These are more than words, this is more than rap.
~ Young Jeezy
I don't think it is normal for Young Jeezy songs to make you feel nostalgic and sad. Specifically his Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 album which is basically one big ode to money, selling drugs, and being a rap star. But sometimes, his songs recall Gulf Shores so strongly in my mind. We had finally stopped listening to only Usher, Tyrese, and Mario. Maybe that meant the honeymoon phase was over.
I don't know why I am saying "maybe." The honeymoon phase was over. If there were any doubt of that, the doubt had been erased right before Gulf Shores with The Fight. There were a lot of fights. This one would always stand out. Afterwards, I had found him slouched down, leaning against the door between the basement and the garage crying. He couldn't do anything worse, he had said. I tried to comfort him with the thought that his remorse was proof it wouldn't happen again. It didn't. After that we found new ways to work through our frustrations with one another. Each new method of "coping" more damaging than the last.
But right after The Fight, there had been that trip to Gulf Shores. He drove, bumping Young Jeezy and Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001 album over the killer stereo system we had custom installed in the car. He would rap along with Young Jeezy. I would ask him to play the current radio hit from the album and he would groan over my mainstream tastes.
We got a lot of stares outside of Lambert's Cafe, Home of the Throwed Rolls, in Foley, Alabama because our group was 3 black guys and 3 white girls. We only noticed a little bit. We were all having a good time together. It was Thanksgiving time and both the ocean and the condo's pool were too cold for a lot of water activities. We went mini golfing. We went to see movies. Took walks along the beach. Some of them had a contest to see who could stay in the frigid pool water the longest. And every time we got in the car, there was our hype man, Young Jeezy. Whipping us into a false sense of confidence about who we were and how things were going. Young Jeezy makes me remember him happy, swaggering. Equal parts goofy, affectionate, and exasperated with me.
It's a complicated thing; having your memories so tied up with music. Because some song comes on and you are instantly transported to that memory, good or bad. And sadly, even the good memories can become tainted by all that came after or the yearning for what was that is no more. Happily, that is not always the case. There are some memories that stay good and true. Sometime I will tell you one of those stories. This is just the memory that was playing today.