President’s Day marked a brand new release from DC rising star Shy Glizzy, with Young Jefe, an 18-track tape hosted by DJ Bigga Rankin, and featuring production from Zaytoven, Cardo, Roger Beat and others. Despite touching on familiar subjects, Young Jefe has its memorable moments, and when taken together, they result in an impressive, statement of a mixtape that should go a long way towards growing Glizzy’s listenership.
Distinguished by a sly, high-pitched voice that falls somewhere in the ballpark of Lil Boosie’s, Glizzy has a disarming knack for weaving both humor and honesty over precise, and at times, singsong flows. Glizzy’s confidence is perhaps nowhere better showcased than on “Awwsome,” which balances the rapper’s muted energy and excitement over a slow, creeping EA Glizzy production. Also of note is the fact that both Young Thug and the world’s greatest “lobby runner” Peewee Longway appear on a couple of records here, and each is a nice listen. The song “Glizzy,” however, is the better showcase of Young Thug’s endearing weirdness.
On “Coca Loca,” which is about exactly what you might have guessed, Zed Zilla turns out probably the best guest verse on the project. That shouldn’t take away from the fine efforts of Percy Keith, a close associate of Kevin Gates’, on “Ungrateful,” which is also a strong showcase of Glizzy’s harmonizing, singsong flow. In the chorus, Glizzy asks the obvious question of how, in light of his precipitating success, a female suitor could possibly be unhappy around him, pronouncing “happy” with an accent that accentuates the “a” so as to sound like “hoppy” which is also pretty entertaining. “Catch a Body” a true Zaytoven production, is highlighted by a contagious bounce and a few flutes for good measure, and Glizzy leaps around the beat perfectly.
Other than “Free The Gang,” which is a re-working of an already-stellar record off of his previous tape (only now it features Plies), Young Jefe, as a whole, tends to be devoid of somber moments, which might detract from some fans’ enjoyment of the project. “Prey for Me,” the last track on the project, also serves as a reminder of Glizzy’s range, and could help appease folks that gravitated towards Glizzy in the past based on some of his more gloomy records. Yet from the title of the project to its tremendous introduction (“La Introduccion”) Young Jefe has the feel, and intent on being, a triumphant statement of a project, showing that Glizzy does indeed belong.
Young Jefe, then, is probably best enjoyed when you feel like turning the volume all the way up and being pompous. As Glizzy puts it in “Ungrateful,” why waste time being somber when you can be happy, “I can’t believe you not happy!”—David Inkeles