American Gangster Image
Metascore
83

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

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 135 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. 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. Expand
  2. 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 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
  3. Apr 10, 2011
    2
    Dude always calls himself the "Best" and that's exactly why he is not the best. He brags so f****kin much, i can call at least three rappers am 100% sure are far better than him (Eminem, Andre 300, Nas). Am only giving this a two because of the two songs i like( Roc Boys and Success) outside those two, The rest=Garbage !!! Expand

See all 78 User Reviews