With his fourth album on deck, Young Jeezy is graduating to the next level. Let the lesson begin.

When you are the trap, it’s always hot in these streets, even when they’re the manicured asphalt of Manhattan. So Jay Jenkins is still pumping that weight—just in the gym of the plush London Hotel. See, it’s all part of the upkeep for Young Jeezy™, Household Name. He’s got a Wayne/Drake tour to stay in shape for and a new album (Thug Motivation 103) to promote. In other words, time for another assault from rap’s most counterintuitively creative man. Seriously. Admit it: You don’t think Jeezy is lyrical, or even artistic. Yet, he sold a milli (twice) in an age when gold makes moguls, and even Kanye has requested a personal consult. Is the man a thug motivator or a deceptively savvy songwriter? Why choose one? After all, there’s a reason we paired him with graf god ESPO: both know that it takes both qualities—vision and skill—to get over.

Everyone seems to downplay your creative process as a songwriter. So walk us through developing a song.

What are the images that come to your mind when you’re doing a club song?

What happens when niggas become niggas in the muthafuckin’ club?

Obviously you have success now, you’re in a secluded gym—

It’s all good! Because you deserve it! It’s all good!

So how do you connect with the blues? It’s not like before.

So when you’re writing rhymes, and shit’s starting to connect, how do you feel?

People probably understimate your level as an artist.
The InspirationThe RecessionTM103

What does it take to be a songwriter?

Anyone in your family have musical talent?

Your whole family?

You just said: “I’m not an in-love- ass nigga.” What do you mean by that statement?

But you got romance in your life.

And that shit’ll never happen for you.

Why is that?

Does your situation with DJ Drama—

No more light.

I’ma send you! The real Jenkins, to handle my shit.

I’m not General Jenkins like you, I’ma send a real thorough cat. What about writing for other people in the industry?

Any examples?

What’s it like writing for Kanye?

So is it like acting in a way?

From that kind of music.

You’re a good listener. ’Cause you listen to all kinds of music.
The Recession103

Like, “Why are you on some positive shit?”