Deen is higher than a pelican.
I didn’t fuck with Jeezy’s music until he dropped The Recession back in 2008. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. It was really when “3AM” dropped that I was willing to allow that Jeezy was more than mere adlibs or that maybe being that mere adlibs wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
There are a lotta rappers who I occasionally listen to that I didn’t care for when they first appeared. Jeezy was one of those rappers. It usually takes a collaboration with a rapper or producer I actually care about to get me to give these initially shite rappers another listen or two. Well, that and intense boredom mixed with internet hype and inescapability. For instance, I only gave Rawse’s 3rd album a decent listen after he got Nas on “Usual Suspects.” The rest of the album happened to be solid, so that wasn’t the worst decision in the world.
Even though I realize the rap industry is one of the most incestuous, dick-riding arenas in life, I still like to think (naively) that my favorite artists are a bit discerning with regards to tastes and collaboration choices. I chuckled typing that last sentence, but I’ll plough ahead anyway. I like to hold out hope that my favorite rappers just don’t choose to work with newbies or sucky rappers because they were bored or the IRS made them, but because they truly believed in the new cat or at least the song they made together. After all, reputations still mean something – right?
Jeezy was everywhere in 2006. I was disraught – either because he sucked or I’m a hater – probably some combination of the two. His debut was the first album I ever sent straight to the recycle bin after downloading and listening, so I didn’t care much for his work at all. Then I saw a Timbaland credit among the listed producers on TM102: The Inspiration. To put it lightly, I’m a bit of a Timothy stan but we can discuss that some other time. So I listened to “3AM,” loved it and that was the beginning of a thaw in the one-sided cold war between Jeezy and I. I didn’t care much for the rest of the album. I think I kinda liked “Mr 17.5” as well, but I figured “3AM” was a bit of a one off. The Recession proved that wrong and I’ve been down with Jeezy since.
Back to “3AM.” It’s certainly not what I want to hear around 3 in the morning. Ever. Timbaland’s weirdness doesn’t always work for everyone – at least not on the initial attempt – and by “everyone” I kinda mean Nas, but the chirpy and gothic stomp of this production fit Jeezy to a tee. So much so that I’ve often wondered why they haven’t collaborated since (well, Tim’s budget sapping quote and the fact that Jeezy’s core fanbase probably didn’t care too much for this song). At the very least, they could’ve released this as a single . I’m no business expert (as far as y’all know), but I think it’s a terrible idea to pay Timbaland enough money to open a KFC franchise without pushing that song out as a single. But that’s just me.
I think I can pinpoint the exact instant that I started thinking that Jeezy wasn’t all that bad after all: the part where he goes “An adlib here, and an adlib there (AY!) – Fuck it, adlibs everywhere (YEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!).” That’s way too clever and meta to be the work of an idiot, so I was kinda sold. Add in the fact that Jeezy also let Timbaland do his Timbaland gibberish thing (I love that shit) all over the hook and I just couldn’t resist.
So yeah, for the first time in a long while – thanks to crutches/new friends – I found myself at one of the local gentlemen’s establishments at about “3AM” the other night and even though the DJ ran a ton NEW Jeezy, Future and the other usual suspects, and I had my hands and crotch fulla singles and stripper ass, all I could think of was this particular song. Not the worst way to shake a case of writer’s block folks. Try it sometime…
MP3: Young Jeezy (prod. by Timbaland) – “3 A.M.”