Having a long memory can at times be detrimental to writing successfully. At least four times this reviewer wrote “Thug Inspiration” as the title of the review, an honest mistake based on the last album’s title “Thug Motivation.” After all it’s hard to imagine why Jeezy wouldn’t want to keep “Thug” in the title, as thuggery has become one of the hallmarks of his rap style for what it’s worth, along with his trademark drawled “YEAHHHHHHHH” and “AYYYY.” What else defines Jeezy? A slow-n-raspy flow that sounds pre-Screwed for your enjoyment. If you’ve got a cold and legitimately need a shot of that sizzurp, you might as well put a Jeezy album in and listen – it’s gonna fit in nicely. The closest he gets to a fast rap is the lead single from “The Inspiration,” simply titled “I Luv It”:

“Once again it’s on, I’m back in the muh’fuckin booth
These niggaz still lyin, I’m the muh’fuckin truth (GYEAHH!)
I don’t believe I need some more fuckin proof
I ain’t want the four door, I copped the motherfuckin Coupe (HAHA!)
They tryin be me, I’m just tryin be G (G)
And everything comes to ’em like you’ll see
These niggaz in the dark baby I just shine (SHINE)
I do it from the heart homey they just rhyme (YEEEEEAHHHH)
Check your watch homey, it’s my time (AYYYYY)
Mind made up, I was on my grind
So pay attention, yeah you’re on my time
In that case time wait for no man”

This song is almost every Jeezy trademark in a nutshell down to the pounding infectious DJ Toomp beat, the braggadocious lyrics, and Jeezy’s curious and often inexplicable choices to not drop a rhyme where you’d expect one. It’s not as though he’s presenting an on-beat off-beat flow where the rhyme might come at an unexpected point, Jeezy just keeps rapping at the exact same rhythm and seems to say to himself “fuck it, I don’t feel like matching up bars so I’ll just say what the hell I want.” This is not necessarily a practice that most up-and-coming rappers should imitate, especially given that Jeezy’s style is an acquired taste, but it does serve to make some of Jeezy’s mundane topic matter more interesting.

The story of “The Inspiration,” or perhaps “Thug Inspiration,” or maybe even “The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102” (a rumored album title which made his new release seem like a direct sequel to the debut) is the never-ending battle between Young Jeezy’s charismatic personality and his unmotivated subject matter. It’s not hard to succeed when you bring in a line-up of all-stars to hit home runs out the park for you. Timbaland drops the big beats and cameos on “3 A.M.,” Keyshia Cole smooths it out R&B style for the potential crossover single “Dreamin’,” which The Runners produce along with “Go Getta” featuring R. Kelly. It’s hard to say whether Kels sounds more like Akon or Akon sounds more like Kels these days, but the two are rapidly becoming indistinguishable, not unlike Jeezy’s raps from one track to the next when there ISN’T a big guest. It’s easy to proclaim yourself “The Realest” in rap, after all only TEN THOUSAND other MC’s have done that. Jeezy’s got the “Streets on Lock?” Only ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND other MC’s have said that, which makes his rap here all the more ironic:

“These niggaz just hatin, they ain’t talkin bout shit
I’m a grown-ass man, I flip my own bricks
I don’t need no help, I can hold my own dick (HA HA)
Ain’t no muh’fucker help me write my rhymes
Ain’t na’an a nigga pay for my studio time (nah)
See me at the top and wanna claim my fame (yeah)
Nigga took my chain? Yeah muh’fuckin right
You better off sayin a nigga took my life (YEAHHHHH)”

Well maybe Jeezy’s right – it may be that nobody’s writing his rhymes and he just happens to be ghostwriting thugged out raps for EVERY OTHER DOPE-SLINGIN’ GANGSTA MC THERE IS because his street stories are remarkably unvaried from their own. In the end trying to figure out what’s really “Inspired” about this album will give you a headache, because the more you think about it the less obvious it becomes. Jeezy has a competent flow, good breath control, plenty of hot beats and all-star guests, and yet this album really is a sequel to “101” in all but name because it picks up where the last one left off without even trying to differentiate between the two.

Young Jeezy :: The Inspiration
7Overall Score