So on Friday night me and a bunch of actual journalists piled into the Roc the Mic studios in Manhattan for an American Gangster listening session with Muhammad Hovi.
I was one of the only people in the room who hasn’t seen the movie yet, and while it’s not essential to enjoy the album, I can imagine it would enhance the experience.
What I did get though, was a track by track breakdown of everything I was about to hear from Jay, which is the next best thing, if not even better.
Here’s a partial tracklist.
Say Hello to the Bad Guy
When The Moneys Gone
There’s not much I can really say about it that YN hasn’t already told you, or you can’t learn from this EW rundown or this Vibe preview. You really just have to hear this shit, but here are a few observations and thoughts from the night.
The album plays out like a film. Every track represents a a different period in the progression of the hustler. The next single, "Roc Boys," which should be leaking any day now, is the celebratory "your name on the blimp" period.
I really wish everybody could get the same explanatory lecture we got. Some of you guys aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.
Jay purists are going to flip when they hear "Pray" and "No Hook."
This shit is actually more soulful than The Blueprint. Word to Marvin.
If he decides to use a different beat on the work in progress "This Shit Right Here," like he says he wants to, ya’ll lost.
He damn sure does have the movie on continuous loop on a TV in the studio.
As YN mentioned, "Ignorant Shit" has been reimagined with a verse from Beans and a new third verse from Jay. Imus lost.
Jay’s inner circle drinks alot of PatrÃ³n. When in Rome…
The "Blue Magic" video is shot, edited and ready to go. Jay said he’s not ready to let it go yet.
Nas has a verse on "Success" that Jay wouldn’t let us hear.
He said he wants to shoot a movie to accompany the album (which accompanies a movie).
The album is lyrically heavy. There’s no shortage of double entendres abound, and I didn’t even catch a few metaphors until we were on our 5th or 6th listen and Jay started pausing songs on some "you heard what I said?!" shit. Yeah, he does that too.
I’m no longer mad about missing last Saturday night at 40/40.
I can not fucking believe Jermaine Dupri produced "Fallen." You won’t either. One of my top 3 favorite tracks on the album.