Years since their roots together, the DJ & Rapper duo team back up for a disappointing project. For years, Jeezy has been coasting, dropping multiple average projects since hitting a critical mass on 2014’s Seen It All. While there are some gems in the years since that tape, TM104 has plenty of highlights in particular, his style has started to show its age.
DJ Drama on the other hand has reached a new resurgence, in part because of the long missed era of mixtape DJs but also thanks to Tyler The Creator’s album Call Me If You Get Lost. You would assume this team up, someone at a brought back into the mainstream & someone desperately needing to reach another mainstream success, that it would be the perfect match.
Despite the duo’s roots being with in the mixtapes, they do not capture that feeling again. Long gone are the TM101 / Trap or Die lyrics of hustling & trapping, the inspiration soundtrack for any hustle, instead traded for poorly executed flexes. He recounts the successes the money brought him, the fur coats, cars, but its a victory lap done much too late. The instrumentals beg for that new hustler music, but he comfortably stays in this pocket of success.
Jeezy & DJ Drama – I Ain’t Gon Hold Ya
This is the complete opposite of what the features bring to the table, as everyone raps like its their life on the line. Lil Durk’s performance is intense, recognizing how his background in Chicago made him the hardened individual he now is. 42 Dugg’s voice is just as catchy as ever & acts in celebration of beating cases. EST Gee provides a sequel to their previous collaboration together, providing plenty of strong & memorable trap bars. Jeezy lacks these moments for the most part.
In some moments, we do see him shine. “Street Cred” speaks on how you can’t support a family with street credit. “Snofall” sees him dropping strong flexes such as “Got more songs with Jay-Z than Biggie Smalls.” Usually however, they end up boring & uninteresting. “Kolors” seems to build up to be a classic, with an anthemic horn & playing off of Ice-T’s classic “Colors,” but he delivers a track of boring luxury brands.
This tape’s saving graces falls upon the features. If this saw Jeezy in something more of an OG role, putting on a new generation of fresh faces similar to what Trae Tha Truth did on United Streets of America, it would be a success. However, we get Jeezy over basic trap instrumentals on fourteen tracks. Maybe Jeezy’s resurgence is just starting, but this will not be the jumping the shark moment.