oung Jeezy is not a good rapper. His flow is typical, punch lines predictable, and his style composed of a generic Southern swagger. Haters be damned, though: he can sell it. When he’s behind the mic, his residue-coated rhymes make you believe Jeezy’s been hustling since preschool. But instead of rocks it was marbles, instead of the corner, the swing set. On the debut album from the Snowman’s brainchild, U.S.D.A.’s (United Streets Dopeboys of America) Cold Summer, he shows his cohorts all the tricks of the trade.
Too bad it’s all in vain.
His longtime friends, mixtape vagabonds Blood Raw and Slick Pulla, do all the same things that Jeezy does on his solo albums; there’s talk of selling rocks, living the thug life, and making it rain at the club ($50,000 in singles to be exact), but rarely is it believable. Sure, Slick Pulla and Blood Raw would probably be the most charismatic guys at a basement show or after-school battle, but this is the big leagues, and their limp-wristed jabs don’t cut it.
At least it’s supposed to be the big leagues. One of the biggest problems with Cold Summer is the GarageBand production and dull shine of each track. Jeezy’s solo work has become synonymous with spotless, gilded keyboards and grandiose sonics, but Cold Summer is rife with Jeezy’s rejected beats. In fact, the Casio horns on “Focus” and “Corporate Thuggin’” would be laughable, if the rest of the album didn’t ride the exact same titter-tatting hi-hats and handclap snares. In this context, they sound revelatory.
It doesn’t help that all three MCs flounder in a mass of run-of-the-hood metaphors and ludicrous claims. Somehow, the same guy that seared through “My Hood” has been reduced to choruses like “Don’t nothing hate but a motherfucking hater / Don’t nothing spend but this motherfucking paper.” Slick Pulla doesn’t fare much better either, repeating on “Throw This Money,” “Go and shake ya ass bitch / I’mma throw this money”—unquestionably the least imaginative description of making it rain in years.
Jeezy and company do occasionally find their stride. “White Girl” is Jeezy’s attempt to catch the R. Kelly’s “Sex Weed” vibe, “Half a brick on the seat / You can call that Sally.” He’s even inspired by Christina Aguilera’s complexion, and apparently, it’s resemblance to cocaine, “You know we keep that white girl, Christina Aguilera.”
The greatest mistake Jeezy made with U.S.D.A. though was finding two other MCs whose styles and rhymes are so similar to his own. It’s obvious when Jeezy isn’t rapping, but if you’re not paying enough attention, it won’t make any difference.
But hopefully, Cold Summer was only practice for Jeezy; he needed to get some of these Grey Goose-less lines out of his system to have room for more platinum bangers. He’s been teaching Thug Motivation for years now. He was bound to have a couple of delinquents in class.
Reviewed by: Chris Gaerig
Reviewed on: 2007-06-29
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