young jeezy

Jeezy Interview for Brick Mag


Profiled the hustle god Young Jeezy for Brick. Available in UK and US stores, or pre-order here.

Here's a snippet too. 

Tech has Steve Jobs, Buddhists have the Dalai Lama, the streets have Jeezy. Trap’s avowed saint, his voice scolds subwoofers like hot coal. Each rasped ad-lib is a street mantra. Every “aye” or “let’s get it” a firm earworm, sticking to the synapses and energising dopeboys. Harder than mortar, renowned for flipping bricks of another kind, Jeezy’s perpetually consistent. The Snowman has soundtracked more white powder than Frosty. But it’s more than that. Whether flipping rock or real estate, Jay Wayne Jenkins embodies the grind. He’s the street dream, the late shift, the second job on a Sunday, the determination to succeed and the hustle to do it. Who else took a pay cut to pursue music and picked Birdman up in a Porsche before fame, just to stunt? Who else negotiated simultaneous contracts with L.A Reid and Diddy, counted America’s most infamous cartel B.M.F as allies and bought two million of real cash to a cover shoot because he didn’t want any fakery? Only Jeezy.

Now 40, and pursuing a tenth street sermon, the Snowman’s an industry vet. From grams to Grammy nominations, number one albums to false arrests and public beef, he’s seen it all. Jeezy should be satisfied, at peace. But that’s not how the resolute hustler operates, he’s addicted to adversity. Years of pot whipping and pistol gripping will do that. “I just feel like you should never stop challenging yourself, that had a lot to do with my success. Just being put in predicaments that I could figure or navigate myself through, that’s the excitement.” Talking to Jeezy is like attending a prime motivational seminar, minus cheering moms and regrettable instalment fees. A hood Tony Robbins, his conversation makes you want to be better, try harder, do more. We half-joke about starting an advice column. Every other line is quotable. He means it too. “Your next move has got to be your best move, especially if you’re from where we’re from. It’s always about getting to that next level, surrounding yourself with the right things. How can you push yourself to do something you’ve never done before? That’s what it’s always about.”


Jeezy ft Jay Z - Seen It All

Originally published at Passionweiss

Presidential parties, museum tours and marriage ensure we won’t be getting ‘98 Jigga bars anytime soon, but in 2014 “Seen It All” is as close as it gets. Jay-Z shunned Kanye’s wedding to the Kardashian dynasty last month, so there’s a chance Jeezy may become his new best friend. They’ve worn matching pleather jackets, they knew Pimp C but probably locked their car door when talking to him and they’ve been collaborating since Jeezy’s 2006 single “Go Crazy.” While this evidence may be circumstantial, the duo has a solid track record and the rap Proleteriat needs a break from Jay’s rhymes for the 1%.

The Snowman will never be a lyrical scientist. He’s found his rap formula, which is strictly limited to raspy boasts and A-grade adlibs. No matter how many water features Jeezy adds to the mansion, he’ll never stop rhyming about selling drugs. “Seen it all,” delivers accordingly and Jeezy’s biggest decision is whether to blow the cash at Atlanta strip-club institution Magic or at the mall. His verse is nothing special, but most of us clicked play to hear his guest feature verse anyway.

Then it happens, Jay swoops in during the 1.30 mark and it’s tough to believe these bars came from the Magna Carter Holy Fail sessions. There’s no blatant flow jacking or overdone Basquiat references, just tales of his dope-boy past life over a melancholic instrumental. Jay-Z excels on this track because unlike Jeezy, he refers to specific experiences as a felon. There’s drug connects in Saint Thomas, expanding his fledging empire to Maryland, his uncle’s stabbing and more memories that make you thankful you weren’t Shawn Corey Carter before the fame. Despite snubbing DJ Khaled’s crew for the “They Don’t Love You No More” shoot, he might even attend the video for this one. While no one is proclaiming this as Mr Beyonce’s comeback, Jay can still deliver.

Freddie Gibbs ft Young Jeezy - Go For It

Freddie Gibbs Young JeezyYep, I'm back from vacation and writing again. This article was originally written for Passionweiss

Gangsta Gibbs is on a roll. The former train robber got dropped from Interscope in ’06, but has carved a niche for those who prefer gritty street tales over label-endorsed drivel. Baby Face Killa recorded an album, three EPs and at least a dozen collaborations within the past 24 months, yet the quality still hasn’t changed. Neither has our fanboyism.  

Gibbs’ demolished last week’s anthem “Kush Cloud” with Krayzie Bone and the phrase “Mo Murda” hasn’t sounded more potent since E1999. Recent release “Go For It” is a leak from Freddie’s project with DJ Drama and shows a lighter side of the typically sullen Indiana native. 

Gibbs and Jeezy cover familiar territory, trading sexscapade stories and verses over a DJ Mustard/Mike Will-like ratchet beat. Gibbs is more versatile than many narrators, bringing his grimy presence to a strip club track without sounding less compelling or out of place. You wouldn’t catch Freddie dancing on tables ala Sean Combs, but he wouldn’t be sitting unnoticed in the corner either. Like its spiritual predecessor, this could be a hit with a clean edit and proper promotion. But unlike Freddie’s taste in women, we prefer our music untainted. 

Future ft DJ Infamous - Itchin'

 By Jimmy Ness and originally published at Passionweiss

Future’s best friends are his cash, calculator and accountant. The Dungeon Family affiliate joins Mike Will Made It for another hypnotic victory lap and their money multiplies. You know how it goes. As rap’s auto-tune flame keeper, Future favours charisma and song-writing over lyricism. Heavy bass and sharp keys support lyrics about his mom telling him to hit the streets, neighbors from hell and having guns/drugs as his two main hoes. The track’s not quite as hot as jams like “Magic” or “Parachute,” which have converted non-believers (myself included) into disciples, but it’s still catchy enough to be memorable.

The video is oddly cinematic and Future’s robotic vocals work well with the paranoid concept of hustling under surveillance. FBI agents follow him as he goes about his shady dealings, raps outside a dog cage and visits the Blue Flame strip club instead of remaining inconspicuous. Ludacris has a brief cameo in the video, but he needs to stay in the studio until he creates something which makes us forget about several shit albums in a row. A Birdman hand-rub would have been 100 times more powerful.

Despite only a minimal appearance, this is actually a song by Michigan’s DJ Infamous. He does whatever rap DJ’s usually do on tracks, which is pay for them and for that we should be thankful. There’s also an “Itchin’ Remix” floating around that features a motley crew consisting of Jeezy, Young Gotti and Fabolous. Their verses aren’t anything special and Jeezy probably feels weird about Gotti impersonating him on the same track. Plus they can’t swag rap better than Juicy J or Dos Chainz so stick to the original until one of them shouts some new similes.