Tickets For His American Gangster CD Debut Show sell Out In 8 Minutes
Rap Superstar Jay-Z sits down with the ‘L.A . Sentinel’ to talk about his American Gangster inspired CD
It could possibly be the worst retirement plan ever. Rap Superstar Jay-Z can’t or won’t stay away from the mic - and perhaps fans don’t ever want him to call it quits.
Early last summer, Def Jam’s President saw an early cut of the new Denzel Washington movie American Gangster and what he saw sent him rushing into the recording studio.
Since Jay-Z followers know he doesn’t write down any of his rhymes, he basically just let his emotions flow right on the spot and created his own “Blue Magic” - the album’s first single and a take off of the name of Frank Lucas’ pure heroin which flooded the streets of Harlem in the late 60’s and 70’s. Interestingly, the CD comes wrapped just like the drugs did back in the day. Clever marketing on someone’s part.
Why an entire original CD after watching the movie? We asked the man many consider the “King of New York” today.
Sentinel: Why do you think the movie touched you the way it did? Jay-Z: “We have never seen a black person ascend to those types of heights, that type of gangster, that type of rags to riches type of thing and I was inspired, of course. I didn’t exactly agree with everything that’s in there, but it just rang true with me.
Sentinel: What amazed you the most? Jay-Z: “It was unfathomable to be over the mob.
Sentinel: How does the CD differ from the movie? Jay-Z: The reason to make a conceptual album for American Gangster was a lot of people that can relate to the story and even though it is a movie that’s 2 hours - there’s so many different emotions that left untold… that’s why I was really excited about the movie. It took me back to a place that I hadn’t been for a minute and it sparked all of these ideas and all of these thoughts and all of these emotions that I wasn’t dealing with for a while.
Sentinel: So, where the movie leaves off, you pickup the story from there, is that right? Jay-Z: Like, I took a scene in which T.I. plays Denzel’s nephew in the movie. Denzel had set it up for him to meet with the Yankees. It was all set up. This guy was on his way to the legit life, a superstar in his own right. And T.I. didn’t attend the meeting. And he asked him why he didn’t attend this important thing he’d set up for him and he was like. I don’t want to be a pitcher anymore. I don’t want to be a baseball player. I want to be like you, Uncle Frank. So that emotion right there, we never got a chance to see Denzel go to his room and cry or at least be reflective about it. That’s the last thing he wanted for his nephew. I would press pause on them and then I would explain the emotions behind it. I do that in a song called ‘Sweet’… and still there’s pain. That’s how it starts.
Sentinel: How much do you relate to Denzel’s character or the real Frank Lucas? Jay-Z: “The parallels I see of myself and Frank, Denzel’s character is the way it’s portrayed in the movie as someone who is not loud. Just a really cool guy and really he doesn’t want any trouble, but if trouble shall come to him then he had to deal with it. That’s the way I’ve been my whole life.
YOU CAN HEAR JAY-Z LIVE AT THE HOUSE OF BLUES, TUESDAY NOV 6 AT 8PM. HIS AMERICAN GANGSTER CD DROPS THE SAME DAY.