With Young Jeezy prepared to release his latest album we want to take a look back at his first (major label) and possibly best album, Thug Motivation 101: Let’s Get It.
Releasing in 2005, Jeezy’s debut major label album burst on the scene with dope boy filled hooks/verses and adlibs that we still come to know the “Snowman” by today. ATL was really on top of the rap world at the time and Jeezy was looking to be the next ATL star.
With the lead single off the album being the hit “Soul Survivor” featuring Akon on the vocals, things were really rolling for the upstart rapper. He had a big hit and now the tape needed to deliver, and the album did just that. Jeezy was able to capture the grittiness and hopelessness of street hustling and mix it with the hood rich dreams those same street hustlers have. Songs like “My Hood” gave the streets an upbeat feel to being a trapper, with a very joyful/playful beat. Then he switched up the style, delivering the more heart-felt downside to street life on songs like “Talk To Em”, describing the pain and loses that come with trap life.
Jeezy’s raspy voice always gave you the feeling that he had truly been through the struggle, and it just added the right feel to his often choppy lyrics that are found throughout this and his other works. The album featured a lot of top producers of the time such as Don Cannon, Mr. Collipark, Nitti, J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, Shawty Redd, Mannie Fresh, and Drumma Boy. Production stood out to me and is my favorite thing about this album. Even on the deeper songs the beats are heavy and in your face but they don’t over power the lyrics, rather they sync perfectly with the message of the individual track and enhance the quality of the song.
The only problem I have with Jeezy now is I don’t hear improvement in his lyrics, flow, or style. I was a fan of his first two major albums and early mixtapes, but after that it’s kind of like hearing the same thing over and over. You can’t say Jeezy still doesn’t have hits under his belt, because he does, but I'd rather listen to TM 101 over anything else. To me that’s when his style was new, fresh, and at it’s best.
Overall this is my favorite Jeezy album. So before you listen to Jeezy’s latest drop, go back and listen to his 2005 major debut and see for yourself how his style has changed for the good or bad, or if it's changed at all. Compare and see which Snowman you’d rather listen too.