Young Jeezy will forever be one of my favorite artists in rap. I have so many fond memories of those Thug Motivation 101 days and just his whole ‘Can’t Ban the Snowman’ movement. It was authentic and real, and he was always as much an inspirational speaker as he was a rapper. So long story short, I’m always there for his projects even if his last couple have been a bit subpar.
“Got money to make, blow out the candles then cut up the cake
Then I put it on plate, I’m running the game, you running in place
Still a youngin’ at heart, but mentally, bitch I’m a hunnid’-and-eight
Like Pun in the late 90s, my niggas is juggling weight
Running from state to state, gun in the waist for safety
I’m on a paper chase, whatever it takes to make me
A millionaire, silly cause how many really get there?
I mean, how many niggas is Jeezy?”
Pressure‘s announcement came out of nowhere but its tracklisting definitely had me excited. Boasting features from both J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar (on the same song), Puff Daddy, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and even up and comers like Kodak Black and Tee Grizzley, really showed just how much respect and clout he truly has in rap. A fact that he makes sure you know throughout the album, as he drops self-referential adjectives like ‘living legend’ and ‘boss’ countless times. It’s well deserved but it’s painfully obvious that as the years have gone by and he’s already talked about his early ‘street’ life to death, he’s started to run out of things to talk about, instead falling back on generic lines and subject matter. He’s just not as interesting an orator as he once was. But Pressure is still a very solid project that’s worth checking out (especially if you’re a Jeezy fan) but it didn’t quite live up to the immense promise it had from its initial announcement. “Bottles Up” is hard and one of my favorite songs off the album but Puff Daddy only has a few background vocals (and not his best ones either), the J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar track didn’t quite deliver as much as I’d hoped for, with only J. Cole really bringing it lyrically, and how “Valet” wasn’t a full-length song is beyond me! Outside of these, everything else was just ‘good’ – a bit more generic than I was hoping for.
Have you heard Pressure? What’d you think about it? Do you think Jeezy delivered on the tracklisting’s promise? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to let me know your own ratings and reactions to the album.
Pressure is Jeezy's best project in recent memory but it still didn't quite deliver on all the immense promise of its tracklisting and noteworthy features. A mix of standout and generic, skewing more in the direction of the latter. And he's just not as interesting of an orator as he once was.