Album Review: Young Jeezy – The Recession

4 09 2008

In 2005, Young Jeezy was introduced to the world via Def Jam records. His breakthrough album “Thug Motivation 101” had rap fans curious to see what happens after “And Then What”, had them vibing to “Soul Survivor”, and eventually made them “Go Crazy”; resulting in over 1.7 million units sold. While Thug Motivation was Jeezy’s first album, he branded himself as a “real street nigga” with his raps about drug trafficking, the trap, and his snowman logo, where he derived his alias. After the success of his first album, Jeezy released his second album “The Inspiration” which achieved platinum status as well. While the second album shared the same content as the first, Young Jeezy decided to take a different approach with his latest effort.

Young Jeezy has a rep for glorifying the drug dealer lifestyle and sharing his tales of a hustler through his music. Surprisingly, Jeezy decided to increase his content by discussing politics, laws, and economical issues, thus the name of the album “The Recession”. The album starts with “The Recession Intro”, an outstanding synth and bass-heavy beat provided by DJ Toomp which sets the albums tone. The intro features audio of news coverage on the blatant recession that the United States is experiencing with Jeezy giving hope through it all.

As most later albums that artists release, there’s the essential track that marks the return of the artist. On “The Recession”, Jeezy has “Welcome Back”, a banging track which welcomes Jeezy back from a two year hiatus. On “Crazy World”, Young Jeezy big up’s presidential candidate Barack Obama, then goes in on the government, President Bush and crooked laws. Jeezy raps “Real G shit, well that’s really unheard of/when you get more time for selling dope than murder…murder”, the content and production make “Crazy World” easily one of the best songs on the album. “What They Want”, a track that defines Young Jeezy’s self-proclaimed motivational speaker title, Jeezy raps “They know just what they want/ They know just what they gettin’/They ask me what I’m doing, I tell ’em teachin’ for a living/…And I can show you how to make a mill right now”.

The album is off to a very good start, but towards the middle the overall sound becomes repetitive. The production typically contains heavy-bass, high hats, 808 kicks, and/or claps, with Young Jeezy’s laid back delivery and signature ad libs. On the other hand, there are a couple of songs where the production is different from the majority of the album. On “Circulate”, producer Don Cannon provides his usual one instrumental per Jeezy album. The soul-like instrumental contains a vocal sample for the hook with Jeezy using his ad libs to compliment the sample. It is then followed by “Word Play”, another distinctive beat produced by Justice League. Jeezy explains his differences from typical hip hop artists stating “You niggas want word play/But I’m about bird play”.

Guest appearances are limited on “The Recession”. The lead single features Kanye West, while the rest of the album features hooks by Trey Songz, Anthony Hamilton, a verse by Lil Boosie, and a surprising appearance by Nas. In 2006, Young Jeezy questioned Nas’ street credibility after showing offense to Nas’ album title “Hip Hop is Dead”. The two reconciled their differences on their ode to Barack Obama titled “My President”, where Nas delivers an impressive verse.

In conclusion, The Recession is an above average album. Young Jeezy has elevated his lyrical ability and expanded his content, yet the overall music still sounds similar to his two previous albums. The album is definitely worth listening to and it is easily favorable with over a handful of bangers.

To Sum It Up In One Word: Semi-Substantial



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