is really good, i'm glad he could recover from his last couple of cds. I like the feel of this album...
  42. EthanH.
    Nov 5, 2007
    9
    Fantastic album; his best since "The Blueprint".
  43. MarquesH
    Nov 6, 2007
    9
    Jay-Z went back to his roots on this one. There are no pop hits on this album. It is a grind/gridy album which put meaning back into gangsta sh*t. Buy this album. You will not be disappointed.
  44. RachaelW.
    Nov 7, 2007
    9
    Jay-Z is back! Making the old new ... SOLID album. He got some really good beats from the Neptunes and the others... all i have to say is "ANd I don't need a hook for this SH*T1" - and he didn't on that track.
  45. Travis
    Nov 8, 2007
    9
    You can't help but feel like he's got a swagger again. Not like he ever lost that, but its back to a "Imaginary Players" and "Dead Presidents" level of being versatile and cool as hell at the same time. Not like it was bad, but Kingdom Come and American Gangster are like night and day. KC feeling like it was just thrown together with A-List musicians added in, and American You can't help but feel like he's got a swagger again. Not like he ever lost that, but its back to a "Imaginary Players" and "Dead Presidents" level of being versatile and cool as hell at the same time. Not like it was bad, but Kingdom Come and American Gangster are like night and day. KC feeling like it was just thrown together with A-List musicians added in, and American Gangster has a flow to it, something that adds to it. It's a sick album, and although it isn't on a "classic" level, it's new Jay, and that alone deserves a purchase in a time where most out there don't. Expand
  46. BarryM.
    Jan 10, 2008
    9
    Amazing. Jay is back on top form after a disappointment with Kingdom Come.
  47. AlexS.
    Nov 14, 2007
    9
    I luv dis artist!
  48. GiovanniR.
    Nov 27, 2007
    9
    First impressions: The content did not pull me out of my seat with any immediacy--though, the production was refreshing compared to the trendy beats that are often scantily thrown about on radio stations and clubs. I enjoyed the gritty feel of the entire album--generally, the work was consistent. The beginning of the album begins slowly, urging the listeners to actually listen. This album First impressions: The content did not pull me out of my seat with any immediacy--though, the production was refreshing compared to the trendy beats that are often scantily thrown about on radio stations and clubs. I enjoyed the gritty feel of the entire album--generally, the work was consistent. The beginning of the album begins slowly, urging the listeners to actually listen. This album is meant to tell a story about an American Gangster and Jay-Z succeeds in telling the stories of two of them: himself and Frank Lucas. Context of this album is very important in order to fully appreciate it. As the album is a soundtrack of sorts to the movie, the listening value increases much more when the scenes of American Gangster the movie parallel the Jay-Z's lyrics in American Gangster the album. The album struck me as just another coked out album about hustle, ego, and hard-earned success with at least satisfactory production initially. But, watching American Gangster the film helped to add more dimensions to appreciate when listening to the ruggedly freestyled verses of Jay-Z. American Gangster may not be worth its entire price outright, but after the expectations have gone and genuine listening takes over, American Gangster gradually repays your initial investment on those late night drives by your lonesome. Expand
  49. CJAn
    Nov 5, 2007
    9
    Another classic from the god mc.
  50. JamesS.
    Nov 5, 2007
    9
    Epic album.
  51. PIJ.
    Nov 6, 2007
    9
    He's back...perfectly sequenced and a great fit to his collection of 'classics'
  52. AjayD
    Sep 25, 2008
    9
    People need to shut up about Lupe, Jay has nothing on him! losers! This Album is superb, This got me into Rap and Jay-z! His Verses and flow is sick! The beats are soulful and compliment the lyrics. It tells a story, not just hate music! I would recommend it any rap fan!
  53. StevenS.
    Nov 29, 2007
    9
    I definetly think this is the best album of the year. kanyes album was hot but it just didnt feel like a kanye album he didnt come the way i expected. Jay on the other hand came waayyyy better then i expected. i thought it was another kingdom come when i heard it but after listning to it every song except hello brooklyn and blue magic grew on me. As far as a complete album its the bestI definetly think this is the best album of the year. kanyes album was hot but it just didnt feel like a kanye album he didnt come the way i expected. Jay on the other hand came waayyyy better then i expected. i thought it was another kingdom come when i heard it but after listning to it every song except hello brooklyn and blue magic grew on me. As far as a complete album its the best since blueprint 1. Expand
  54. KurisuM.
    Nov 13, 2007
    8
    Above average album, Not as well put together as The Streets (Mike Skinner) album A Grand Don't Come for Free... similar concept from a couple years back. The album is meant to be more of a story... as opposed to seperate tracks, you're listening to seperate chapters. Decent overall, worth the buy.
  55. Fantasy
    Nov 7, 2007
    8
    Good movie with outstanding peformances by Denzel, Ruby Dee, and Russell. Denzel's wife was totally miscast and without chemistry.
  56. NajehD.
    Nov 7, 2007
    8
    One of the top 3 rap albums this year along with Chamillionaire and Talib Kweli. Nice bounce back from Jigga.
  57. DavidA
    Nov 9, 2007
    8
    Considering how he supposedly put the album together with the quickness, and it still came out pretty damn good, he gets more credit. But if you want to compare with his latest, I think it's as good as Kindom Come, but not as good as the Black Album or The Blue Prints.
  58. JiggyW.
    Nov 6, 2007
    8
    Much, much better than Kingdom Come. Jay-Z's best album since the Blueprint. Consider this his real comeback album.
  59. johnS.
    Nov 6, 2007
    8
    Is it me or has the teacher become the student? Catchy, soul driven beats and a slowed flow, this sounds like a Kayne album, not that that's necessarily a bad thing. i'm just sayin'.
  60. GeraldW
    Nov 7, 2007
    8
    Hovie hits us with some slammin' tracks but when he passed the torch to Kanye, he really passed the torch. Listening to American Gangster was a real experience but ultimately it takes the silver to Graduation's gold.
  61. ToryH.
    Nov 13, 2007
    8
    A great album but it falls just short of a classic. The forgettable "Hello Brooklyn" is one of the worst songs, not just for Jay, but ever. However, the rest of the albums songs rate from solid to simply outstanding. The Neptunes produced "I Know" doesn't immediately stand out as exceptional but the running metaphor is reminscent of the Blueprint's bonus track "Breathe A great album but it falls just short of a classic. The forgettable "Hello Brooklyn" is one of the worst songs, not just for Jay, but ever. However, the rest of the albums songs rate from solid to simply outstanding. The Neptunes produced "I Know" doesn't immediately stand out as exceptional but the running metaphor is reminscent of the Blueprint's bonus track "Breathe Easy"/"Lyrical Exercise". After a poor (by his standards) Kingdom Come, Jay stepped his game up and this is easily his 3rd best album to date. Expand
  62. Jul 18, 2017
    8
    great album............................................................................................................................................................
  63. K-SeanN
    Nov 8, 2007
    7
    good album.. but nowhere near graduation
  64. KingZ.
    Nov 13, 2007
    7
    So Jay-Z didn't completely fall off. It's nowhere near my favorite album of his, but I'm damn happy to not hear another 'Kingdom Come'. It's a little stale but I think that if he does another after this, it has a chance to actually be a great album.
  65. Wash
    Nov 25, 2007
    7
    On his latest, Jay-Z hopes to create a secondary soundtrack to the film "American Gangster" by lyricizing his own experiences... too bad he already did it perfectly with 1996's "Reasonable Doubt," the smoky-sounding masterpiece that introduced him to us. "American Gangster" doesn't rank in his top 5, but he redeems himself nicely from the musical ED that was "Kingdom Come" by On his latest, Jay-Z hopes to create a secondary soundtrack to the film "American Gangster" by lyricizing his own experiences... too bad he already did it perfectly with 1996's "Reasonable Doubt," the smoky-sounding masterpiece that introduced him to us. "American Gangster" doesn't rank in his top 5, but he redeems himself nicely from the musical ED that was "Kingdom Come" by using better beats and a less ostentatious swagger. Highlights include "No Hook," "Ignorant Sh*t" with Beanie Sigel and "Success," where he narrowly upstages former rival Nas. "Hello Brooklyn" disappoints with a garbled hook and lackadaisical verse from Lil Wayne; considering the talent on the song, it easily should have been Jay's best song since "99 Problems" and the single of the year. Unfortunately, two sub-par albums after his "Black Album" makes one wonder: we know hip-hop has always come easily to Mr. Carter, but is he now underestimating the amount of effort he needs to put into it? 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.