Young Jeezy

The Inspiration | Def Jam
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  December 19, 2006
2.5 2.5 Stars
In anything resembling a normal world, Young Jeezy would be absurd, a caricature of a stereotype turned into a cartoon. If Jay-Z used the archetypal gangster persona to create a portrait of a drug dealer as a young man, Jeezy’s boiled-down capitalist would be a perfect fit. A minute into The Inspiration, Jeezy “commands” his listeners “to get money.” Looping that line for an hour might have been just as effective as The Inspiration itself. Fortunately, getting the money isn’t all this follow-up to last year’s breakthrough Let’s Get It cares about, and the singles here are fire: “I Luv It” sets the bar with anthemic synths and brittle drum kicks, and Timbaland builds on that with “3 A.M.,” tossing in squiggly strings and a bridge that’s almost a cappella. “Dreamin’,” where Jeezy tells the story of how his mother’s addiction clashed with his own drug dealing, is promising, but he resolves what could have been drama too easily with her “10 years clean.” He’s just not ready to get serious about the conflicts of the lifestyle he raps with such inspiration about.
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