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.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.