Young Jeezy recently checked in with Rolling Stone from Miami, where he’s shooting the video for “Vacation,” the second single from his forthcoming album The Recession, out September 2nd. “I’m having a fuckin’ ball,” he says. “I’m on a jet ski, I’m on the beach — we’re wildin’ out.” He may be having fun now, but on the album, Jeezy (a.k.a. the Snowman) tackles the economy, politics and the struggles of poverty.
On the opening track, “The Recession,” Jeezy speaks out on the tough times. “Everybody’s broke/I just came back to give everybody hope,” he rhymes over a classic symphonic beat by DJ Toomp. “I wanted to speak on some things that I saw going on around me,” Jeezy says. “I didn’t take it for it to be a sad album, I took it to be like, ‘We’ve been through this before. We’re gonna overcome like everything else. All we’ve gotta do is maintain focus, you know?’ ”
On “Crazy World,” the MC details some of the strange situations he’s encountered, from the political to the deeply personal: “I want a new Bentley/My aunty need a kidney/And if I let her pass/Her children never will forgive me.” Jeezy says he didn’t write the song out, that it just came out of him one day when he went into the studio to vent. “The world is crazy. We know it and we’re gonna deal with it,” he says. “Where else are we gonna live? Jupiter?”
The track on the album likely to spark the most conversation is “My President Is Black,” featuring Nas. Jeezy rhymes about the war in Iraq (“People dying for crude oil,” he raps) and the need for change before rolling into one of the more memorable choruses of the year: “My president is black/My Lambo’s blue/I’ll be goddamned if my rims ain’t too.” The MC says Obama becoming president would be as surprising as Jeezy rolling into the housing projects in his blue Lamborghini. “When I pulled up in my car, that shit was unbelievable to people in my neighborhood because they were like, ‘We grew up with him. How the hell did he accomplish this?’ ” he says. “I feel like it was the same way with Obama. I grew up all this time, but I’ve never seen a black man this close to running this country.”
Musically, most of the album has the big, triumphant sound of Jeezy’s earlier records. The standout is “Let the Dollars Circulate,” produced by Don Canon. Melding Afro-beat and Philly Soul, it sounds like a global party. “That’s my jam right there,” he says. “It’s a good feeling song. When people are down, that’s what keeps us afloat Â— good music. Some of the best music is made during a recession.”