Young Jeezy [Interview]
New York, NY – Southern rap has successfully made its way to the forefront over the past few years, notably changing the game. The south may be known for their ability to make you do their dances but when it comes to Young Jeezy it’s all about giving you that raw street element.
Jeezy first took to the scene as CEO of Corporate Thug Entertainment where he had planned to stay in the background signing and promoting artists. An unexpected curve ball called for Jeezy to take over and he decided to put his skills to work. Fully aware of the damage he could do in the studio and his savvy business attitude, he began his legacy as “Da Snowman.” He successfully hit the streets with mixtapes and the infamous Trap or Die DVD, selling hundreds of thousand of copies.
“I paid too much/You niggas play too much/Just let the swag do the talking’/ I don’t say too much” – “Who Dat” by Young Jeezy
Their eye to the streets, Def Jam signed Jeezy where he would produce his debut album Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101. Hitting number two on the Billboard charts, it was only a matter of time before he hopped on the hottest singles coming out. A “Go Getta” by true definition, Jay “Young Jeezy” Jenkins was the new face of the south and had much more up his sleeve.
“Against all odds you can place your bets/ yeah I’m just getting started so I ain’t done yet” – “Go Getta” by Young Jeezy
Diving straight into his second album, The Inspiration, Jeezy’s tenacity proved he could go nowhere but up. His signature voice – his “death and curse” as he had to undergo surgery for almost ripping his vocal chords – could be found featured songs that were consistently featured on radio. Now on his third and most notable album, Jeezy has prepared to make history.
“So I took my dreams and made it some thousands/ Then I took my and made it an album” – “Dreamin’” by Young Jeezy
The Recession is a record replete with tracks – 18 to be exact – that can be consumed from start to finish. The album is a recollection of Young Jeezy’s life and future ambitions tied into club bangers that will soon be the hits of 08/09. Features including Trey Songz, Anthony Hamilton, Lil’ Boosie, Kanye West and Nas flood the album along with an array of producers and dope samples. Creating an album parallel to the issues of its time, Young Jeezy has taken a new approach to southern rap. I got a hot seven minutes to sit down with the Trap Star to talk about the album and get to know him a bit more personally – for the Corporate Thug he is, of course.
HipHopCanada: You’ve just released your new album, The Recession, on September second – how does it feel?
Young Jeezy: Good! It’s my third album.
HipHopCanada: How do you feel the response has been thus far?
Young Jeezy: I came home the other day and every car that passed me was playing it so I’m good.
HipHopCanada: Nice. How would you describe this album as being different from your previous two?
Young Jeezy: I mean, it just goes with the times; all my albums always go with the times. It wasn’t necessary to speak on the recession, you know what I mean, but I just though it made a lot of sense. I was like, “okay, cool,” I’m going to go with this approach for the name of the album. With the recession at this time I just think it got people’s attention.
HipHopCanada: Speaking on going with the times, one of the tracks on your album is entitled “My President” featuring Nas (who also features a song on his latest album called “Black President”) – how did that track come about?
Young Jeezy: I feel good. I feel confident about it. That was a long time coming, me and Nas, and it really made sense because it was the up north-down south connect showing our support. The craziest thing is that the song is real but you can still hear it in the club.
HipHopCanada: That’s very true. How were you able to merge the lyrical intellect with a club banger like that?
Young Jeezy: It was more so that I felt I had to do something like that to get the awareness going because a lot of cats don’t vote or [want to] voice their opinion but they don’t know how.
HipHopCanada: The album is heavily loaded so as far as the album process goes, how did you decide what tracks to put on and to omit?
Young Jeezy: It wasn’t difficult but I had a lot of songs so I had to narrow it down to a few. There were a lot of songs that I still wanted to put on the album but it worked out. I can only fit 18 [tracks] on the album, I would put 30 if I could.
HipHopCanada: Had you considered doing a double disc release?
Young Jeezy: Yeah, I was going to try that but they didn’t want to do it. I think it was more so the issue that it was so much music. In our day the internet is so crazy, it doesn’t make sense to do all that shit.
HipHopCanada: And how does the internet affect your album sales – do you worry about your songs getting leaked?
Young Jeezy: Nah, nah. We don’t play like that.
HipHopCanada: But do you see the internet as harmful at all?
Young Jeezy: I mean, it definitely changed the game. I happen to be in the game around [the time] when the internet kicked in.
HipHopCanada: The Recession has some hot collaborations, especially “Put On” with Kanye West, how did you decide who to work with for the album?
Young Jeezy: Oh you like “Put On” [Laughing]. I’ve pretty much done records with everybody but this wasn’t one of those albums; I kind of wanted to do more with a different element.
HipHopCanada: Do you have any strategies when it comes to promoting and selling your albums seeing that record sales are declining?
Young Jeezy: Go hard. That’s all I can say; go hard.
HipHopCanada: Go hard or go home, that’s how you do it.
Young Jeezy: Yeah [Laughing].
HipHopCanada: What are your plans for the near future?
Young Jeezy: Oh man, I’ve got to be bigger than I was yesterday.
HipHopCanada: Is there anything else you wanted to get out there?
Young Jeezy: Just got to let people know that the album is out there. It’s going to be street album of the year. I think five, six years from now people are still going to want to hear this album. Also, check out http:://www.usda2day.com.
Written by Chantle Beeso for HipHopCanada
Tags: Young Jeezy