Jeezy formerly known as Young Jeezy has this week dropped his 6th studio album, provocatively titled to CHURCH IN THESE STREETS. From man who took the hip-hop scene by storm talking about life on the corner with his 2005 release LET’S GET IT: THUG MOTIVATION 101 which aptly described his life from hustler to star. The now reformed and devout Christian attempts to merge his new found consciousness with his signature style.
This album CHURCH IN THESE works mostly because Jeezy remains true to himself as a trapper-turned-rapper without sounding stale. The album contains more of his real-life tales of his clandestine past on songs like “New Clothes” and “Forgive Me,” but the spiritual tones of these songs and the underlying chill of Jeezy’s trap-inspired tunes keeps Church in These Streets from sounding like a flip through the same old hymn book.
Make no mistake; this is not a gospel rap album. Jeezy does not venture into Lecrae territory, except to express faith in God and a few regrets. Mostly, the spirituality shines through as symbols of hood life; the “Lost Souls” are strippers and drug dealers who met sad ends, the “Holy Water,” is liquor to get Jay Jenkins through another impossibly hard week in the ghetto, and “God,” is Jeezy’s view of his stature in the ‘hood. Most of the time, this symbolism, coupled with Jeezy’s commitment to his improved flow and delivery, makes for compelling narratives.
For me the return to the front and centre of the scene of artists like Jeezy and Jadakiss is timely and such a necessity! In this era of ‘new age’ rap where bars (use the term loosely) are very much an after thought.
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