The Hip-Hop Recession

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 5:39 PM

Artist: Young Jeezy
Album: The Recession
Release Date: 9.2.08

This isn’t the best rap release I’ve heard all year, but I give credit to Jeezy for being the one to keep it real. The Recession is an album that honors the fact that listeners don’t always want to hear celebs flashing their money around, jet-setting and living lavish lifestyles, while the average American is working twice as hard to live half as good. On the flip-side, Jeezy raps mostly about stacking his paper, and the state of the world through the eyes of a trapstar. What shines the most on this album is the production; Jeezy came ready for war with an army of hitmakers behind him so strong that even when his lyrical prowess isn’t up to par, you’ve at least got something to bang in the ride. Still, he makes a valiant attempt at giving something for everyone.

The album kicks off with its title track, on which Jeezy continues his mission of motivation. Times may be hard (it’s a recession, everybody broke…), but the beat from DJ Toomp hits harder. The song that follows, Welcome Back, officially opens the album, with Jeezy’s return from a 2-year hiatus and the assurance that he’s still shinin’ and stuntin. The first 2 minutes of By The Way are worth cranking at full volume, but it quickly gets annoying to hear the same title phrase at the end of every line, by the way. Drumma Boy, the mastermind behind the lead single Put On, also took the reins on the street anthems Amazin’, and Hustlaz Ambition, which bears semblance to Tupac’s Ambitionz Az a Ridah. Jeezy becomes the voice of the people on Crazy World and speaks up on the economic and political issues of society, from high gas prices and taxes, to his opinions on unfair jail sentences. Lyrically, he’s at his best on Word Play, produced by the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and on the closing number My President where he and Nas deliver the home run jam. For the ladies, Jeezy teams up with Trey Songz on Takin’ It There, but lyrically this track falls flat, and vocally it doesn’t hit quite as hard as Anthony Hamilton’s hook on Everything.

The Recession, like any hip-hop album, has its highs and lows. But Young Jeezy has proven his ability to be more than just a product of coke sales and rap stardom, his content here proves he’s got something meaningful to say. I'm just glad to hear some hip-hop thats not hip pop for a change. There’s no question that this is an album that can be cranked at full blast, if only for the hard-hitting beats from some of the best producers on the scene right now. Young Jeezy is still on a level where he can speak for his fans without seeming too far removed from life’s everyday struggles. When you can speak up for the people that buy your music, that’s when you’re giving the people what they want…

-Mack-

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