Music Review: Young Jeezy's TM 103: Hustlerz Ambition

By Fraser Lockerbie

Two years in the making Young Jeezy's TM 103 finally drops. But is it any good?

Buried somewhere in all the rap hype of 2011 is the ho-hum disappointment of its many fans: after “Otis” and “Niggas in Paris,” Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne drops off dramatically; Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter IV is a far, stale cry from his previous ambitious endeavors; Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers left everyone wondering what if anything had just been said; and after more than a decade of waiting we still haven’t heard Dre’s Detox in full.

Oh, and Wheelchair Jimmy dropped Take Care on us.

Needless to say, the highlights on the season were few and far between (The Roots Undun might be the only major stand out) which is why it comes as no surprise that Jeezy’s new joint TM 103: Hustlerz Ambition falls short of expectations, lost like the rest in two years’ worth of hype, release dates, cancelled release dates, more hype and more cancelled release dates.

But maybe we’re being too harsh on Jizzle by lumping him in with the rest.

TM 103’s only real failing is that it is a reversion from the relatively high moral ground Jeezy stood on with Recession. As a trap rap album TM 103 has all the trimmings; a whole host of cameo-laden tracks complete with thinly veiled allusions to the drug trade, how he went from nothing to something and of course all the trouble that comes from hanging with “bad bitches.” In fact, TM 103 might stand as a recent high point for the subgenre with Jeezy taking a more reflective approach to the life he leads (led) and exhibiting something akin to the martyrdom shown by his predecessor Tupac with songs like “Way Too Gone” and arguably, the album’s best track “Trapped.”

Still it makes us miss the politically-charged Snowman we came to know on Recession when he was hustlin’ for a President-Elect and not the dope game. TM 103 still has on full display all the lyrical wit Jeezy is known for but the back loaded album (seriously you can start tuning in at track number eight and leave the rest alone) lacks the diverse production and replay value of TM 101, the mainstream celebrity of TM 102 and the meaning and message found on Recession. Alone, the album might have legs, but when placed in the context of Young Jeezy’s previous work it seems like a step back from one of the game’s bigger players.

Best Tracks: “Trapped,” “F.A.M.E”

Skip These: “SupaFreak,” “All We Do”

Best Cameo: Jadakiss

Best Rhyme: “I’m on my high horse nigga, thinking polo/ Got the nine on me so I think I’m Romo”


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