“American Gangster” attracts Jay-Z

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Every year since 1999, Jay-Z has teased his fans with rumors of a forthcoming album. It usually begins in the spring, as top-flight producers brag of heading into the studio with Jay Hova. It picks up steam in the summer, as fans openly begin to wonder: will Jay-Z “bless us” with another masterpiece? By the start of the fall, someone makes it official: Jay-Z is back. (This time around, the New York Times did the honors.) Then you know the rest: near-constant MTV updates, early leaks on the Internet, a number one debut on the Billboard charts, blah, blah, blah.

Why do fans continue to fall for this well-worn strategy? Well, it’s Jay-Z, one of the most popular artists of the past decade. And for American Gangster, his soundtrack to the upcoming Frank Lucas biopic of the same name, S. Carter is promising a return to the crack-rapper-made-good persona that we first fell in love with on Reasonable Doubt, not the sandals-wearing AARP candidate from Kingdom Come. Jay-Z’s American Gangster arrives via Roc-A-Fella/Island Def Jam on November 6. The first single, “Blue Magic,” dropped last week.

However, since American Gangster is a period piece set in the early 70s with Hollywood superstars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, little to none of Jay-Z’s music will be used in the movie. So Island Def Jam has prepared a proper American Gangster original motion picture soundtrack. It features soundtrack music from 2008 comeback player of the year candidate Hank Shocklee, and vintage cuts from Sam & Dave, Bobby Womack and others.

The track listing for the Jay-Z album hasn’t been announced yet, but the compilation’s track listing is available below. (October 3 update: The songs for Jay-Z’s American Gangster was unveiled on Rollingstone.com earlier this morning, and are listed underneath the soundtrack.)

  • 1. Anthony Hamilton, “Do You Feel Me”
  • 2. Lowell Fulson, “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?”
  • 3. John Lee Hooker, “No Shoes”
  • 4. Bobby Womack, “Across 110th Street”
  • 5. Anthony Hamilton, “Stone, Cold”
  • 6. Sam & Dave, “Hold On I’m Comin'”
  • 7. The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There”
  • 8. Public Enemy, “Can’t Truss It”
  • 9. Hank Shocklee, “Checkin’ Up on My Baby”
  • 10. Hank Shocklee, “Club Jam”
  • 11. Hank Shocklee, “Railroad”
  • 12. Hank Shocklee, “Nicky Barnes”
  • 13. Marc Streitenfeld, “Hundred Percent Pure”
  • 14. Marc Streitenfeld, “Frank Lucas”

And here’s the Jay-Z album track list:

  • 1. “Amen”
  • 2. “Blue Magic”
  • 3. “Untitled”
  • 4. “Alright, Alright”
  • 5. “You Don’t Know”
  • 6. “And the Winner Is”
  • 7. “American Gangster”
  • 8. “Welcome”
  • 9. “Ignorant Shit”
  • 10. “The Demise”
  • 11. “I Get Money (remix)”


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