Pop’s favorite hustler hits The Showbox at the Market on Friday in a rare Seattle club performance by a hip-hop superstar at the top of his game. When I say pop, I do mean it —Young Jeezy has gone from trap star to pop star, appearing on hits by Rihanna and Usher while getting steady rotation on MTV for the first videos off his upcoming Thug Motivation 103.
His success is all the more remarkable given how uncompromisingly hard his output continues to be. Jeezy’s music is meant to empower bottom-of-the-barrel entrepeneurs, with the means depicted not the most morally upright. One of the foremost voices in the crack-rap movement, the rapper nicknamed The Snowman excels at choosing behemoth beats to embellish an elementary but catchy flow. He’s also proving adept at picking talent for his USDA imprint, having signed and collaborated with lyrical savage Freddie Gibbs, a late scratch from this bill.
Opening is Seattle/LA venom-spitter Avatar Young Blaze, who has certainly learned a thing or two from Jeezy’s mic stylings. A tireless creator of rough-edged rap, he just dropped his second free album of the year, The Iron Curtain.