Jeezy / Young Jeezy

Seen It All: The Autobiography

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Stuck in prison on gun charges as this seventh studio album saw release, Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy -- or now, just Jeezy -- mentions he doesn't "eat, sleep, or shit" without his m-f'n pistol. This evidence for the prosecution shows up here on the hooky thug cut called "Me OK," a Drumma Boy and Jeezy wonder where criminal-minded lyrics are packed tight into a singalong list of dirty deeds done dirt cheap ("Mister, if I'm talkin' you should listen, game is free, ok?/Got two whole ones and two half ones, mister that's three, ok?"). "Seen It All" is the reflective flipside of "Me OK," where Cardo's exotic production and Jeezy's tale of no regrets and night sweats ("Not only got my fingers crossed, but I pray") add up to something equally vital. Rarely has this big baller come off as poignant, but his hard truths drive guest Jay-Z to offer the amazingly ironic admission that he used to "Park bricks in front of 560 State/Now the Nets a stone's throw from where I used to throw bricks", and suddenly the Don King-like dream of drug dealer to NBA owner is oh so real. "Beautiful" with Rick Ross and Game delivers "Bricks, they were beautiful, yeah, Mona Lis(a)/Streets introduced me to money, nice to meet" in such a grateful way they seem like Jeezy's beloved surrogate parents, while "No Tears" is an ambitious surprise where an Auto-Tuned Future croons the chorus while YJ rattles off his memories over what sounds like a Tears for Fears backing track. Strange thing is, Jeezy should have worn out his welcome in the land of drug talk by now, and yet everything here feels fresh and inspired, perhaps validating the rapper's pre-release declaration that some lyrics are here because "the statute of limitations is over." Whatever the reason, Seen It All: The Autobiography shakes off all the challenges of Jeezy's lesser releases and finds new inspiration from the same old rap sheet.

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