Release Date: Dec 20, 2011
Record label: Def Jam
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock, Gangsta Rap, Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap
Is there a hip-hop artist who cares less about artistry than Young Jeezy? Dazzling wordplay, unpredictable flow, tricky rhyme schemes – these are froofy, frivolous concerns to the Atlanta drug-dealer-turned-MC. "Bitch, I'm legendary/Bitch, I'm a living legend," he announces, with typical wordiness, on his long-awaited fourth LP. Blunt-edged lines like these have never been a problem for Jeezy – he's selling a vibe, not virtuosity.
The past three years have been a curious period in Young Jeezy’s career, a glaring example of the label drama hip-hop artists are forced to endure on par with Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers. Although in Jeezy’s case the answer wasn’t so simple as he didn’t want to make pop music—after all, as a pioneer of the now-ubiquitous trap rap scene, Jeezy was always an artist that made big time singles like “And Then What” and “Crazy World” entirely on his own terms. No, TM103, as best as I can tell, is more accurately an example of Rick Ross releasing Deeper Than Rap a year after The Recession to more critical acclaim than Jeezy had received in years, followed by a demand from the Def Jam suits that Jeezy match that effort ...
During the year-plus of delays that Young Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition sat on the shelf and got reworked at the Def Jam offices, many rap fans and armchair A&Rs conspired that fellow Southern heavyweight Rick Ross had taken his place in the lane of trap rap. But further inspection proves otherwise: while Ross’ extravagant soundbeds embody the lavish life of rap’s shiny suit era, Jeezy has largely focused on inspiring his listeners to enjoy those riches aside him. On TM103’s strongest moments, the CTE leader continues his penchant for motivational speaking.
Young Jeezy’s previous album, The Recession, further burnished the rapper’s populist credence by showing that he had an intuitive understanding that people were feeling downtrodden, even if official economists hadn’t yet diagnosed it as such. On songs like “Circulate” and “Crazy World,” Young Jeezy added anxiety and paranoia to his triumphant trap rap, and the results were timely and affecting. But TM103: Hustlerz Ambition, his new album that finally sees the light of day after two years of postponed release dates, suffers from the lack of a moment.
Young Jeezy :: TM:103 Hustlerz AmbitionDef Jam RecordsAuthor: Steve 'Flash' Juon"They want me trip on my strings, want me fall on my faceHit a lick for a hundred, and it fell in my safeSay she no alcoholic, but she drink like a toiletTold her do me a favor, and put your mouth on this faucetI know just how she like it, she might think I'm a psychicEven call me a plumber, she like the way that I pipe itNiggaz talk like they know me, they must got me mistakenBitch I'm pleadin not guilty you'll never charge me with fakin" "What I Do (Just Like That)" is a statement of principles defining Young Jeezy's philosophy on "TM:103 Hustlerz Ambition" as well as any song could. The Atlanta all-star has a rap career dating back to 2005, where he first came to national attention as a member of Boyz N Da Hood, then very quickly eclipsed their fame on his solo debut "Thug Motivation 101. " As his star rose into the sky like a cloud of marijuana smoke, fans came to know his raspy voice and unrepentant lifestyle well, flashing iced out jewelry and getting in trouble wherever he went.
After releasing The Recession in 2008, Young Jeezy suffered his own three-year layoff due to legal problems and a fight with the crippling disease Bell's palsy. Add a paradigm shift in hip-hop radio, where the introspection of Drake and Kid Cudi found favor over Jeezy and T. I.
Once upon a time, Young Jeezy was invincible, a superhero. He grew famous peddling an overblown, over-simplified cartoon of machismo and violence, pumped full of dubious sociopolitical implications and adrenaline. His first three albums were some of the last decade's finest action flicks. The widescreen production, from Shawty Redd, DJ Toomp, and others, furnished the exploding tanks while Jeezy supplied the boiled-down, bumper-sticker dialogue: "I remember nights/ I didn't remember nights." "Who, me?/ I emerge from the crack smoke." He was Stallone in Cobra; he was Schwarzenegger in Commando.
The desolate music wasteland that is the holiday season leaves listeners with two options: latecomer Christmas collections hoping to soak up seasonal cheer and rap albums like Young Jeezy’s TM:103 - Hustlerz Ambition, forced into this bleak corner after months of delays. Like most of the stuff that ends up getting dumped around this time, the album isn’t anything especially revelatory, a middling set that contains few surprises, aside from raising questions about what took Jeezy so long to make it. TM:103 suffers from the common fractured quality that befalls hip-hop albums with long gestation periods.
Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy has an interesting role in the rap universe. His latest album, TM: 103 Hustlerz Ambition, recently sold some 233,000 copies and secured the No. 3 spot on Billboard, just another instance of success in the MC’s decade-plus career. Yet the album also shows that even 10 years in, Jeezy is still uninspired musically.
With much of the blogosphere saying he lost it, the streets feening for some motivation and longtime fans looking for reasons to believe again, Young Jeezy has been in unfamiliar territory for the last two years. For the first time since entering the game with street classics Trap Or Die and Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Jizzle’s once secure spot as The People’s Champ was coming into question. Fast forward through months of broken release dates, a quasi-beef with a certain other Def Jam artist, and returning the Real with DJ Drama on two well-received mixtapes, and Da Snowman has returned to silence talk of a demise on the soundtrack to his comeback story, TM:103 Hustlerz Ambition.
YOUNG JEEZY “TM: 103 Hustlerz Ambition”. (CTE/Def Jam).