Mixtape Review-Young Jefe by Shy Glizzy
A weird voice cuts two ways; one mans innovation in intonation is another’s fingernails down the chalkboard. I have to warn you about this because Glizzy has a whine flow all his own that might shut you down before you even get the chance to think about what he’s saying or what these songs sound like. Glizzy is a dude who has been praised right from the get go for youthful exuberance and an emotional depth to his coke talk that a lot don’t possess. I wasn’t sold. He was much more chalkboard than innovation in my mind but that was before Young Jefe.
I spent most of early 2014 tired of the trap sound. I felt like I’d heard every Zaytoven and Metro Boomin beat and pillars of the genre like Gucci Mane were flooding the market at all costs sacrificing quality. This all makes it strange that to fall so hard for Young Jefe which is squarely Trap music carrying at least three Zaytoven production credits (although more subdued and interesting than I remember his norm being) along with features from Trap mainstays like Peewee Longway, Young Thug, and Young Scooter. More than any mixtape in recent history Young Jefe portrays a Scarface attitude to match its cover. It’s got genuinely funny moments like the interlude Call From Cannon where you get to hear our narrator laugh and have fun but these moments are rare. Even on a brag song like I’m On Fire Glizzy is talking about the death of his father, the choice to sell dope and the people who constantly reminded him he had no future.
The sing song cadence of the chorus’s (I Can’t Trust Myself, I’m A Star, Mula, Coca Loca, pretty much any song) are hypnotizing and while Glizzy does weave tales of death and depression they slide underneath a resounding confidence/arrogance that would garner the respect of Tony Montana himself. I’m A Star is so brazen and catchy that you have to listen to it again. Over the course of the 18 track opus Glizzy’s young and ready to fight the world attitude becomes contagious. You might start to puff your chest out when Glizzy calls himself macho on Medellin or snarl along with him when he asks “where’s your pistol?” on Or Nah. That feeling connects to the reason we all come back to Scarface after all these years.
We all live in fear of things: losing jobs, family, friends, or our health. Tony Montana was a character who felt like he was born at the very bottom of life’s possible outcomes so he wasn’t really scared at what happened by the end of the movie. He came from nothing and now he had everything, the only thing that made sense to him was to push it as far as he could and what was the worst that could happen? He would lose what he was never supposed to have had in the first place. On moments like Coca Loca where Glizzy brags gleefully about having cocaine he seems to carry that same joyful anger. The fearlessness of youth mixed with the spirit of vengeance from the bottom. It’s an acidic mixture that still connects with me the same way Never Mind The Bullocks by The Sex Pistols did the first time I listened to it.
stream or download Young Jefe below: