He's got his swagger back. Jay-Z is already prepping his release of American Gangster, an album inspired by the new film, which stars Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Common and T.I.P. Now, with swagger in full effect, Jigga and various producers are speaking on the album.
"I'm a bad muuuuuhf---a. I really made it. Al Capone, Michael Corleone, Scarface, they ain't make it. I'm iller than all them n---as...This is a cautionary tale, but it's not true," he recently told MTV of the album.
The album will feature production from Diddy, Sean C. and L.V.
"Jay would have the beats...He'd do the record, and he'd send it back to us. We'd fill in the blanks as far as making them full records. From having live horns, live strings, live drummers. This percussion dude, he was coming in with bottles, banging on bottles, just sprinkles of sh--. We went all out. We brought in musicians to bring it out. Jay probably just heard a sample and some drums. Once we got the vocals back, we brought in all the extra candy," L.V. told MTV.
"When I heard it with Jay's rhymes, I was just like, 'Jesus Christ! ... I gotta go in. I gotta show my ass.' Puff was hyped. He'd come in the studio and start bugging out, getting everybody hyped. This is still going on right now. We're mixing records. Sometimes it'll take us three days to mix one record," he added.
Pharrell Williams is also going to be on the LP.
"I wanted to make something that sounded like King Kong," he told MTV. "[We wanted to] take people back to nostalgic drug dealing," he added, claiming he wanted to bring back an 80's sound. "Even though the Frank Lucas story is not the 80's, it's the drug dealer era that I could relate to."
J.D. is also tied to the project and he praises Jigga for the idea.
"I thought that was brilliant, because people say, 'He needs to go back to Reasonable Doubt,' just like how people say, 'Nas needs to go back to Illmatic.' Even in R&B. People say, 'If Michael Jackson comes back, he needs to do an album like Off the Wall. For an artist to go back to the beginning, that's incredible to me. He went as close as he could to the beginning of his career."
"It was a real creative flow in the studio. I'm a producer, I'm not just a beat maker. I don't like just sending beats. When I've done that in the past, ain't nobody ever pick a beat that I just sent them. I always feel that I give you my better work when I'm under the pressure of you sitting there with me and you telling me, 'Nah, I don't like this,' or, 'I like that.'" he added.
Other producers set to appear on the album are No I.D., Just Blaze and DJ Toomp.The only guest rapper (slated so far) on the album is Nas. Expect the LP to hit stores November 6.