It really should come as no surprise, but the way to a man's heart is through his loins (or, alternately, his nose). At least, that's what pop taught me in 2005 with the reemergence of cocaine rap and the ubiquity of T-Pain's pole anthem, "I'm N Luv Wit a Stripper." T-Pain, for his part, at least tried to mask his perversion in a thick yoke of sentimentality.
Young Jeezy, meanwhile, made no such concessions to schmaltz. He was the bull in Billboard's china closet, championing the trappings of the modern-day "Trap Star" on his hit single "Soul Survivor" and his guest verse on Bun B's "Pushin'," which transformed Curtis Mayfield's civil rights anthem into a cocaine hymn. And before being popped on South Beach for gun possession last week, the Atlanta rapper elevated an image of a pissed-off snowman (and to think, it hardly ever snows in ATL) into a national icon, which in turn turned concerned citizens on their heads. But Jeezy stopped just short of endorsing this lifestyle, and buried somewhere in his ragged growl and hard-luck tales was a value shared (in varying applications) by neocons, bleeding hearts, and terrorists: In the heart of every predator lies the soul of a victim. Viva la cocaine!
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Young Jeezy plays at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25, and T-Pain plays at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, March 26, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets to Young Jeezy cost $40. Tickets to T-Pain cost $20 in advance, $30 the day of the show. Call 954-727-0950.