Young Jeezy balances commercial/ pop aspirations with core hip-hop sounds on his new Def Jam album "The Recession" ...

Young Jeezy balances commercial/ pop aspirations with core hip-hop sounds on his new Def Jam album "The Recession," getting a lift from DJ Toomp, Drumma Boy, Midnight Black and longtime collaborator Shawty Redd on this sonically enjoyable follow-up to 2006's "The Inspiration."

Previously criticized for strange rhymes and repeating lines, Jeezy delivers some great turns of phrase on songs like "Wordplay," where he answers claims of glorifying drug dealing with the couplet, "They want wordplay and I got bird play."

Considering Jeezy's admission that he's a bit uncomfortable making female-skewed songs, the blend manifests itself most clearly on "Taking It There," with Trey Songz crooning a romantic chorus.

While fans may gravitate more toward cuts like "Vacation" and "Yeah," "Taking It There" could wind up being the track Jeezy needs to cement himself as a mainstream artist and not just a favorite of rap aficionados.

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