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DJ Drama and Young Jeezy: Can’t Ban the Snowman

DJ Drama and Young Jeezy: Can’t Ban the Snowman

Label:Gangsta Grillz
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Ethan Padgett | Posted 3/29/2006

Why Jeezy? Tryna snatch the crown of his lyrical and artistic superior T.I. while staying hollow as the popped bottles outside Club 112, his “yeah” and “ayyy” whines come off like a self-deluded Guildenstern at the margins of Atlanta’s Hamlet—another talentless hypeman with delusions of relevance who somehow managed to trick the whole damn rap game. All the hunger and humanity of the trap melted off and run down the gutter drain. While his first mixtape with Drama, the instant-classic Trap or Die, took six months to build, this lifeless copy gets immediate dap, and after the platinum Thug Motivation 101, Jeezy’s persona unfolds to reveal, well, nothing. When other coke rappers dip and dive, he spells everything out—the Apparent Trap.

Remember Lyor Cohen’s old rule for Def Jam artists? “If you’re a rapper, rap motherfucker!” This mixtape is just a mess of intros and trap slang mumbled on top of old, played beats, most trailing off after two minutes or less. This ain’t even rap, it’s a soliloquy. There’s no connection to actual hip-hop beyond swagger. The verses are so sluggish and disjointed that you get the sense he’s making it up as he goes along—the stream of consciousness of a dull asshole. So is Jeezy on some next shit? Maybe actual flow is gonna end up another old-school affectation like jazz loops or anti-Semitism.

So, aside from a couple pop moves, this is our Snowman mumbling over G-Unit and Roc-A-Fella instrumentals. Some exceptions: “Cadillac” is straight trunk music, closest to the soul of Down South rap—“You know me, unpredictable/ The man right ’chea like Mystikal.” “I’m Back” is a highlight, the only track that hints at the old, exhilarating arrogance of “My Hood” or “Trap Star.” But the only cut by Shawty Redd, Jeezy’s talented partner-in-crime whose flawless production dominated his first mixtape, is the half-assed posse cut “Burning Up,” and while the gruff Bloodraw is a beast on the mic, and nerdy Slick Pulla has a sly, clear-throated hunger that his boss lacks, they still can’t carry Jeezy’s feeble raps. Why lie? At the bar or in the club, you wanna hear some Jeezy. But you can’t jam this in headphones. It’s too simplistic. Go dig out Trap or Die, Come Shop With Me, the cuts with Pastor Troy and 404 Soldierz. Look, Up North cats: Do not confuse this with Southern rap. Cracksploitation, paranoid babbling, and spoken-word bullshit do not represent the South. Junior high principals can ban the Snowman, dismissing the goofiest rapper-drawn mascot since the Luniz condom. But for someone who built his name and, according to him, more than half a mil in the trap, Jeezy has failed to supply the streets.

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