(Jeezy’s “Hustlerz Ambition” PT 1)
Young Jeezy’s fourth studio album Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition finally debuted on Tuesday (December 20) and the critics have weighed in on the Atlanta rapper’s much anticipated release. Check out a review roundup for TM:103 after the jump and watch Jeezy’s documentary ’A Hustlerz Ambition’ (narrated by Samuel L. Jackson) for an inside look at his road to success.
Washington Post: There are few more arresting sounds in music than the 34-year-old rapper in full growl. His voice is something like a garbage disposal come to life — scary, serrated, vicious. While his throat sounds full of gravel, the beats remain as big as boulders. It’s an imposing formula and one that hasn’t steered him wrong yet. As the title suggests, “TM 103” is something of a thematic retreat, an album less of economic empathy and one of celebratory excess. On an album littered with guests, one of Jeezy’s best attributes is made all the more clear — for a rapper, he’s nearly peerless when it comes to delivering hooks, harsh croak and all. Every chorus sounds like a triumph and almost makes you want to chew on fiberglass and try to shout along.
Los Angeles Times: A lot’s changed in the three years since his last effort, “The Recession.” Jeezy’s rivals Gucci Mane and Rick Ross captured the popular imagination, while commercial rap’s aesthetic gravitated ever increasingly to 4/4 techno. Still, “TM 103” is almost refreshingly reverent. Even his for-the-ladies concessions (“Superfreak,” “All We Do,” “Leave You Alone”) boast the punishing maximalism that made Jeezy a heavyweight. What he sacrifices in innovation he compensates for with focus and precision. His ad-libs and punch-ins still slap with ominous Old Testament brutality.
New York Times: The Atlanta that Young Jeezy returns to with his fourth album, “TM: 103 Hustlerz Ambition,” isn’t like the one he left behind on his last album, three years ago, or the one he helped to define on his 2005 debut record…To his credit he’s not mired in old modes on this album, which shows off a more mature Young Jeezy while not quite aging him. The changes are thematic, in part, but also technical. He’s also a better, more accessible rapper than he has been in the past, but this is actually a step backward. Early in his career he relied on catchy vocal gimmicks and a range of signature exultations to get his point across; now he’s leaning mainly on words, which serve him less well, even if they’re better organized.
AllHipHop: It becomes all too evident that the bar was possibly set too high during the first half of the LP. Some songs are charismatic enough to work, but most of the tracklisting (pre-Jill Scott) seems to be uninspired. “Waiting” is possibly one of the weaker introductions that Jeezy’s ever crafted, but thankfully it’s saved by the production and his verses. “OJ” is another average track that’s elevated solely by features from Fabolous and Jadakiss. 2 Chainz does his best, but even “Supafreak” falters in more than one area. This trend continues for a majority of the project, but things change dramatically halfway through.