“I’ve been on a lot of ‘Pac,” Jeezy tells MASS APPEAL on the latest episode of “Open Space.” “Lately, I find myself wanting to hear from somebody like-minded. When it comes to life, and being rebellious, and being a rebel, I feel like I can relate to Tupac in so many ways. Because he was ahead of his time, a lot of the things he said then still matter now.”
Jeezy is in a pensive mood, and considering the roller-coaster year we’ve endured, it’s perfectly understandable. Over the last few years, the Atlanta rapper has been especially active, releasing full-length albums in 2014 ('Seen It All'), 2015 ('Church In the Streets') and 2016 ('Trap or Die 3'), each of which was crafted conceptually. He’s always in thinking mode.
Such is evidenced by 'Pressure', Jeezy’s eighth studio album and only project of 2017. “Diamonds come from coal,” says the “American Dream” rapper, explaining his minimal album artwork: the image of a sizable diamond. “But that comes from a lot of pressure and a lot of things on top of it to make it come out, and when it comes out, it’s shining. You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright.”
“And that’s me.”
'Pressure' is an album that quickly tours some of the best pockets Jeezy has enjoyed throughout his career. The J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar collaboration, “American Dream,” recalls 'The Recession' in its in-your-face social commentary; the Vinylz-produced “This Is It” has a bounce akin to Jeezy’s early 'Trap or Die' work. Perhaps, the ability to canvas several years of style-switches is a bit of Jeezy wisdom in itself.