I'm not sure if it's an official collaboration but Jay-Z began work on his new Album after watching an advanced private screening of Ridley Scott's "American Gangster" starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. The album will be released in early November (close to the release date of the film) and tracks from the album have begun appearing on the internet.
Production-wise the stuff I'm hearing is close to Jay-Z's "Blueprint" (my favorite Jay-Z album). Lyrically it's closer to "Reasonable Doubt" (lots of gangster mafioso storytelling).
I wish I could get a little more of the introspective Jay-Z...but I'm really digging the overall feel of the music.
Intentional or not, this is a brilliant cross-promotion. The movie gets the street-cred it needs to make it cool from the young kids. Jay-Z has a justified reason for sounding both gangsta and soulful.
[MP3] Jay-Z :: Roc Boys
I love the energy of this track. Even though it's a Kanye West production it has the intensity of a superior Just Blaze production.
[MP3] Jay-Z :: Blue Magic
Neptunes slows it down to a stroll and Jay-Z complements it perfectly. Love that drum.
American Gangster Trailer (the inspiration)
Super thanks to Banner for hooking up the post with the MP3s!