It seems almost disingenuous to take this long to talk about Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 from Jeezy. The major-label debut and third studio record, Jeezy is ambitious enough to captivate an audience and also hard enough to inflect fear amongst a crowd.
Opening with the title track “Thug Motivation 101,” Jeezy comes in a time where artists like Gorillaz, Fall Out Boy, and Gwen Stefani dominated the airwaves. Hip-hop at this point was beginning to make its way toward being a household genre with 50 Cent, Kanye West, and The Black Eye Peas jumping into the mainstream.
On the outside ring, Jeezy stands as this now main staple of trap rap subjects with a flashy bit of instrumentation that creates a hand for everyone to hold here. The first instrumental on Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 comes from Shawty Redd and acts as a paranoid canister ready to burst. These frantic keys suddenly expand when Jeezy steps with a microphone and that paranoia fades to be strength.
His delivery is comforting her and invokes some senses of both pride but also scrunched faces from the punchlines. He describes, “I used to hit the kitchen lights, cockroaches everywhere. Hit the kitchen lights now, it’s marble floors everywhere. Call the carpenter, the roof on the coupe gone. Give a fuck what he sold, I’m the truth holmes.”
While the instrumental becomes padded with these 808s and stunning displays of money counters as the hi-hats, Jeezy continues on by illustrating, “I’m what the streets made me, a product of my environment. Took what the streets gave me, product in my environment. Now it’s 28 inches on the brand new Hummer, telling you right now it’s gon’ be a cold summer.”
Before leaving, Jeezy uses verse two as an anvil to drop on the head of the listener. He finishes, “Blew the brains out the Chevy, call it suicide. It’s a way of life, that’s how us young niggas ridin’. Trap or Die gave em hope, they waiting for the sequel. It’s clear to see, the boy Jeezy do it for the people.
The following track “Standing Ovation” is a crash of mid-2000’s love for rapid hi-hats and a boom-bap snap of percussion. The writing here is more built for the stadiums as he describes, “I told em straight drop this and Ziplock that, right on my waistline is where I keep that strap. I remember nights I didn’t remember nights. I damn near went crazy, had to get it right.”
The king of the ad-libs, his “Yeahhhhhh” shouts over bars and eventually wraps Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 like a tight bow. From 19 tracks and over an hour of content, Jeezy creates a crown and dawns it with honor.
Listen To Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 Here!!! – Spotify/iTunes