Young Jeezy: The Recession

Fuck Huey Long: Young Jeezy is the master of populism. Here's a self-made millionaire who empathizes with the day-to-day troubles of the working class, preaches distrust of the media and authority figures and always gets his base boiling. While he leaves the lofty rhetoric to the arugula-chomping pantywaist he endorses on "My President," Jeezy uses his brilliantly timed third album to sharpen his stump speech. The Recession focuses on America's economic anxieties while reframing his well-chronicled career in cocaine as a political act. Hey, it worked for the CIA. Over monster hooks and grandiose, swelling beats, Jeezy reprises his roles as paranoid gangster and hokey optimist to fit the current climate; our economic maladies can be beaten by grinding even harder. Earlier in his career, Jeezy's shtick consisted of amateur-hour one-liners à la "They used to call a nigga 'Pringles,' the way I stack them chips," but here the bellowed grace notes are toned down to make room for a wordier, more limber delivery, and he's a whole lot funnier too. He's also been tinkering with writing devices: "Put On" employs a series of culinary double entendres, "What They Want" does the same with sports terminology and "Don't Do It" repeats the song-title trick from Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt. If Jigga pioneered the trend of rappers who insist their profession is a calculated hustle, Jeezy embodies it. His marked improvement on The Recession is either a product upgrade or a hint that he enjoys this one-two shit.


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