Exclusive: Young Jeezy's Recession More Than Music, "We Spend Money In Bad Times On Dumb Sh*T"
Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 5:30PM
Written By Danica Dow
With Young Jeezy's new album, The Recession, hitting stores today, SOHH decided to catch up with various members of the hip-hop community to get their take on our nation's declining economy and rising gas prices.
When it came time to start recording his third album, Def Jam rapper Young Jeezy wanted to attack a subject matter that everyone in America can relate to, the current economic recession.
"The economy is different, The world is different so I just wanted to address it [and] at the same time still make good music," he said.
"When you get in a position when you above a lot of things sometimes you don't take the time to look down. I wanted to deal with it and take it on."
For Jeezy, the current recession has caused him to take a second look at his extravagant purchases. "What do you need that for? You don't need it," he said of his iced out watch. "You can tell time with a Timex really. Basically what I was trying to say is how we spend money in bad times on dumb shit, things that we can do without."
The rapper says he didn't hesitate to record those revealing lyrics because he views himself as a regular person. "I'm not looking at it from a rapper's perspective. I'm looking at it from a man's perspective, a grown man," he said. "I mean as far as everyday living, I gotta fill up my gas tank just like everybody else."
High gas prices are where most hip-hop artists are feeling the pinch. In fact, R&B singers J. Holiday and Bobby Valentino were the only celebrities SOHH spoke with who said they weren't affected at the pump. "Oh I'm cool. I ain't really worried about it," said J. Holiday. "I put the right kind in my car so my car don't eat up my gas."
Bobby Valentino echoed his sentiments saying, "I'm very blessed to not even look at the high gas prices. I don't even look at the gas tank when I go pump I just fill it up," he said.
For everyone else, gas is a major issue. Even Diddy, who raked in a cool $35 million last year according to Forbes magazine, is starting to cut back on his spending. In a recent YouTube video blog entitled, "Gas Prices are Too High," the mogul revealed that he parked his private jet and was opting to fly commercial instead.
"Gas prices are too motherf*cking high," he declared as he boarded an American Airlines aircraft. "I'm actually flying commercial that's how high gas prices are so I feel you. We need to do something about this so tell whoever the next president is, we need to bring gas prices down."
Like his label head, Bad Boy South rapper Gorilla Zoe is also hoping that the next president will offer some relief. "Listen man, you gotta go vote," he said. "It ain't no work in the streets and gas is 5 dollars. We need some change. Them folks rape the sh*t out of us, man."
Mississippi rapper David Banner isn't optimistic that our generation will do anything to affect change but he did offer some food for thought by drawing a connection between President Bush's family history in the oil business and current gas prices.
"Isn't is amazing that we have a president whose family has a vested interest in gas and oil? Isn't it funny that the year he's going out of office gas prices are higher than they've ever been in history?" he asked. "That's the kinda stuff I think we should be talking about."
In addition to urging fans to get out and vote, hip-hoppers also offered some alternative solutions. DJ Unk best known for his hit song, "Walk it Out" shared his creative remedy for recession fever. "I'm riding around in a scooter right now," he said. "I'm beating the gas prices. Seven dollars will get me up for two days. I'm good right now."
Princess of Bad Boy, Cheri Dennis, also had some advice for those strapped for gas cash. "I don't know man, you gotta car pool," she said. "You gotta start asking people for that gas money again. People had stopped doing that for a little while."
Regardless of the long-term effect, Young Jeezy is satisfied that his new album has brought the issue to the forefront and sparked a dialogue. "At the end of the day I just wanted to be heard and voice the opinions of the people that I deal with on a day to day basis," he said.
Jeezy's album, The Recession, which features guest appearances by Anthony Hamilton, Lil Boosie, Trey Songz, Kanye West and Nas is in stores now.
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