Monday, January 30, 2012

The Invincible Snowman

I’m sure that you all remember the beginning of Young Jeezy’s career. It was a haze of associations with the Black Mafia Family (BMF), a war with fellow Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane, ad libs, an iconic mixtape, and an infamous emblem. I speak of course of the Snowman. School kids wore that menacing emblem on T-shirts, unaware of its meaning. To them it was just something they saw their favorite rapper wearing. But we all know better.

That sort of scandal should be the death knell of a budding rap career. All it took to destroy Nelly’s career was using his credit card somewhere where VISA certainly wasn’t accepted and we rarely see anything from him. But Young Jeezy proved to be more resilient. He bounced back from the banning of his nickname’s image and Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 became a classic album. You can’t dispute that.

Think about it.

If asked right now you could name at least two songs from that album that you know by heart. For me it’s “Soul Survivor” and “Trap Star”.

He repeated the same success with The Inspiration, my favorite album from him. Every track was well put together and added to his legend.

The Recession was decent enough to me but I am unsure what critics thought. It yielded many songs including “Put On” featuring Kanye West. Despite that he refused to be broken. He stayed in the public eye with his sound.

Then something happened.

Jeezy all but disappeared. Granted you’d see him on the random feature here or there, akin to what we’ve been getting from Andre 3000 as of late. All the while he was preparing Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition. There have been many starts and stops with its release. People are hungry to hear from him again.

But that wait is over.

Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition hit with the force of a bomb and the return of Jeezy was finally upon us.

But before that he gave us a few mixtapes to whet our appetites. One such mixtape was The Real Is Back 2. Listening to it gave me that same hunger as everyone else. It was interesting how Jeezy gives you the perfect number of tracks to cut your teeth on. Almost like the last bowl of porridge in that traditional bedtime story the amount of songs is just right. Here are the standout tracks for me:

-“Real Nigga Anthem”-Something between the piano heavy beat and DJ Drama’s level of excitement draws you in despite the fact that it’s the last track on the album. Jeezy’s words invade you and his punch lines are amazing. One of my favorites is this one: Look nigga, I told y’all/Young don’t bend, don’t break/Don’t budge or fold, dog. There are gems throughout this song, punctuated by the way that piano is played and the perfection of the drums.

-“Grizzly”-Assisted by Memphis rapper Yo Gotti, this track evokes the truest representation of the hustler spirit. And not just the drug dealer element, either. Hard working people find that this song gives that level of motivation or inspiration that you need to carry on. (This type of song can also be attributed to Rick Ross (“Hustlin’”) and T.I. (“ASAP”).

We use a lot of words in everyday life that we never really mean. For example, love or hate. Even iconic. The word I used in the title is the word I mean with every fiber of my being. Young Jeezy truly is the invincible Snowman. And no matter the weather, he will never fail or fall. Good show, Jeezy. Good show.

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