American Gangster Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 145 Ratings

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  • Summary: Jay-Z's 10th studio album features Beyonce, Lil Wayne, Kayne West, Beanie Sigel, Nas, Bilal, and Pharrell Williams.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. It is, really and truly, an experience.
  2. This is the best music Jay-Z can make as a human--at least by my (his) definitions of what he (we) can do.
  3. The "Gangster" portion of the record is, as you'd expect, effortlessly strong.
  4. The beat selection, personal insight, wit, and overall coherence surpasses that of "Kingdom Come" and fulfills many of the expectations that the latter album failed to meet.
  5. He's not a real gangster, but he is a real poet. And like the greatest of American poets, he admits that, very well then, he contradicts himself. American Gangster contains multitudes.
  6. 80
    With his delivery having reached comfortable cruising altitude, this is an effective reminder of what success is about--leaving the hustle behind. [Jan 2008, p.91]
  7. You leave American Gangster longing for more of this don't-give-a-fuck attitude, but the feeling that presides is Jay-Z patting his wallet.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 78
  2. Negative: 7 out of 78
  1. 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.
  2. [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 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. Expand
  3. 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 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
  4. 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 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. Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. 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 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. Expand
  7. whathuh
    Nov 5, 2007
    0
    I thought this guy retired...

See all 78 User Reviews