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Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 66.0° F  Fair
The Paper
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Jay-Z
American Gangster (Def Jam)
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The popular rapper was inspired to write this album after watching a screening of the Denzel Washington movie bearing the same name. The album is high on '70s soul samples, punctuated by Jay-Z's typical flawless rapping. This is music looking to make a social statement, full of high drama that suggests why gangs are so popular in the U.S. The cover image of a man stalking through shadows in a business suit says it all: Gangster life is our cultural paradigm, played out as big business by the powerful, as crime by the powerless. Uplifting, eh?

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