Release Date: Nov 13, 2015
Record label: Def Jam
Dropping the Young from his name and turning on the full Jeezy, Church in These Streets finds the veteran Atlanta MC tackling the concept album while playing the role of an inner-city preacher. The title cut is also the LP's key cut as it bangs along with twerking Zaytoven production, and offers the album's main message for anyone caught in the drug game: "If you see another day, then just say 'Hallelujah!'" The track "Lost Souls" is a heavy triumph, sampling a bit of the movie Street Life before the lyrics declare that any time spent in jail is time spent breeding another monster, while later, the woozy and hooky banger "Scared of the Dark" skewers flashy gangsters for their unwillingness to do life's dirty work. By the time "Sister Good Game's Testimony" snarls all the weak and meek out of the trap house, it seems Jeezy's "Pastor Young" character comes with the toughest brand of love, but "I Feel Ya" ("You put your fam on your back, boy I feel ya/You put your hood on the map, boy I feel ya") is a sympathetic cut that broadens the album's spectrum.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Through every phase of his trap-fueled domination, Jeezy has consistently delivered a dose of wisdom. In a career spanning a decade, the Atlanta-rapper has offered us Thug Motivation, The Inspiration and Hustlaz Ambition, showed us what it means to be a Trap Star, Soul Survivor, The Realist and The Last of a Dying Breed.
Jeezy does not traffic in nuance. He dropped the ‘Young’ out of his name when he realized he wasn't young. The hooks to his biggest songs are so blunt they skirt deadpan humor—"my president is black, my Lambo is blue" works in a shockingly efficient manner, a mission statement that unpacked a hell of a lot at the right time in history in just two lines.
Church in These Streets is a provocative, title for Jeezy’s sixth album. For a man who has been very successful at sticking to what he knows, even when he tries his hand at politics a la The Recession, the prospect of a spiritually-themed album is enough to pique any Hip Hop fan’s interest. Jeezy comes through, not with Hip Hop hymns, but as a man who inspires his people in a time of racial injustice in Black America.
It must be a balancing act for an originator of trap music to now be one of rap's loudest political voices, but Jeezy makes sure to keep his core fans happy on his eighth studio album while also taking a few risks. Hardcore Jeezy tracks like God and Scared Of The Dark showcase the Grammy nominee's signature raspy voice and haunting production, but first-time Jeezy listeners shouldn't expect Public Enemy-styled anthems either. Instead, Jeezy motivates in subtle ways on Just Win and civil-rights-themed interlude Eternal Reflection by Detroit poet Jessica Care Moore.