Young Jeezy doesn't ask you niggas to get money, he doesn't suggest you get money -- his eerie intro, "Hypnotize" fucking COMMANDS you to get money. Why, I don't know, for if you listen to Jeezy rap, there's no way you could get more than him anyways. Matter of fact, there isn't shit you can do better than Jeezy: you don't own enough powder to beat him, you won't own enough ice to get over on him, and you never been out in the trap/on the grind as much as he did. That's one thing I don't really get about niggas on the mic today. I know that cats have been all about being the best since day dot, but these days, that's all it's about. Niggas just speakin' on what they own and how big they cake is. You'd think that Jeezy, who said he was going to get more introspective on this one, would, well, get introspective.
You know what I hate about albums like this? No matter how much I love the way it sounds overall, I don't think they last the test of time. It's not that the "sound" of the CD gets stale, but it's just that we already know what Jeezy is all about. It's hard to get deep into his lyrics, or really flip over his lines. Hell, he doesn't even consider himself a rapper, and listening to his 16s, I tend to agree with him. He creates a soundtrack to the streets, saying he is speaking to the youth, but he is really just talking up an underbelly that many live and cannot escape, and making it seem glorious. At the end of the day, if you take anything this prick says seriously, you're listening too deep and giving him too much credit. I cannot even break down his themes, because he only has one. So instead, I talk about how the tracks sound and point out things that make me laugh. It's all I can do when the subject matter is so fucking stagnant and repetitive.
From the sounds of "Still On It", Jeezy is still on that "D-Boy shit". Hell, he is still on the block everyday! Is he speaking to his audience or for his audience? In any case, this track follows "Hypnotize", on a slower 808 crawl of a beat, sounds like something niggas would listen in the early morning after collecting their spoils of the Drug War and think big over clouds of blunt smoke. Shawty Redd's "J.E.E.Z.Y." tries to not only reintroduce Jeezy to the masses, but it also let's you know about what's going on in the trap. I do like how he has that "Jeezy like to drank/Jeezy like to smoke/Jeezy like to mix Arm & Hammer with his coke". The repetition of this should make any critical thinkers chuckle. Don Cannon comes correct on the boards with "Mr. 15", with it's smooth sample and heavy kicks. He's an up and comer, and this beat just proves how thoro his sound is. Jeezy, again, takes it back to the block. Why R. Kelly is on "Go Getta" is beyond me: if he put him on here to try to impress the crowd with how "versatile" he can be, he might as well grab Elton John and get him singing about being a "go getta". The beat by The Runners is boring, and R. Kelly's wailing gets annoying after a while. He sounds like he's trying to recreate Best of Both Worlds -- hey, Jigga exec produced this, right? How did he let Kells slip by, with their history?
Speaking of cameos and guest beats, there's a few notables on this disc: T.I. stops by on "I Got Money" to drop his ATL flavor. He's my favorite MC that I cannot understand - his flow is bananas, but his drawl confuses me. Need a trap-to-English dictionary for that nigga. This track apparently features Kanye West as well, but I wouldn't know it: Jeezy drops 2 verse, Tip drops a verse, and I guess Kanye makes a random noise in the background? And Jeezy fucked up putting Tip on the end - he overshined that nigga. Keyshia Cole steps up on "Dreamin'", doing nothing to quell the "Jeezy loves Keyshia" rumors from earlier this year. The track is a snore, though - Jeezy trying to get his "December 4th" on over some sad synths, slow beats and some high pitched vocals, for no good reason. Timbaland drops a on "3 A.M." a beat that is definitely not his best, but not one to totally throw away either, probably why Jeezy grabbed it. He does do some funny shit though, with his "ad libs here/ad libs there/fuck it.. ad libs everywhere". He hears us talking, and commented - I can respect that one. "Bury Me A G" has a pretty un-ATL beat, it actually sounds like Just Blaze-lite, which is a good thing here. He gets his 2Pac on, talkin' tough about dying with a gat in his hand and hate on his mind, which we can all respect. Mr. Collipark brings some jazzy horns to "Wha You Talkin' About", but kind of falters when he layers more horns over it, but the track still maintains a degree of cool to let Jeezy explaining his views on getting gwap and changing the game... the chorus is a bit of a let down, though. DJ Toomp also provides the bed to "I Luv It", the single that is currently blowin' up the charts right now, and is probably one of the best tracks on the whole damn CD. It encompasses what Jeezy is about: coming from the trap and being a G, and not being ashamed of it. Hell, he embraces it, the joy, the struggle, the pain, the pleasure. It's just been done before.
Don't get it twisted, I like Jeezy. I laugh at his ad libs, I like his sly lines and his swagger is no joke, but I just feel like I've heard this album before. Actually, I have: his debut. He kept it similar for his fans and the buying public, I guess, but for someone who has done what he's done in the time he's done it, it feels like there's been no growth from one joint to the next, and that is a bit of a letdown. Jeezy had cases, beef over his clothing label, and hell, growing under one of the dons of the game, he has nothing more to talk about than the trap? All of the greats, they've written their lines as their life dictated: as their situations grew and mutated, so did their rhymes, and we loved that. These days, everyone wants to maintain their market share, make sure their base is covered, but they end up making the same songs, just with the latest crop of popular producers. I cannot knock that hustle, and Jeezy is milking the hustle, which gets 'nuff respect from me. Jay spent a good chunk of his early career spitting coke raps, and the Clipse still have residue on their fingers. The difference is, they took time to switch up the flows, inject some humanity into it, basically, repackage their dope and redistro it to the masses. If Jeezy doesn't handle his business like he handles the weight he supposedly moves, he might end up being relegated to a weaker dope spot.
rock the dub gives Thug Motivation 102: The Inspiration a reluctant 7 out of 10. While Jeezy keeps his pen stuck on repeat, the selectio of beats helps drive his trap tales to your trunk. Smarten up, and inject something else into your next one, dog.
Young Jeezy's Thug Motivation 102: The Inspiration hits stores on December 12th, 2006. Get more info on Jeezy at the CTE website, or at his Def Jam website.