By Paul McAleer
On “Ignorant Shit,” JAY-Z once joked about critics who attributed his success to the sound of his voice alone, but obviously the Brooklyn legend is lyrically gifted. While Jeezy doesn’t have the same level of talent, he offers one of the most unique and unmistakable voices in the rap game. Jeezy’s eighth studio album, Pressure, finds him as consistent as he’s ever been, because his memorable hooks and verses match the tenacity of his voice.
There’s no song that lives up to the message and presentation of Hov’s “The Story of O.J.,” yet Pressure doesn’t aspire to be more than rap music you can bob your head to. Regardless, the subtle political statements are extremely effective and catchy, overshadowing Eminem’s painstakingly political Revival; on “American Dream” Jeezy raps, “First my president is black / Now my president is wack / I ain’t never going broke / What’s American in that?”
With 13 tracks amounting to 44 minutes, Pressure is a refreshingly lean and enjoyable listen, showing signs of constraint in a rap game flooded with filler tracks. Jeezy holds his own on the five songs without any features, but the best tracks are the ones where he’s feeding off the energy of his guest stars by the likes of Kodak Black, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. With the star-studded roster on Pressure, it’s surprising that there aren’t any radio- and club-ready bangers on the album, but Jeezy still offers one of the smoothest and most enjoyable rides of the year.Jeezy