Check out our Bad Boy Records section for more posts about Bad Boy Records. has a write up on "American Gangster" featuring quotes from Jay-Z on Diddy/The Hitmen's involvement in the album.

Chronologically, ... Diddy ... was the second star to fall into alignment for Jay-Z. Now, things musically began to take shape in Daddy’s House...

Jay-Z explains, “When I saw the movie, I was thinking, ‘Maybe I should do it, maybe I should do it.’ Puff had called me and he’s always like, ‘Let me do an album, like executive produce the album.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m an executive my damn self. Stop talking to me like that.’” The room giggles again.

“I believe in Karma and all that ‘everything happens for a reason [stuff],’” he continues. “So, he called me like, ‘You gotta come to the studio. I never call you to come to the studio. You gotta come to the studio.’”

After finally meeting with Diddy, Jay-Z said he was also introduced to a cornucopia of beats that his Uptown counterpart and his former production team The Hit Men had crafted years ago. Oddly, Diddy didn’t even know that Jay-Z was contemplating an album, nor did he realize that he was about to lay the foundation for American Gangster’s rich 70’s soundscape.

“I go to the studio and he’s playing all these tracks. And it hit, the [70’s] time period. But, he didn’t know about it [the album]. I’m like, ‘What are you doing with all these tracks?’ He’s like, ‘I just don’t have anybody to give them to.’ I was like, ‘Let me get those and it really set the [tone for the album],’” Jay admits.

Diddy and friends would go on to produce “Roc Boys,” “Pray,” “No Hook,” among other joints. With a solid groundwork, both sonically and thematically, Jay quickly pulled in others.

“[Diddy’s tracks] pretty much set the foundation and [other producers] had to produce into the sound that was already there,” he said. ...