Young Jeezy

Young Jeezy is just that—young. Originally named Li'l J (actually, originally he was named Jay Jenkins), the Atlanta rapper has the deadly serious focus of a teenage phenom with his eyes on the prize. His music completes the nefarious circle of monetarily driven rap: Jeezy leaves the coy allusions to other suckers and raps almost constantly about money—getting money, keeping money and getting more money. Far from trite, Young Jeezy's approach is a bracingly hard-core realization of what popular American hip-hop has hinged on in this musical epoch. It follows, of course, that his rap style isn't all that gripping; like anyone else singularly focused on getting paid, there's not a lot of room for him to revel in the fun and games of rap music. His sound, though, is great, particularly on last year's record, The Inspiration: Beats are thick and loose, vocals layered in deep Southern strata and unexpected elements like strings and synths recall an Olympian's pump-up soundtrack. Which isn't too far off, considering the approach a player like Young Jeezy has to take: Kid's well aware that staying knee-deep in bills means staying knee-deep in fresh sounds.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kate Carraway