I was writing a passage discussing Jeezy but it turned out to be best just to stream the documentary (edited and shortened, but still effective nonetheless) for you, the viewers to see. It carries the same message as my writing would. This documentary (a full version, with much more content) will come with TM:103 in it’s deluxe form. Watch it and read my review of the album after the break.
Without further adieu here is my track-by-track review of Young Jeezy’s highly anticipated album TM:103 Hustlerz Ambition:
Jeezy pulls out of the gate with a calmer beat, more relying on his lyrical ability than anything. He cruises over the entire track, calmly spending his two verses on lines that will put his fans and even those unaware of his abilities on notice. Jenkins is aware of his talent and reminds those of it in less than 4 minutes with this short introduction.
Now ‘Just Like That’ Jeezy breaks into a hard banger, provided to him by producer Drumma Boy. It’s all about knowing how he does it and respecting what level Jeezy has brought himself to on this one, plain and simple. Single qualities while maintaining the feel of the streets in the South, Jeezy’s gift as an artist shines here. His refusal to lose himself or sacrifice anything for his music is apparent, and it’s just as easy to respect as it is to enjoy the track itself.
Impressive on more than a lyrical level, “OJ” is carries its praise even on to the production, as this is one of Lil Lody’s best tracks yet. The beat, carries itself in a way where it’s easy for a lyricist to take advantage and grab the listener with visuals, whether it be in front of you or in imagination. That said, the single-worthy track is really dominated by the two guest features as Loso and Kiss perform on the beat better than our focus Jenkins, making his verse in the beginning feel forgettable. Nonetheless, the track overall carries itself well, and is one of the better tracks on the project.
A subtle reminder of where he’s come from, Young Jeezy utilizes a pretty simple beat to express the simplicity of what he feels is the true definition of self made. Speaking to the listener during the hook, he places them in a situation obviously relating to his own upbringing. Speaking on how anyone can act when money starts coming in and the fact that nothing is owed to others if you have built your own road to glory. A solid track in itself.
The airy, highly addicting track known as “Way Too Gone” carries a “Real as it Gets” feel to it, a track Jeezy originally owned before giving it to Jay-Z and leaving only a feature. Speaking on the obvious feeling he gets when he’s lost in the drugs and/or drinks he enjoys, lyrical prowess is far from the goal, but focusing more on the fun of it. That said, the track accomplishes that goal with flying colors, Future verse included.
The ignorant banger that is “Supafreak” has Jeezy speaking over the type of woman he knows he wants to be involved with. Taking advantage of the current approval he’s received lately, Jeezy recruited 2 Chainz for the feature, and the flow matches the beat well.
Courtesy of Midnight Black, Jeezy does what he does best over one of the sleeper tracks lurking on TM:103, “All We Do”. Based mainly off of the quoted line above, Jeezy spends most of his time speaking on what he wants to do with the bad one he’s with. The beat itself is what does holds this up from being average, as at this point, the tracks specifically about women all seem to be cluttered together here.
In a daring move, Jeezy steps way out of his comfort zone and brings Ne-Yo into the risky territory with him on a Warren G beat, creating “Leave You Alone”. Thankfully, the risk proves to be worth it as the two definitely come together to create a surprisingly pleasing, relatable, infectious hit. Well done by all involved, as Ne-Yo does well over the hook supporting Jeezy’s verses surrounding the idea of a woman who can hold him down.
Over another instrumental courtesy of Lil Lody, Jeezy delivers more lyrics that help the listener develop visuals for his work in “Everythang”. Although the delivery and lyrics here are on point, the beat proves to be average and doesn’t really support the flow enough here to keep attention.
Deep and dark, the powerful “Trapped” is cracked wide open in the beginning by some bars from the soulful Jill Scott. Jeezy comes in hungry for the verses, with a lot of reflection and aggression behind his words. The collaboration is unique and just as impressive as you’d want it to be, with the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League backing them with a great beat allowing a lot of creative room. Effortlessly one of the standout tracks.
The aura behind this track lets it tell itself. The lead single for Thug Motivation: 103 was expected to be a hard ridiculous banger made in competition with who everyone believes to be his rival but one thing Jeezy proved with this release was that he would not be swayed. He proved that despite what everyone else thought, he made his music without losing ground to the music of anyone else in this industry. The result of his mental strength (and a very strong verse from a returning T.I, who also had some frustration to speak on himself) was “F.A.M.E” and after a lot of thought, one of the strongest tracks, if not the strongest out of the entire collection of tracks.
Man, is this a great record. Jeezy is slightly lost in the shuffle, almost getting his verse out of the way for the latter, but with the soulful, classic feel “I Do” carries, it left a ton of room for Jay-Z (who completely lets loose on the track, most of his verse being a double entendre) and Andre 3000 to display lyrical abilities far beyond what you hear from most. A fantastic track overall, despite Jeezy, the supposed star of this show, being out shined easily.
“Higher Learning” is a short smooth track focusing solely on getting high and enjoying the feeling of lifting off. Weed smokers Devin the Dude and Snoop Dogg assist the track with one verse each. Altogether, solid and effective.
A slacking track in it’s entirety, “This One’s for You” just comes off lazy and awkward. Trick Daddy’s guest verse is one of a rapper who probably expected his verse to come across much better originally than it did in actuality and Young’s entire effort is lackluster. This one is easily forgettable.
As we enter the bonus tracks, .38 serves as an excellent street single. The albums head producer Lil Lody provides the beat for this one as well, with Jeezy providing a solid couple of verses before Freddie Gibbs shows out in the final verse. Solid overall.
The great thing about having one producer handle your project alone that usually it turns out to benefit the project, creating a sense of cohesive effort (like Common and Kanye on “Be”) that leads the album overall to greatness. The possible flaw though, is that if the producer behind the tracks isn’t experienced enough, he may fail on the instrumental support and I feel this is an example of that. Another street single previously released, these Lil Lody beats begin to sound alike right around here. Ballin’ is solid track by itself with a nice guest verse from Wayne, but if you listen to this entire project, it becomes really easy to see how Lody doesn’t stray too far from his working strategy. The motto “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t suffice here when you’re supposed to take more risks.
The gritty “Lose My Mind” came to us a long time before TM:103 did and thankfully (either that, or it’s a shame) I can say took such a long time to arrive in stores that hearing it now, it has regained it’s freshness. Complete with a Plies verse in which he yells for no particular reason, this track is obviously made as a single, more to enjoy for what it is than the message in it. With that in mind, it’s great.
A record with a decent beat that compliments Jeezy, “Never Be The Same” lets Jenkins speak over how the game can get a hold of you and it’s risks as the final track to close the album. Far from the hardest in terms of instrumental, but the message is what’s most important here.
Young Jeezy is beyond talented and despite what the game has put him through, we should be thankful that he managed to deliver to us such a great project. His trap upbringing, his realness, risky maneuvers and even hit singles all sit comfortably on a 18 track long project, but it’s length proves to be it’s greatest weakness. With the addition of so many tracks, it’s a little too easy to grow tired before it’s through, especially considering that all tracks aren’t on the same level in terms of what you may or may not enjoy. Now, with all eyes on Young Jeezy, after the disputes and issues and rumors regarding his work, it’s obvious that Jeezy is one of a kind and is secure in his own lane. Well done and welcome back, Jeezy. Just remember for next time, It’s about quality, not quantity.