cooks up a familiar prescription to the grind on his third album, "The Recession
." Chronicling the ambitions of a hustler in even more dire times, his position remains the same: He's not about word play, he's about "bird play" - slinging cocaine.
Young details his situation above the operatic sway of "Crazy World": "All I got to my name is two bricks and one felony/ You going back to jail/ That's what my conscience keep telling me." Behind the boards, producer Midnight Black melds marching brass with popping machine-gun percussion, propelling Jeezy's Blunt-charred voice.
The ballad-esque "Don't You Know" is another dedication to the corner with customers coming "back like Frisbees" and smoke fumes getting him all dizzy. "The Vacation" leads with this icy intro: "You see me standing there/ Like a chandelier/ gangsta of the year/ sippin' Belvedere" as a spectral synth hovers around snapping snares laid down by the production team the Inkredibles.
"Circulate" shifts the attention out of the hood and toward the terminal state of the U.S. economy. Producer Don Cannon's treatment of Billy Paul's "Let The Dollar Circulate" approaches Just Blaze territory.
"By The Way" starts off with a children's chorus before Jeezy depicts victims of gunplay as having "chests like doughnuts." In other spots he specifies the stress of a dealer's life in his signature style.
Of the two high-profile guests, Kanye one-ups Nas' imagining of Obama's grill on a new form of currency, by earnestly singing about losing his mom.
Beatwise, producer Shawty Redd's swirling horror-show organ and pogo-stick drum skip on "Who Dat" is a definite a high point, and the miniature orchestra behind DJ Squeeky's "Welcome Back" revs like a cinematic chase scene.
For all Jeezy's turf talk it must be said that he can feel his way around a hook, and his narcotic phraseology has never been more succinct. Aside from the title, not much has changed two albums removed from his Herculean debut: He's still offering lectures on what motivates a thug.