Review: Jeezy - 'Trap Or Die 3'
Atlanta rapper Jeezy bands together French Montana, Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown, Yo Gotti, Plies and Bankroll Fresh for his latest studio album, ‘Trap Or Die 3’.
Midway through ‘Trap Or Die 3', a rap formula becomes evident. It’s almost as if Jeezy says, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
The aforementioned formula restricts the record’s sense of expansion. As a result, ‘Trap Or Die 3’ stops feeling adventurous and eventually starts to hit a quality ceiling.
The album’s line-up of confrontational hip-hop/trap tunes begin to resemble each other and tell the same story - in similar ways.
And yet despite all that, somehow Jeezy's tried and tested rap blueprint allows him to leave a lasting impression on 'Trap Or Die 3'.
Jeezy’s focus rarely diverts from what most people think rappers are motivated by, and so Jeezy doesn’t break the mould on that front.
Still, the sheer force of Jeezy’s focused mindset impacts steadily, and slowly builds its presence up via the album’s upfront lyrical content.
The LP’s gravelly bangers are crowd-pleasing rousers, they demand crowd participation. They’re simplified and repetitive enough for hip-hop crowds all over the world to be able to get involved with.
‘Trap Or Die 3’ is home to satisfying moments of deep, healthy and straightforward hip-hop/trap beatwork. The album’s sub-bass sounds are emphasised throughout its duration.
The release is more fun than it probably looks. Jeezy himself generally comes across as relentless, invigorated and driven. There is no hesitating with him, the man never sounds unsure of his hip-hop clout.
On the LP’s shamelessly rowdy intro cut ‘In The Air’, Jeezy is heard dismissing radio’s more approachable hip-hop/trap efforts and expressing a desire to take the genre back to the streets.
The rapper then spends the majority of ‘Trap Or Die 3’ doing so.
Passing away earlier this year in at the age of 28 after being shot outside a recording studio in his hometown, Atlanta’s Bankroll Fresh adds to his legacy with a guest spot on highlight hustling anthem ‘All There’.
’All There’ is built upon a rhythm that’s so contagious, even casual listeners could find themselves susceptible to unruly tune’s undemanding hook.
’Where It At’ alongside Yo Gotti is basically an inferior spin-off of ‘All There’, both tracks revel in a heavyweight dynamic and land similarly.
‘It Is What It Is’ contains Jeezy’s only real tussle with anything remotely genre-bending on ’Trap or Die 3’.
As Jeezy targets various, unnamed rappers he's convinced are biting his style, ‘It Is What It Is’ dances round a shrill, grime music-type loop, which successfully differentiates the cut from the rest of the tracklisting.
Featuring a peppy contribution from Lil’ Wayne, the hook of ‘Bout That’ is virtually slurred by Jeezy.
Backed by French Montana, highlight ‘Going Crazy’ chugs along the same lines as ‘Bout That’. However, this tune’s instrumental is colossal and more instant. So much so that sometimes what the rappers spit over it is of secondary importance.
Enhanced by a range of rugged call-and-shout sections, bruising beats and dramatic piano tones, Jeezy brings things down to street-level on ‘Goldmine’.
The production of ‘Recipe’ is subdued and nocturnal. The ravenously hungry element within Jeezy’s psyche that pops up all over ‘Trap Or Die 3’, steps into the spotlight for this track.
Not trying to be anyone’s favourite emcee, the rapper impacts in a way that’s doesn’t feel embellished. That aura of authenticity aids ‘Recipe’ - and the rest of the album actually.
For highlight ‘Let Em Know’, Jeezy snarls lyrics about trusting nobody and being number one over the cut’s lively, undeniable, club-ready bump.
Honing in on a woman he likes, Jeezy disregards the fact she may already be taken and spends most of ‘So What’ goading any potential competition for her affections.
Littered with gun cocks, shooting sound effects and stressed string loops, ‘U Kno It’ doesn’t offer anything the tracks that surround it don’t - it can sound like filler.
For the climax of ‘Trap Or Die 3’, Jeezy takes his focus off the streets and directs it towards his ongoing pursuit of attractive females.
Anyone who’s adverse to hearing rappers spit enthusiastically about scantily-clad ladies should probably give the last part of ‘Trap Or Die 3’ a skip.
While Jeezy is entranced by appearance of another sexy woman, Chris Brown makes a shaky appearance over the rumbling trap beats and busy setup of ‘Pretty Diamonds’.
Recycling the hot-girl-in-the-club narrative, ’Sexé’ boasts a guest spot from Florida’s Plies.
It’s got to be said, Plies’ verse sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom some place. Still, the rapper sounds savage performing it, plus the tune contains a handful entertaining one-liners from Jeezy.