Like any good businessman — or, better yet, record-company president — Jay-Z understands the laws of supply and demand. So with his latest album, American Gangster, on its way November 6, and the streets and Web abuzz over "Blue Magic" and "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is ...)," the first two tracks to surface from the LP, the savvy rapper decided to take it to the road to quench his thirsty fans.
On Monday (October 22), Def Jam announced Hovito's first dates in support of the LP. Jay has lined up five dates at intimate venues across the country, beginning with a show at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California, the date American Gangster hits shelves.
Immediately after the California stop, Jay will make a quick jaunt to the Midwest with a show in Chicago (November 7), also at the House of Blues. After that, he'll rally for an East Coast swing through Baltimore at Rams Head Live! (November 9); New York's Hammerstein Ballroom (November 11); and the Fillmore in Philadelphia (November 12).
Jay is currently putting the finishing touches on the album, which he has said he was inspired to make after watching the upcoming Denzel Washington flick of the same name. He told The New York Times last month that as he has been recording the album, it's as if "I was watching the film and putting it on pause and giving a back story to the story. Watching that film, it brought back all these memories. It took me back to those emotions."
For his project, he's logged studio time with a lot of producers: Diddy and the Hitmen, Pharrell, Just Blaze, DJ Toomp, Sean C. and LV, No ID and Jermaine Dupri. Nas was originally slated to be the only guest on American Gangster, but Beanie Sigel and Lil Wayne are also reportedly making contributions to it as well. Timbaland is among a number of producers still trying to elbow their way onto the project.
Jay-Z recently revealed to MTV News that he was planning a larger-scale tour during the summer, with a band backing him onstage.
"I look forward to touring with American Gangster, 'cause of the musicality," he said.