Seen It All: The Autobiography
Nine years after the release of his era-defining solo debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, and a year after dropping the Young from his name, Jeezy is still Jeezy. Usually during a successful rapper’s career the artist will take a stab at different sounds. Da Snowman is not one of those rappers. His fifth solo album, Seen It All: The Autobiography, is a testament to longevity and efficiency. How does that saying go? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it? After a hit record in mixtape cut “RIP,” the early success of TM: 103 Hustlerz Ambition, a falling out with Freddie Gibbs, bouts with Def Jam, and some legal troubles, the Godfather of Trap Rap left fans wondering if he would deliver. He did.
Seen It All wastes no time getting to the coke raps with its intro, "1/4 Block.” Like a true vet, Jeezy sets the table brilliantly: “I remember being posted up on the 1st and the 3rd/Just re'd up, nigga got a nine piece/All the while fantasizing/Visualizing/Comin’ through in a Benz with a dimepiece.”
The first half of the album puts the listener in full grind mode. Childish Major’s beats on the project’s first two tracks both knock and immediately take me back to busting ounces down in a Miskeen shirt with Thug Motivation 101 as the background music. “Enough” is an anthem that would've fit perfectly in the seams of his solo debut but he's an elder statesman now. An O.G. that remembers who doubted him and just wants to put you on game with line like:
"Giorgio Armani, still represent the struggle/I'm in this Giorgio Armani, still represent the hustle/See the man made the clothes, clothes never made the man/And if a nigga tell you different, he ain't seen a hundred grand.”
One of the album’s standout songs is “Holy Ghost,” which Jeezy put out as a remix featuring Kendrick Lamar. It’s the perfect track to succeed “Enough.” In it Jeezy talks about how he’s willing to trade the fame for his “dawgs” while sitting in the back of a white Rolls Royce over one of the best beats of the year. Don Cannon, Lyle LeDuff, and Frank Dukes crafted a chilling gem that will give you the holy ghost if you let it. This is what Jeezy meant by autobiography. He mentions his past and is amazed at how far he has come throughout. To expect anything different from him at this point in his career is insane.
Trap music will forever be his trade, and we are all his unwavering customers.
The album really doesn't start to let up until you get to the ninth track. "Fuck The World" featuring New Orleans newcomer August Alsina is the mandatory girl song that's actually not bad but feels out of place in terms of the atmosphere. It seemingly comes from left field after eight patented Jeezy tracks and is faded into obscurity by the title track where Jigga brings up those 92 bricks he lost again (for what it's worth I believe him). But then again, every thug needs a lady and August slays the hook. The second-to-last track, "No Tears," featuring Future, which Jeezy and Future performed on Jimmy Fallon last week, is also a reach. The beat sounds like it belongs on a fun. album. I'm not even going to slander the Akon feature because as far as I'm concerned, he and Jeezy don't miss. "Been Getting Money" is fire, fuck what ya heard. Jay Z and Boosie also killed their features with the latter reaching back to the good old days when both were at the top of the trap rap heap.
Speaking of features, the beat on "Beautiful" featuring Game and Rick Ross is so fucking heavenly that it can make it easy to forget that Jeezy had problems with these guys once upon a time. Black Metaphor really shines on this project. Along with "Beautiful," he also produced "Win Is A Win," which features a majestic sample from Caravan's "Bobbing Wide" on which Jeezy levitates over and reminds us that he was "the first to admit life is more than a two-seater." And he goes off on the album's last track, "How I Did It (Perfection)," which is a perfect ending to a very solid piece of work.
Seen It All: The Autobiography was worth the three-year wait. Jeezy fed the streets a little taste with the It's tha World tape and came back with van full of kilos of some of the finest coke music money can buy. It's really amazing that at this point in his career, Jeezy is able to produce a sound no one can replicate. When he decides to bow out, the streets will never be the same. In the future, fiends will harken back to a time when coke raps were at their purest. Trap music will forever be his trade, and we are all his unwavering customers. If you did like he did it, they call that shit perfection.
Angel Diaz is a Staff Writer for Complex Media, and he once fronted on Da Snowman. Follow him on Twitter.