Tuesday, August 26
“When you walk outside, don’t see the stars” said Young Jeezy last night, in full motivational-speaker mode: “Just know the sky’s the limit.” It occurs, vaguely, that next week’s The Recession, rather than an up-to-the-minute diagnosis of societal ills and the betrayal of America’s working class, may in fact be another savvy marketing plan from a guy who’s looking to trade up on his demographic. Having already pitched the streets, Jeezy’s headed straight for the comparatively easy prey of the paranoid, twitching, middle-management boardroom. “You make it here,” he said, about halfway through, channeling his New York surroundings, “You can make it anywhere.” Somewhere, rap’s actual Sinatra — conspicuously absent from the Blender Theatre stage, even as Jeezy plaintively cranked his verse from “Put On”‘s remix — was shaking his head. Kanye — another no-show, although the audience did his part on “Put On” for him (louder, it should be noted, than anything the crowd deigned to do for the ostensible man of the evening) — may well have been with him.
Fabolous, on the tear of his life right now, emerged and did “Breathe” — pandemonium, basically, pandemonium which was then clubbed into submission by Lil’ Kim and Maino going back to back right after him. Jeezy, who has hits for days (“Ain’t nothing one hit wonder about me!”) survives mostly on charisma live: “You don’t see Young at awards shows, there’s a reason for that — I’m not lame enough.” True enough, but how many times past “Go Crazy” can horns blare theatrically and synths swell dramatically before a crowd gets worn out? Presumably even his hype man (who had the unenviable task of catching the lit blunt Jeezy kept tossing him, sometimes from very far away) was happy when the end came. After all, we all had to get home to catch Hillary defer her dreams, which perhaps explained the confusing clarification that came with The Recession‘s “My President is Black:” “It’s Tupac, and then my man Barack Obama.” Uh, what?