Review Summary: Young Jeezy gives his best Lil Wayne impersonation, and fails save for a few solid guest appearances.Young Jeezy
– The Recession
Back in 2005, Young Jeezy experienced moderate mainstream success with his third full-length album, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101
. The album boasted six singles that were catchy listens, notably My Hood
and Soul Survivor
, the latter boosting Akon’s rep significantly as well. Since my days of watching MTV and listening to the radio ended that year, I haven’t heard anything Jeezy in quite some time. His most recent release, The Recession
, immediately incorporates the titular concept. After the title track opened up the album, I was eager to spin through the rest of the album and see what Jeezy had to offer that many other mainstream rappers do not today. Unfortunately, he doesn’t stick with the concept at all, and the album falls apart.
A majority of the subject matter here is in fact Young Jeezy proclaiming himself as the greatest rapper alive, leagues above the competition. PG rated bashes and insults dominate almost every single song, and it all comes off as stupid, simplistic, and immature. Possibly the only reason for the Explicit Content label is the excessive use of the already shamefully overused N-bomb, and a few remarks pertaining to other races. Essentially, the prospect of any decent message is gone, with his bid for Barack Obama in My President
being only mildly interesting, but, this being a mainstream album, the possibility of decent everything else is still intact.
The production is probably the high point here. While there really aren’t too many beats that are truly awe-inspiring (I really enjoy My President
though), they are consistently solid, and provide some entertainment value in compensation for the albums countless flaws. Synth use is abundant and the bass isn’t quite as prominent as it is on other popular recordings. Due to this, one is less inclined to grind up against another, yet the music is still enjoyable. Guest appearances are also shockingly absent from The Recession
. Not that they are completely missing, but there are only five guests on four different songs. Thankfully those are the strongest songs on the album, with rappers such as Nas and Kanye West contributing a great deal in their limited time on the album. Everything
also features a solid chorus and single verse presentation from Anthony Hamilton, although Lil Boosie is ludicrously annoying and ruins his section. Void guest appearances could be a negative aspect for the album though, depending on how much pure Jeezy one could handle. The album is a whopping 75 minutes, and that isn’t including the bonus tracks. I was certainly left yearning for less-Jeezy, more anyone else.
My biggest complaint about this album is how disgracefully obvious it is that Young Jeezy is completely stealing Lil Wayne’s sound. I’m not a fan of Weezy’s raspy, sore throat-sounding voice, and it really bites hard that this entire album is overflowing with it. If I wanted to listen to Tha Carter III
, I would do so. While there are a few rhymes here and there, Jeezy also rhymes by repeating words, almost impulsively it seems.
“A earthquake out in China a hurricane in New Orleans
Street dreams tour I showed my Ass in New Orleans”
– My President
“They want that killing ***
That dumb *** that where you from ***
That ride around you hood all day with your gun ***”
– Crazy World
“Let this world keep turning yeah my blunt still burning
Same thing different day still burning”
– Crazy World
“I don’t mean that literally but I mean this literally”
– Don’t Do It
This list would span multiple pages, so I’ll leave it at that. This album sorely lacks chart toppers as well. It seems every rapper these days will have at least one per album; even the horrendous Get Silly
was popular. While there are songs I somewhat enjoy personally, I don’t feel like the average American is going to find the same few songs slightly innovative or interesting.
All the aforementioned information culminates into The Recession
; a mainstream hip-hop album without the guest appearances and without a couple of songs that drastically stand above the rest. It all sounds decent, but it’s all the same. It sounds like Lil Wayne, but Tha Carter III
is still fashionable. Self-proclaiming oneself as the greatest rapper alive is also becoming relatively stale. While this isn’t absolute garbage like some other recent releases (see V.I.C, Soulja Boy), it is a huge letdown from an MC who had shown some promise in the past, but gave in to the pressure of what is currently selling. Oh yeah, did I mention that Young Jeezy claimed in one of these many songs that he would never sell out?
Every song with a guest appearance.
Everything without one.