American Dream
by Jeezy (featuring J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar)

Songfacts®:

  • Over apocalyptic production by SoundSmith, Jeezy raps about the wretched state of USA's political affairs.

    First my President was Black, now my President is wack
    I ain't never going broke, what's American in that?


    DJ Folk, the A&R on the Pressure album told DJ Booth: "Jeezy loved this beat but never recorded to it so I gave it to an artist in Miami named Jigg. He actually cut a version of the song, called 'Flying.' Since the beat was still relevant, I decided to play it for Jeezy again. This time he loved it and recorded two verses and a hook within the hour."
  • J Cole spits the second verse about the misconceptions of the American dream as it relates to African-Americans. This includes the cycle of young black men in America aspiring to be a reflection of what they see on TV and the adverse effect of drugs. DJ Folk recalled:

    "When we were coming up feature ideas, I'm like, 'J. Cole!' Jeezy gave me the contact info for Cole's manager IB and we made the magic happen. Cole really spent his time on this verse, it took him about a month. We played it ten times in a row when we got it back because we had never heard Cole lose his mind like this. I told people this was like Nas on 'Verbal Intercourse,' that's how good this verse is."
  • Kendrick Lamar shows up for the short outro in which he rap/sings about the ugly truth on the streets.

    These streets made for ballin' (yeah yuh)
    Ten toes ain't for fallin' (yeah yuh)
    I hear the world callin'
    Tell me if ya all in (tell me if ya all in)


    DJ Folk said: "Kendrick's verse came about after his own tour stop in Atlanta. We sent it over, he sent it back and then we knocked out all the paperwork for clearances."
  • This was the first time that J Cole and Kendrick Lamar' had appeared on the same song since 2013's "Forbidden Fruit," a track off Cole's sophomore album Born Sinner. On Black Friday in 2015, both Cole and Kendrick dropped remixes of each other's songs - K. Dot rapped over "A Tale of 2 Citiez" and Cole spat on "Alright."

    Both artists have collaborated with Jeezy in the past. Cole recruited the Atlanta rapper for 2013's "Kenny Lofton", while Lamar worked with him on "Westside, Right on Time" and the remix of "R.I.P.."

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