NEW YORK — Last year, Akon and Young Jeezy smashed the game with "Soul Survivor," and the Snowman says to expect a lot more from the duo, who are in talks to do an entire album together.
"We got a good chemistry," Jeezy said last week at Chung King studio. "A lot of people ask me why I went back with him [for my new album]. It makes sense. We're cut from the same cloth. What he sings about is what I speak about. I know we make a gang of good music together. Why hold it back? It's for the 'hood."
Jeezy said he's recorded 62 new songs for his next LP — The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102 (see "Young Jeezy Graduates To Thug Motivation 102 — New Album Due In October") — one of which features Akon.
"We kind of chop it up," Jeezy said of the way he works with Akon. "But on 'Soul Survivor,' he surprised me. I thought it was too big of a record. I didn't get it at first. I did my verse, we sat back and listened to it, I said, 'Cool.' But I didn't get it. Now I get it."
In fact, while determining the track list for Thug Motivation 101, Jeezy cut "Soul Survivor" at least three times before opting to leave it on. The Snowman said he wants to spend the next two months locked in an Atlanta studio to focus on making even more tracks.
"You don't even want to know," he said about his recording process thus far. "I did shows, straight from shows, back to the studio. Fresh off the flight, straight to the studio. It's kind of difficult. I did most of my album in Atlanta last time. But I been still doing four shows a week. I just get it in. I like to work. When I'm in the studio, I don't even pay attention to what's going on outside. So I just get it in. I like to work. That's how I like to be."
For the next two months, the Snowman is "cutting everything out."
"I ain't going nowhere," he promised. "Can't nobody tell me to go nowhere. I really wanna do that, because I know how I get down. I bang 'em out. If I get in that world, the studio, I do what I do. Come out 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning. Come right back in at 12.
"My whole sh-- is staying focused," he added. "You have to keep up with the people. You can't surpass the people. Your money tends to get better, life gets better for you. But everybody else is still growing and doing what they gotta do to survive. You don't want to come back talking about sh-- they can't relate to. I really want the same [success as last time] but on another level. I want to be respected. I feel like I'm better at my craft, I'm better at explaining myself. I wanna be the respected dude. I know it's a lot of trendy stuff going on, but I don't want to shift over to that just to sell records. I wanna be who I am. That's the same person the people came to love."
Last time, Jeezy didn't really work with too many big-name producers, but for his sophomore LP, he said plenty of A-class beatmakers have tracks for him.
"I like to f--- with up-and-coming cats, for real," he said. "Those are the dudes that really give it to you, but then the heavy hitters really knock it out the park. I didn't get a chance to work with the Scott Storches, Kanyes, Pharrell, Timbaland. I want to see what that's like. I want them to tailor-make something for me. Give me something more in my realm."
In the beginning of the recording process, Jeezy made a couple of tracks he felt were reaching too far, and he scrapped them right away. He said one of the best things about being on Def Jam is that the label lets him be himself.
"The Inspiration," he said of his album title, "I feel that more than anything. I inspire people like they inspire me. We trade off. The Inspiration is the manual. Something you pick up. I won't say like the Good Book, but it inspires you to do what you doing. The reason why I wanted Thug Motivation 102, that's what I'm still on. It ain't really about no money. I do this because this is what I love to do. I love to see people react to the things I say. I didn't want to get too far away from what I did.
"Your first album be Thug Motivation 101, then your next album be The Glamorous Life or Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," he started to chuckle. "I ain't f---ing with that."
For more on Young Jeezy, check out the feature "The Great Mediator".