As the oft-delayed TM103 finally escapes limbo—recently securing a September 20th release date—Young Jeezy returns with the help of DJ Drama for the second coming of “The Real.” Serving as the album’s predecessor, The Real Is Back 2 picks up where the first left off three months earlier, proffering a shroud of heavy bass-driven production and anthemic bangers.
Things kick off on “The Real Is Back 2 (Intro)” where Mr. 17.5 roars, “Streets ain’t fucking with Snow?/I can’t tell!” Here, the gloomy Lil Lody production provides the perfect backdrop for Jeezy to pour out his feelings and frustration with the game, while also exclaiming his prominent return. “Look at me/I’m back on my shit/Nothing could touch me,” he raps ferociously, before continuing, “Mothafuckas acting like I ain’t did it, like I aint done it/The Michael Jackson of my lane, and bitch I run it.” Next, on the brooding yet braggadocios “Trump,” Da Snowman kicks shit-talk galore alongside YMCMB’s Birdman, boasting lines like, “Two AKs by my shark tank/Only feed them Rosé/That’s what my sharks drink,” a seeming subliminal shot at Rick Ross. These raucous tracks set the mood for the entire mixtape.
The team of Snow and Dram remains as strong as ever, as the Gangsta Grillz installment features a blizzard of chest-thumping bangers (“Chicken No Flour,” “Grizzly”) and hard-hitting production (“Bandana”). Other highlights include Freddie Gibbs’s performance, as the former XXL Freshman lands on the eleven track tape four times. The pairing of Jeezy and Gangsta Gibbs typically yields impressive results, especially on the block anthem “Gotta See This.”
On the stirring closer, “Hood Nigga Anthem,” Jeezy offers a moment of a challenge, wondering, “Fuck hoes/Life’s a bitch, nigga/Who you gon replace me with?/These niggas?/Y’all crazy/Never cease to amaze me.” Served as a an appetizer to TM103, The Real Is Back 2 is full of that uncut raw from the famous Trapstar, supplying plenty big beats and signature birdplay. The real has returned. —Ralph Bristout