On his latest single, Jay-Z rhymes “Fuck talkin’ about the recession/ It’s just depressin’.” Apparently no one ever told Young Jeezy. The Atlanta rapper packs his third album, The Recession, with triumphant numbers that are as motivating as they are menacing; inspirational as they are foreboding - it’s like “We Shall Overcome (The Thug Version).”
And it’s no gimmick. Jeezy translates this moment’s uncertain economy (“Lord knows I can’t wait ‘til this recession’s over/ Gas is higher than me”) and political hope (“Obama for mankind/ We ready for damned change”) into the most poignantly political deliverances hip-hop has heard in years.
"The Recession (Intro)"
It’s all invigorating paradox. Jeezy, whose stock in trade has always been the veracity of his cocaine-trafficker reminisce, brags about his blue Lamborghini, his spinning rims and his shiny baubles, but he also bitches about the lack of foresight in purchasing an expensive watch, his rent arrears and his struggle to cover his “light bill, phone bill, plus my Granny nerve pills.” He claims “I want a new Bentley, my Auntie need a kidney/ And if I let her pass, her children never will forgive me,” giving both desires equal placing without a shadow of irony. His idea of a “Vacation” basically entails taking drugs out of town and running his empire by remote.
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This guy strives to cover all bases. “On My President,” he hedges his bets on the three major religions: “‘Bout my nephews and nieces, I will e-mail Jesus/ Tell him forward to Moses and cc Allah.” And on “Circulate,” he urges you to pray too. For anything - support, a movie role, a car, a package of drugs. You know, whatever it takes to keep you from being depressed during The Recession. - Kris Ex