By: Ryan Durning
Jeezy has been through a lot in the music industry in the decade since his first album, including a recent arrest for gun possession after a man was killed backstage at one of his concerts.
On his latest LP, “Seen It All: The Autobiography,” he’s more concerned with his place in the rap game as a pioneer of Atlanta Trap music. Released on Sept. 9th, this is his 7th album, a feat most rappers don’t often reach.
Never a great lyricist, Jeezy gets by through perseverance and an uncanny ability to pick beats that perfectly fit his gruff voice. No one could ever accuse him of making profound, deep music that raises hard questions about the mysteries of life. Jeezy makes anthems that motivate, songs that you can work out to.
On “Seen It All”, it’s not always great that Jeezy balances his newfound need to remind us of his achievements with hisprevious ability to make bangers about drugs, women, and money. “You know I like to turn up at the spot / Act a fool with the money / G told me keep it low-key” from “4 Zones” stands out as something he has said a million times before.
“They say great minds think alike, Know what I’m thinkin? /A great grind will change your life” is an example of Jeezy hitting the right note between the two divisive styles. The title track, “Seen It All” featuring frequent collaborator Jay Z has an hauntingly looped sample and a rich layered instrumental that pairs well with both artists’ reminiscent verses.
Other times, like on “Black Eskimo” and “Beautiful”, Jeezy’s persona just isn’t enough to make up for songs we’ve heard from him 25 times on 6 previous LP’s. “I gota condo up in the sky/‘Fore I fake it, I’d die / Foreign b****, no lie /Man, that b**** beautiful” just doesn’t pass as good music anymore for such an experienced artist.
The album does have a couple bangers though, “1/4th block”, “What You Say”, and “Beez Like” all feature Jeezy at the top of his game. The Atlanta rapper excels when he is trying to push others to new heights, and these songs embody that spirit. Tracks that focus on his seedy past like “Holy Ghost” and “Win Is A Win” excel because he is able to vividly paint pictures that his charisma helps sell.
The album closes on the introspective “How I Did It (Perfection)”, which in the same vein as the title track, shows that Jeezy’s haunting past and drugs to riches
story is much more interesting than when he raps “first to tell you m********* ‘trap or die’ that’s me ok”.
Jeezy’s main problem is telling people how great and novel you are only works when you make music that isn’t generic, which is sometimes the case. Reminding everyone of the trail that he blazed working for Jay Z, when he started worrying about his legacy as he first retired. All it does for Jeezy is sound whiny and that’s the last thing we want to hear from the man who has made millions off motivating the streets.