Intro

by Jay-Z

Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2012, Forbes estimated Carter's net worth at ne…




"Man I worked for one of the biggest companies in New York City
He didn't own his own company, white man owned it, so they owned him
Nobody owns me though"

(Your gangster is not defined)
Your gangster is not defined by how low your jeans fall by your waist
But more how your genes stand up to their expectations
"Never forgetting where you came from"
(Your gangster, your gangster)
Your gangster is not defined by how many rocks are in your watch
But more, how many rocks you move while on your watch
(Gangsters, hustlers, republicans, democrats, pimps and hoes)
Conservatives, labor, the seller, the buyer, the product, the producer
"See you are what you are in this world"
The gangster is absorbed and adored by those that don't understand the laws that govern gangsterment
(Gangsterment, gangsterment)
Gangsterment allows you to make up your own laws and create brand new words
Gangster mentality
(Gangster mentality, an American way created by the white
Mastered by the black, and absorbed by the fiends, taxed by the governmentality, charted by Forbes
If you believe in Jay-Z then you too can be a gangster)
Then you too can be a gangster by any means necessary
By owning that dream, I mean it's a long walk to freedom but
While deep, deep, deep inside the bush
(The war on terror screams, damn it feels good)
Damn it feels good to be a gangster
(To be a gangster, swagger is not a must, it's a liability, a cliche, a bad suit
Cut the bullshit, you know if it wasn't for this, there would be no that)
Which we call, the American Gangster

Written by: Hector Luis Delgado, Idris A. Elba

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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