Thursday, January 03, 2008

American Gangster

American Gangster

Jay-Z proves himself to be the "Michael Jordan of rap" on American Gangster, his second album since his return from "retirement". The themes here are inspired by the Denzel Washington film with the same title. Just as movies like The Godfather and Scarface portray the intimate details of gangster life, Jay's crafty lyricism take you on a journey through the life of a hustler. It shows the riches and fame that come with such a life, but by the time you reach the songs "Success" and "Fallin'", you realize that in a life of crime, you eventually reap what you sow. Check out these lines from Success:

I use to give a shit, now I don't give a shit more
Truth be told I had more fun when I was piss poor
I'm pissed off, and this success song is about
a bunch a ni**as acting like bitches with big mouths
All this stress, all I got is this big house
Couple of cars, I don't bring half of them shits out
All of this ace of spade I drank just to piss out
I mean I like the taste coulda saved myself 6 hours

And the point is driven home even more on Fallin':

I know I shouldnt've did that
I know its gon' come right back
I know its gon' destroy everything I made
Its probably gon' get ya boy sent away
But this game I play, ain't no way to fix it
Its inevitable -

Now you're
When you should've scaled back,
Now you're
Right into they lap
Falling, they applaud and they screamin' at the screen
"Damn, you fucked up!" like your favorite movie scene
Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface, Casino
You seen what that last run did to DeNiro
When he can't beat the odds, can't cheat the cards
Can't blow too hard, life's a deck of cards
Now you're tumbling, its humbling, you're falling, you're mumbling
Under your breath like you knew this day was coming

Great beats and hard hitting lyrics make this one a memorable rap album. And also a reminder that in a life of crime, you eventually get fucked at the end.

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