Discography Check: Young Jeezy

By @TrueGodImmortal 

Many artists come and go in this land of hip hop. If you have little substance within your music or you aren't entertaining, your shelf life is limited. For the Atlanta MC Young Jeezy, he managed to stay relevant for 12 years now by maintaining a presence within his music and utilizing his charisma to fuel his career. With 7 albums under his belt and some solid mixtapes, today we wanted to take a look back at his discography, seeing which albums were great and which could have been better. For the sake of the article, we've included a few of the best Jeezy mixtapes here, but left off a few projects (the USDA group project Cold Summer being one, as well as his forgettable mixtapes). Is Jeezy a hip hop legend? Debatable. Is he a trap music legend? No doubt about it. With that, let's take a look at his discography, and how it holds up. In the words of our topic artist, let's get it!

*Tha Streets Iz Watchin (2004)

-This was my introduction to Jeezy. He had released the Come Shop Wit Me mixtape prior to this one, back when he still had his braids, but the formerly known Lil J came together with DJ Drama for a solid Gangsta Grillz mixtape that changed his fortunes. Along with signing to Def Jam, and gaining more notoriety, Jeezy burned up the streets on this tape with songs like "Pussy Muthafuckas", "Me Money" with Lil Flip, "Hold Up", and more street anthems that opened more eyes to the dope boy from Atlanta who seemingly had a knack for adlibs.

*Trap Or Die (2005)

-This is where Jeezy broke through the ceiling. This mixtape was the biggest moment for him, and in many ways, it still is. Without this mixtape, the Snowman movement would have never gotten as big as it did, and prepared the world for the album he was about to drop. Jeezy wasn't necessarily the best rapper at the time, and he still isn't, but he made up for that with his charismatic delivery and his hilarious lyrics and of course, the adlibs. Tracks on this mixtape that brought Jeezy the love he would garner are "Street Niggaz", the title track, and my personal favorite, "Miss Me With That Rap Shit". This mixtape essentially put Jeezy on the map, much more than what Tha Streets Iz Watchin did. 

*Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 (2005)

-This is where the frenzy began. After the mixtape put him on the map, Jeezy came through with a solid release that could be considered a classic, depending on who you talk to. For me, I found Jeezy and his music to be hilarious, though not necessarily the greatest content wise, it was immensely entertaining nevertheless. This is evidenced in the hilarious yet enjoyable verses on his first single "And Then What" featuring Mannie Fresh. In addition to that, the Akon featured "Soul Survivor" became a huge hit, along with the monster "Go Crazy" and other solid tracks like "Bottom of The Map", "Get Ya Mind Right", "Tear It Up", "Talk to Em", and more. Jeezy came out the gate swinging for the fences. 

*Can't Ban The Snowman (2006)

-This was a rare misstep honestly for Jeezy. I didn't hate this particular tape, I just felt it lacked in several areas. Jeezy didn't exhibit what made us love the first mixtape and album to the fullest, and there was definitely a bit too much of his CTE crew featured. I enjoyed "I'm Back", "I Know You Don't Love Me", "Cadillac", and a few others, but at 26 tracks, this tape is a bit of overkill without the entertainment to offset the long playing project. Not a bad release, just not that good or entertaining either. 

*The Inspiration (2006)

-I would consider this the worst Jeezy album, but you can tell he was trying to grow at the time. He was trying to be more than just adlibs and more than just simple entertainment. He wanted to be more commercially viable this go round and with appearances from Timbaland and R. Kelly, he did just that. Still, the songs themselves lacked aside from "Hypnotize", "Bury Me A G", "Go Getta", and "Dreamin" with Keyshia Cole, which is the best song on this album IMO. The album would sell very well, garnering another platinum plaque for Jeezy, but it admittedly was a minor slip for him. 

*The Recession (2008)

-Utilizing the election to help fuel his music promotion, Jeezy came with an album that seemingly touched on the state of America at the very moment. However, you would be fooled by the title, because this isn't necessarily a conscious trap album, but rather that traditional Jeezy sound with just a song or two really touching on what the title insists. Does that take away from the album's quality? Not at all. It's a solid project and his 2nd best album behind his debut album, with tracks like the Kanye West assisted "Put On", "Vacation", the anthem "My President (Is Black)", the Anthony Hamilton and Lil Boosie assisted "Everything", the Trey Songz featured "Takin' It There", and my personal favorite song on the entire album "Circulate". Jeezy mixed the trap music with a small bit of consciousness and awareness, while also giving us anthems. When talking overall quality and diversity in his music, this is definitely his greatest accomplishment, I'm just slightly partial to the first album for my own reasons. 

*Trap Or Die 2: By Any Means Necessary (2010)

-This is my favorite Jeezy mixtape. I know, I know... the first Trap Or Die is a classic and probably his most iconic. Take nothing away from that particular project, but this was elevated musically. Jeezy was actually trying to improve his skill and it showed in some of the songs he created here. He also took music more serious as a result it seemed, and with that, he created what I feel is his strongest tape with tracks like "Camaro", "Problem", "Lose My Mind" with Plies, "Go Hard", and my favorite track, the knocking "Illin" featuring The Clipse. These songs really were all dope, in addition to the majority of the tape and was constant on replay after it dropped. 

*The Real Is Back (2011)

-Another middle of the road project that was enjoyable for a majority, but the low points weren't sustainable. The hit "Ballin" with Lil Wayne was off this tape first, and the contributions from Lil Lody on production helped the quality of the tape. The title track, "Run DMC", and a few other songs here made this a solid listen, but it does lack replay value of previous Jeezy mixtapes. 

*TM 103: Hustlerz Ambition (2011)

-A lot of people seem to not like this project. I enjoyed it. I thought Jeezy blended solid tracks with his usual street anthems and I absolutely loved "I Do" with Jay-Z and Andre 3000. I mean how could you hate that song? Each MC came with a dope verse, though Andre 3000 killed it the best. On top of that, there's the Snoop and Devin The Dude featured "Higher Learning", the 2 Chainz assisted banger "Supafreak", and the hood anthem "All We Do". While it wasn't quite as good as TM 101 or The Recession, TM 103 was a very solid listen for the most part. 

*It's Tha World (2012)

-If you're looking to find the best intro that Jeezy has made? Look no further than this underrated mixtape. The "El Jefe" intro is amazing and one of the best Jeezy tracks in general. In addition to that, Jeezy is at his most entertaining in a while, as he floats over tracks like "Get Right", "All The Same" with E-40, "Just Got Word" with YG, and the hit "R.I.P." with 2 Chainz. This was a really enjoyable listen and had slightly more replay value than I expected. 

*Seen It All: The Autobiography (2014)

-I am in the middle on this album. The title track with Jay-Z is amazing. It's one of my favorite Jeezy tracks, but it lacks just a bit overall. It's not a bad album per se, something about it just feels flat. It's almost as if the album is a bit forced, but Jeezy still brings some dope tracks like "1/4 Block", "Black Eskimo", "Me OK", and "Holy Ghost", but those are the only songs I revisit these days. Another middle of the road album from Jeezy, but showed flashes of brilliance from the Atlanta rapper. 

*Church In The Streets (2015)

-I felt like this album came and went so fast. It was pretty dope considering the genre of trap music has seen Jeezy attempt to reinvent himself within it, and this album was almost like a Trap Gospel project, as crazy as that sounds. It was like Jeezy was looking at personal salvation while still wanting to get them thangs off, as evidenced on songs like the title track, "GOD", "Lost Souls", "Holy Water", and other tracks here. Jeezy seemed to be struggling internally if you listen closely, or perhaps he crafted a well sequenced gimmick to give off that impression. Either way, this album was dope upon the initial listen, but like many of the recent Jeezy albums, it lacked replay value. That's a growing trend with Jeezy albums to be honest. 

*Trap Or Die 3 (2016)

-Using the "make a sequel to draw people in" trick, Jeezy released Trap Or Die 3, harkening back to his initial arrival in the game to restore the feeling. The album just hit no. 1 on the Billboard charts, so it's certainly a success for Jeezy, who hasn't really had a solo commercial failure if you think about it. All his albums debut in the top 5 of the Billboard charts and move a good amount of units the first week, and this is no different, but compared to the first two editions of Trap Or Die, this one is a bit bland. It knocks with tracks for the cars and the traps, like "All There" with the recently lost Bankroll Fresh, "Bout That" featuring Lil Wayne, "Never Settle", "Goldmine"  and "Where It At" with Yo Gotti. I'm not expecting Jeezy to do anything groundbreaking or even different, but on this album, he plays it safe. It works for the most part, but I'm certain this is yet another project of his without replay value. 

Jeezy is a very successful artist and he has had many wins in his career, but now it seems as if he's hit a wall. It'll still prove to be successful for him to stick to the script like most of the biggest trap music artists, but regardless, Jeezy has shown he can step out of his comfort zone at times. Perhaps as his discography grows, we will see more glimpses of that. Only time will tell. 



Popular Posts