Friday, November 28, 2014

Young Jeezy- Seen It All:The Autobiography (Deluxe Edition) (2014)

Why did I review the album?  I liked his last album
Did I like it? Yes
Will I listen again? Yes
I got this album a few months ago and stopped listening after the first three sings I heard. Even now, I still find them subpar to Jeezy’s normal standard, but I’ve learned to find value in them regardless. After the rough start, it manages to find its way rather well.
Compared to the last effort, I find this one more impressive. This may be my prejudice coming to light, but I find this one much more personal. As a man that listens to rap for the stories it tells, I appreciates the rawness and real life experience spread throughout the album.He calls it an autobiography and while I wouldn’t go that far, it’s by far his most personal work.
As you will see in the longer version of this review, I fell in love with the beats too. I mainly focus on content and usually am indifferent to beats, but it seemed like every time I heard a track I was praising the beat.
Another thing to note is that Jeezy travels the same roads as previous albums (drug heavy content) , but finds a way to make it fresh. He describes his experience with drugs so vividly that I can imagine being there with him. That vividness allows you to be entrapped in the story he’s telling and separates him from all other drug rappers.  My favorite drug related album is still Pusha T’s My Name is My Name, but this is a valiant effort that serves a worthy runner up.  
My Favs
3. How I Did It (Perfection)
2.  Holy Ghost
1.  Seen it All
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Spins  

1-4 Block- I really like the beat to this one. It’s a change from the usual beats. The guitar feedback in the backround reminded me of rock without the drums. It was so interesting that I didn’t really care what he was talking about.  3.5/5
What You Say-I’m starting to sense a pattern here. It has the same odd sound that I don’t expect from a Jeezy album. Unlike the last one, I did pay attention to the lyrics and am not impressed. It’s the same old stereotypical lyrics that you can hear from any rapper.3/5
Black Eskimo- Same story as before, love the beat but am indifferent towards the lyrics. 2.5/5
Enough-   As usual I really like the beat, but this time the hook caught my attention. Essentially Jeezy thinks that if you work hard it will eventually pay off. It’s a sentiment that I generally agree with. What I found the most interesting is that the notion of “grinding” is left open to interpretation. He didn’t say “selling (insert drug here)” is grinding or that getting an education is the “grind”; he leaves it open to interpretation. I like that because it doesn’t takes sides and tell the audience what it should be doing, that’s not the point. Whatever inspires you to put in the work is the grind. That gives it the subtlety that I was looking for in Macklemore& Ryan Lewis’ Make the Money.4/5  
Holy Ghost- I know I keep saying this, but the beat is amazing. I love it. It’s got a hard edge to it that attracted me to it.
I had to do some research (which I try to avoid because it colors my reaction to the song) because the content seemed too personal to be hypothetical. I was right.
It’s funny because people lust for money because they believe money will solve problems when they arise. I am a believer that as your wealth increases your problems do not disappear, they change. However when you have fame and money nobody wants to hear that. The immediate response of many is that he has money, what is he complaining about?
The song seems like it has all the pieces of a five star rating. The fact that I brought this up means that it’s not getting one. Why? I hate the hook. It falls back on stereotypical rapper topics that I hate and conveys a message I don’t support. This case especially annoyed me because the content in the verses was so good that it hurt a track that could have been a perfect song.    4.5/5
Me Ok- I hate this song.  First off it promotes a message I don’t support. Then he uses what I call chopped rapping which you all know I hate. To top it off the beat is the worst of the tracks so far. To be fair, it’s not terrible, just unremarkable. 1/5
4 Zones- From now on, to avoid sounding like a broken record, assume that the beat is great unless I say otherwise.
There a lot of drug related references here. As I discussed in a previous review, many drug references mean nothing to me because I’m not a part of that world. However it carries the same message as Enough: if you work hard, you can make things happen for yourself. As cliché as that is, I can get behind that message. Unlike enough he uses a specific example (drugs) as conduit to achieving success. I like Enough more because of its ambiguousness it can be applied to anyone while this cannot.
Also, did anyone else fond in the lyrics hilarious. He goes out of his way to say that he hopes his drive doesn’t rub people the wrong way. Then immediately says he doesn’t give a f*** what you think of him.  So, in other words, I hope I don’t bother you, but if I do, f*** you too.
It’s a very chill song with a nice beat to accompany it.   4/5
Been Getting’ Money- Your garden variety rap song. Nothing bad about it, but nothing special either. 3/5
F*** the World- I know I said I wouldn’t repeat this, but this beat! The ultimate chill beat! It’s different the others because its slower and more atmospheric. Also given the feature (August Alsina) it’s a perfect choice. 
Thankfully the song doesn’t ask Alsina to do too much. It requires that he sing at the same tone throughout. To his credit, he does this perfectly and his voice is as smooth as the beat. His voice perfectly matches the beat and each feed off each other.  4/5
Seen it All- I LOVE this song.
  I’ve been critical of Jay in the past because I think he mails it in sometimes but no one calls him on it because he’s King Jay. I won’t be making those complaints this time around. Just in case you didn’t believe he used to sell he drops enough drug references to quiet anyone. Later in the verse he talks about some of the consequences of selling so he lets you know it’s not all it’s cracked up to be (and yes I did that on purpose). The throwing around Knicks line was hilarious. More than that though it provides some lightheartedness to a verse that is rather serious.   
For his part, Jeezy’s verse is equally solid. He admits that selling isn’t as lucrative as rappers lead you to believe, but because he was in a desperate situation he refused to fail. Because of that has found a way to make his situation work for him. He even admits he’s afraid of jail. That’s the first time I’ve heard a rapper talk about drugs and jail honestly.
Add in a nice beat and I think it’s worth a five 5/5   
Win is a Win- This is a short one, but packs as much punch as other tracks twice its length. He’s learned a lot since his rise to fame and talks about that journey here. He went from acting a fool with his money (by his own admission) to trying to make a difference with the influence he has attained.4/5
Beautiful-  I love the vibe of this song. 4\5
Beez Like-  It’s a feel good song that serves its purpose, but nothing special though. 3/5
No TearsThis is an exact repeat of the previous track. It might sound like an odd thing to say since this track is far more serious, but that is the only difference. The end result is the same, each song wants to make you appreciate your situation regardless of the hardships. Since the songs are so similar, I think they should have spread the tracks apart so it wasn’t as obvious. 3.5/5
How I Did It (Perfection)- Is it just me or is this beat something that J. Cole would use. It has a hard and raw (but somehow still manages to be chill) that would fit well on his first album.

You all might disagree with me, but I get a Jay-Z vibe from this song. His approach to this song is the key. It’s so relaxed and nonchalant. He delivers the lyrics in a very matter of fact way without the pomp that I become accustomed to from Jeezy. This calm and relaxed flow exudes much more confidence than his usual bragging style. When Jay is at his best this is the style he uses. Jeezy borrows it here and uses it to its full potential.  4.5/5


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