Thu 20 Sep 2007
(well apparently, my girl Andrea from the Suckafree Blog sees it too because she just mentioned the same thing to me today….)
Here’s a link to the NY Times article about Jay’s upcoming “American Gangster” album…
And here’s the trailer for the movie that inspired him in that amazing marketing-dream-come-true-branding-opportunity-sort-of-way..
Of course, a thematic Hov album is a dream come true for a fan too. (salivate at thoughts of Reasonable Doubt-style goodness) But I just want to point out the irony….
In the Times article it says….
“Jay-Z, the rap superstar and president of Def Jam Records, has quietly returned to the studio to record an album of new songs inspired by the forthcoming movie “American Gangster,” his first “concept” album and second CD in less than a year.The album, which his label plans to release in early November, came together over the past few weeks after Jay-Z was shown the film, directed by Ridley Scott, in which Denzel Washington portrays Frank Lucas, a early 1970s Harlem heroin kingpin….
“It was like I was watching the film, and putting it on pause, and giving a back story to the story,” he said.
The movie, set for a Nov. 2 release, depicts the Lucas character as an underworld Horatio Alger and an innovator who, despite keeping a low public profile, rose to such power that he was able to defy the Mafia bosses who had traditionally dominated the New York drug trade before being brought down by a special narcotics task force. (Its leader is played by Russell Crowe.) Jay-Z said he thought his fans would be struck by the image of a black man reaching such heights of success, even on the wrong side of the law, much like such ruthlessly efficient Al Pacino antiheroes as Tony Montana and Michael Corleone.
…Brian Grazer, the film’s producer, said that Mr. Washington also pressed him more than a year ago to consider asking Jay-Z to do the film’s soundtrack.
“I just didn’t think there’d be enough for Jay-Z to do,” Mr. Grazer said, explaining that he resisted because he and Mr. Scott felt the movie required an authentic 1970s feel.
Instead Jay-Z offered to make his own album and release it in conjunction with the movie….”
Meanwhile on the other side of memory lane….
Dame Dash is preparing the October release of the new documentary he executive produced, called “Mr. Untouchable”. The film is directed by Marc Levin, who did “Slam.” And according to a description on XXLmag.com….
“The film… will tell the true life story of Nicky Barnes, a former heroin addict turned multi-millionaire drug lord in the Harlem section of New York City. Barnes is credited with creating The Council, a formidable organization of black gangsters that oversaw his drug operations. The filmmakers spoke with Barnes himself as well as former members of The Council to give the film an added air of authenticity”
Here’s a trailer for Mr. Untouchable…
I actually saw an advanced screening of “Mr. Untouchable” a couple months ago, and its a really fascinating film about a really despicable but fascinating New York legend. But one of the best parts of the screening was afterwards, during the director’s Q&A session.
Marc Levin was asked how in the world they were able to sit down and film this no-holds-barred interview with a “snitch” who was in the the witness-protection program and who still had a million-dollar-bounty on his head. And Marc explained that one thing that helped them get Barnes to sit with them was the fact that Barnes became a poetry buff in prison and was a fan of Marc’s film “Slam,” which was about spoken word poetry. But the main reason why Nicky Barnes agreed to speak on “Mr. Untouchable” was because he was furious about the upcoming film, American Gangster. I guess, Nicky Barnes and Frank Lucas were rivals in the Harlem drug game. And throughout the film, Barnes talks shit about the “Country Boys,” aka Frank Lucas and his crew. Barnes makes fun of their clothes, their accents, and their lack of “class.” The fact that Frank Lucas was getting a major-motion picture, with Denzel playing him and all….Barnes’ ego made him risk his life to be on-camera.
It just makes me wonder what Dame said when he read the Times article today. Chess moves….