(YJ Music, Def Jam Recordings and CTE World), $9.99
Jeezy, formerly known as Young Jeezy, has been the same from the start of his career to the present. He’s gritty and hard-nosed. A year after releasing Trap or Die 3, in the last week of December, he came out with Pressure – an album where he has kept things short. The album forgoes Jeezy the wholesaler in favour of Jeezy the tycoon and socialite, taking stock of his various ventures (rap among them) and the new life they’ve bought him. Jeezy fully embraces his role as a paragon for dealers trying to escape the game clean and profitable.
The beats and production remain malicious and tough and Jeezy himself hasn’t softened his devastating rhymes, maintaining his ‘I don’t care’ flow more than a decade into the game. As a younger man, Jeezy was a trap extraordinaire so ruthlessly blunt and efficient that he was exhilarating. As a rap elder statesman, he mostly enjoys the benefit of hindsight, less concerned with the act of trapping and more concerned with his legacy. “F*** these niggas talkin’, I’ve been ballin’ for a century/Niggas think of quarter kis and scales when they mention me,” he raps on Spyder, all but likening his raps to a corporate ledger. He doubles down on This is It: “The champ here, yeah you niggas gon’ fall back/Funny dressin’ a** nigga, where you sold crack?/ Them alternative facts, that’s just a mystery/Bought my first 8-ball, the rest was history.” Every line is meant as a grand gesture. Yes, Jeezy was always an elite trapper, but now he has turned work into all about penthouse suites, luxury cars, exotic women and a modest rap empire.
In reiteration, Jeezy doesn’t change much on Pressure. It’s a nitpicky con in the sense that he hasn’t tweaked the formula much. While Pressure is all about sound, it’s not a transcendent album that wows beyond a certain point. It’s sufficient, but it would be nice to see the rapper shake things up in some form or fashion. Nonetheless, there’s no shame in his game. email@example.com