Jay-Z goes 'Gangster' for next album


NEW YORK -- Jay-Z will release his second album in a year, "American Gangster," Nov. 6 via Def Jam. The album features all new original material inspired by the upcoming movie of the same name starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. The trailer for the film features Jay-Z's "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)," from his 2001 album "The Blueprint."

Additional details have yet to be announced, but tracks expected to appear include "No Hook" and the Pharrell-produced "Blue Magic."

The rapper-turned-executive told the New York Times he has completed nine songs, each inspired by a specific scene in the movie. "It was like I was watching the film, and putting it on pause, and giving a back story to the story," he said.

"American Gangster," which also features rappers T.I., Common and RZA in supporting roles, is based on the life of drug kingpin-turned-informant Frank Lucas (Washington), who shipped heroin to the United States in the coffins of soldiers killed in Vietnam. Lucas was brought to justice by lawman Richie Roberts (Crowe). The two then worked together to expose the crooked cops and foreign nationals.

Jay-Z's album follows quickly on the heels of last year's "Kingdom Come," his much-touted "comeback" project. It has sold about 1.5 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.