2015 has been a year of hardship and terror. From police brutality to, most recently, the Paris terror attacks, hatred in humanity seems to be documented and exposed everyday with the aid of social media. The ‘first world’ is starting to open its eyes wider than ever to the abhorrent atrocities occurring in terms of racial injustice, terrorist acts and war.
People handle and discuss these problems in different ways: through family, friends or faith. Jeezy aka Pastor Young is bringing the church to the streets to form solidarity.
The Atlanta rapper’s sixth album is the perfect concoction of trap and spirituality, destined to translate to the hood and degraded, poverty-driven cities. Jeezy is a bulldozer of a rapper, but his political message is employed gracefully amidst the trap bangers ‘Gold Bottles’, ‘Church In These Streets’ and ‘Hustlaz Holiday’. The interludes express the politically charged theme powerfully. ‘Eternal Reflection Interlude’ incorporates American poet Jessica Care Moore who signifies more police killings in America than Afghanistan, whilst ‘Sister Good Game’s Testimony’ preaches about black on black crime which “must stop”. ‘Just Win’ condenses this spirit in the chorus: “Win my n*gga just win/It’s a dirty world but that bitch still spin/And we don’t trust the preachers or the crooked politicians.” The repeated protruding trumpet is like the surrender of a war-torn country or a vulnerable black American against an authority-abusing police officer; its four note simplicity evokes volumes of eeriness.
Jeezy remains true to the hood, no matter what sermons he’s deploying. He refers to the ‘Holy Water’ as liquor when flexing in the club and positions himself as a ‘GOD’ in the hood. It’s also great to hear his infamous and infectious adlibs reinvigorated for an hour long Jeezy fest of ‘YEEEEAAAAHHHHH’, ‘THAT’S RIIIGGHHHHTTTTT’ and ‘HAHAAAA’.
‘Church In These Streets’ is a dual-purpose album for shedding light and reflecting on the injustices in black culture in America, whilst also promoting freedom and escapism from these issues that’ll instigate a sea of corks in the club. Jeezy’s influence and engagement in the streets is paramount and a necessity in 2015, providing a glimmer of hope to suffering citizens.
The album is available on iTunes now.