Intro

Album: American Gangster (2007)
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Songfacts®:

  • This track introduces American Gangster, Jay-Z's first concept album, which was inspired by the 2007 crime movie of the same name. The rapper had been invited to an advanced screening of the film and it had a profound resonance on him; Hova would play it on the monitors above the recording booth to keep him inspired.
  • The song features dialogue excerpts from the American Gangster movie, spoken by Denzel Washington.
  • This was co-produced by British actor Idris Elba, whose roles include Russell "Stringer" Bell in HBO's The Wire and Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Elba started out working as a DJ in clubs in the 1990s and is also known as Driis or Big Driis to his rapper and DJ friends.

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