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Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101

Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101

Label:Def Jam
Release Date:2005
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Makkada B. Selah | Posted 8/17/2005

Def Jam’s newest southern acquisition is from big-city Atlanta, but Young Jeezy is country as hell. One of the Boyz N Da Hood behind Bad Boy’s current hit “Dem Boyz,” his major-label solo debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, is a slick, chrome-shiny opus—but somehow Young Jizzle sounds more real on countrified bounce than on citified crunk. The baby-faced snowman’s crude lines possess the latent ruthlessness of Big Tymers’ Baby, and he has a hood-rallying “eeeeaahhhh” akin to Master P’s “uuuuggghhh.”

At the top of the game is the bleacher-beating Mannie Fresh joint “And Then What.” Also key are Shawty Redd’s “Get Ya Mind Right” and the earthquaking, ’bout it-’bout it bass of “Bottom of the Map.” Even the Jazze Pha-produced “Bang,” featuring T.I. and Lil Scrappy, abandons Jeezy’s ATL roots and approximates a more Houston/New Orleans school. Strong too are crunk anthem “Trap Star” and the West Coast-funky “Don’t Get Caught,” invoking Dr. Dre-era Death Row Records—a riffing electric guitar, soulful brass, and flutes produced without resorting to a Curtis Mayfield sample.

The rest of the 19-track disc is repetitive and not as compelling—including “Soul Survivor” featuring AKON, which aims for pop but the ’80s-synth violins drag on like a motherfucker. Ditto Jeezy’s OG anti-message throughout—he continually says he’s “doin’ it for the ’hood”; the question is, Doin’ what?—and his downright lack of lyrical inventiveness. ATL homeboys T.I., Ludacris, and even Bonecrusher tell vivid stories and set up exciting wordplay. Jeezy roughly sketches vague scenarios and shouts out commercials. Admittedly, the drug dealer-turned-rapper archetype carries some currency in mainstream rap today—but are rhyming skills no longer required? A young Jay-Z Young Jeezy is not.

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