Pull Your Own Strings

Coppin Louie Loafers Just to Thug in Em

Thursday September 15, 2016

After talking with mod6 on IRC a lot, he recommended I listen to Young Jeezy, stating, “Jeezy changed my life.” This was back in 2013, so I started listening to some Jeezy, from Trapstar on Thug Motivation 101 (TM101), to the more recent Put On. Inevitably, the words of Jeezy changed my life as well, and the realization of the sheer amount universal street wisdom in his recordings taught me valuable lessons.

Well fast forward to 2014. Jeezy releases the single Holy Ghost which would appear on his album The Autobiography. This single is probably one of the most important Jeezy tracks I’ve ever heard, it talks about the fleeting nature of success, and the tragic sacrifices one must make to achieve greatness.

The track starts with the lines:

What’s in the back of my mind, sittin’ in the back of that thang
With the two double R sittin’ in the back of my brain
Anywhere but here, that’s what I told my chauffeur
And this shit gettin’ heavy, weight of the world on my shoulders
Think you figured it out, but you don’t have a clue
Think you on top of the world but the world on top of you

These lines set the tone for the wisdom contained in this track, an allusion to the Rolls Royce Ghost, of which Jeezy has named his “Holy Ghost”. For those that don’t know, a Ghost’s MSRP is around a quarter million dollars. Owning one is a luxury awarded to few. However the success is bittersweet; the responsibility awarded with the luxuries are just as great. As Biggie Smalls once said, “Mo’ Money. Mo’ Problems.”

Hip-hop artists hold feuds with one another often, sometimes lasting several years. Conflict of this nature is inevitable as one achieves success – friends become enemies. Jeezy is of no exception.

Unlike many beefs, where artists diss each other on their tracks. In Holy Ghost, Jeezy does the opposite with his protege Freddie Gibbs:

Trade ’em all for my dawgs, yea, I’m talkin’ to you
Where did we go wrong? Because I don’t have a clue

Gibbs has dissed his mentor several times, but the Snowman honestly states he doesn’t know if success is worth losing his valuable friendships. Sometimes the consequence of great achievements is the loss of something intangible and personally invaluable. Perhaps, inevitably the lonely life is the life of those with power.

The interesting notion of reflecting on one’s own history as a Trapstar, particularly in this case, is the motivation for continued excellence despite an inevitable loss of something irreplaceable. Jeezy ultimately wants to motivate those coming up on his coat tails, hence his first album is called Thug Motivation 101.

“Holy Ghost” implies these dead relationships are to be mourned, but should not lead to regret as long as one keeps their soul intact. Jeezy implores the maintenance of one’s soul on the come up. Losing one’s soul to the hustle is ultimately the greatest tragedy.

I started hustlin’ for draws and now there’s plaques on the walls
Think I’m sellin’ my soul? Then you can come get ’em all

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