The much-anticipated release of Jay-Z's new album American Gangster was released this past Tuesday, and while I personally feel it's a better album than his previous effort Kingdom Come, I have to ask, "Who is responsible for picking these beats?" I'd say half of the tracks are worth listening to and the rest are in serious need of a remix. Hova's lyrics are solid as usual, which is expected, but his delivery is borderline annoying.
Besides his clever lyricism, what really made Jigga's songs stand out in the past were the incredible production from beatmakers like Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, Just Blaze, and Kanye West. Yeah, The Neptunes and Just Blaze do contribute several tracks to the album, but he got the discounted tracks that Justin Timberlake and others passed on. Speaking of Timberlake, where are the Timbaland tracks? And to top it off, Diddy and his minions are credited for producing six (yes six!) tracks. I mean, they're not the worst tracks I've heard, but damn, this is Jay-Z, not Danity Kane.
I have to big up long-time Chicago native No I.D. (Common, Ghostface, John Legend, Rhymefest) for producing the illest beats on the album (Fallin' and Success ft. Nas), because if it weren't for these tracks (and that other joint with Beanie Sigel), I'd probably still be listening to Britney's new album. Now that's gangster.