The first time I listened to DJ Drama and Young Jeezy’s “Trap or Die” mixtape


The first time I listened—completely listened—to this mixtape was last month.

I know. It took me ten years.

I’d heard some of the songs in the past, some were straight off Jeezy’s debut album, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101. “Air Forces,” “Get Ya Mind Right” and “Trap or Die” were on the mixtape and album. If those tracks were an indication of what the album would be, then the album was going to be DOPE.

So one day, I loaded the mixtape onto an iPod and listened to it on my way to work. At first, I was hesitant to listen to it, but I realized that I should check out this monumental mixtape especially after I found out Samuel L. Jackson loves it (see the 63rd minute mark).

My reaction from the first session was positive: this was a cool mixtape. I definitely saw what made this mixtape a success, and what helped catapult Jeezy into a big thing in the South. His buzz grew off this mixtape.

The mixtape was good. Every song had something about it. You didn’t have to skip any songs—well maybe “Icey”—I can’t stand that beat. The interludes were part of the experience. Jeezy was preaching in those interludes. He was in full motivation mode. He attempted to motivate the listeners to better their lives as well as their family’s.

After I went through the mixtape, I felt motivated. I felt like I knew Jeezy, like I understood—even though it’s been ten years and I do know Jeezy, the artist.

From the beginning you felt that you were about to experience something, or as he would later say, “The Real is back.” The “Intro” was goof. Although he recycled a couple lines from the Let’s Get It intro, it was still a dope track.

The song that really got me was “Street N—-z.“

I had to replay the song at least seven times before moving forward with the mixtape—much like I’m doing in right now. The soft, slow tempo beat mixed with Jeezy’s slow flow, raspy voice, plus the lyrics kept me mesmerized. I was drawn to the song as soon as the beat hit. I could feel what Jeezy was saying in his lyrics. He rapped from the point of view of a trapper, which consists of disloyal acquaintances, gun play, pleas, murder, money etc. He refers to himself as a street poet who paints pictures, and I truly believe him. He painted a picture in less than four minutes.

When I finally hit next, I knew I had just heard the best song on here aka my favorite song. That’s not to say that the other songs weren’t dope, it’s just that I felt that song.

“Get Em Jeezy,” “Miss Me With That Rap Shit,” “U Ain’t Perfect”, “Chuuch” and “We Luv Ya” are all dope tracks as well. These would fall just under “Street N—-z” if I had to rank them.

Also, he freestyled over Nas’ “Ether,” Jim Jones’ “Crunk Muzik,” and “Only One Way Up,” Three Six Mafia’s “Who Gives A Fuck Where You’re From” and Ja Rule’s “New York.”

For being his second mixtape, it delivered. It’s that fire emoji. It gave him a buzz in Atlanta that quickly spread nationwide. The Internet helped out. After this mixtape was released, you could visit your favorite hip-hop website or message board this mixtape was a topic of discussion.

I wasn’t caught in the Jeezy hype.

It took me a while to hop on. It wasn’t until I heard Jay Z hop on the remix to “Go Crazy” that I decided to check out Jeezy. Almost instantly, I liked his music. After that song, I checked out his music and the rest is history. I’ve been fond of Jeezy for ten years. I wonder if I had listened to this mixtape back in 2005, if I would’ve jumped on the Jeezy fan boat a few months earlier.

Either way I’m on it.


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