No matter what is being supplied, a hustler is only as good as his word. With Atlanta serving up some of the hottest product in the rap game, native son Young Jeezy stands as one of the most exciting merchants of cool to emerge in years. Thanks to underground testimonials like “Air Forces” and “Chuuch,” Jeezy’s street swagger and authentic style has quickly made believers out of some the biggest players in the game, from Fabolous to P. Diddy. In his native Atlanta, and throughout the south, Young Jeezy has created nothing short of a movement. Now the world will get to find out what insiders have been buzzing about when his Def Jam debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 drops this summer.
Like many hustlers on the mic, rapping wasn’t in Jeezy’s original game plan. As CEO of Corporate Thug Entertainment, Jeezy was content to stack his paper from the background.
“Before music I was just trying to survive out this motherfucker. I had other artists, some local cats off the street, but it didn’t work out,” explains the twenty-five year old Georgia native. “So I just decided to do it myself. Ain’t nobody gonna go as hard as you gonna go. I saw the bigger picture at the time. I have a way with words and I know how to hustle.”
Having lost many things in his life– family, friends and time (a prison bid that he doesn’t like to give too much light)–Jeezy had a sense of urgency about his music. So he hit the mixtape circuit with exclusive tracks recorded with longtime collaborator Shawty Red. With over 100,000 mixtapes and over 200,000 Trap Or Die DVD’s sold in a little more than a year, Def Jam decided to invest in the youngster and made him the most recent signee to the label.
“Basically, I’m a real nigga so I can relate more to a lot of cats,” Jeezy says of his appeal. ” I don’t just do music for the clubs, I do music for the struggle. I do music for everyday niggas, the kids who ain’t got no sense of direction. I’m trying to restore some of the morals back into the game, as far as the street.”
What sets Young Jeezy’s music apart is his ability to bring color and flash to a story that has been told so many times before. He’s a true digital age artist who doesn’t need 16 bars to develop a picture in your head. When he snaps off a verse the image is simple enough for everyone to feel it instantly.
“In one night ten bitches, eight bottles of Cris/forty grand just to make you stare at my wrist” he rattles off on his hit “Air Forces.” Jeezy’s undeniable swagger has made everyone from UGK’s Bun B to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs stand up and take notice. But it’s the folks grinding from day-to-day that will get the most out of Jeezy’s street scriptures.
“I’m just real to myself. Just believing in what I can do. If you have goals it gives a nigga something to be motivated about,” he says. “We stood on the same concrete at one time. With the same mindframe. My stuff is to motivate them. Letting you know where I’m from and what I’ve seen so you can get something out of it.”
The streets responded by snatching up his mixtapes by the trunkload. But now that he has fans on the hook, Jeezy is ready to reel them in slow with this full length.
“I did the mixtape run, but on mixtapes you can’t really give people you,” he reasons. ” I think people will really relate to the album. I ain’t come into this for no broads or a wristwatch or a car. I came into this shit for a spot. I’mma reality kicker. I’m not gonna tell you what you wanna hear because it sounds good, I’mma give it to you raw.”
Songs like the revealing “Let Me Talk To ‘Em” show Jeezy apologizing for many of the wrongs in his life and attempting to set the next generation straight about the dark side of life in the traps. “A lot of the cats I looked up to that bought me school clothes and things I lost them,” he says. “That’s why I’m here now.”
Setting the backdrop for his reality are producers Mannie Fresh – who’s “Boom Boom Clap” powers Let’s Get It’s searing first single “And The What” – Jazze Pha and Shawty Red to name a few. The guest line up is a who’s who of southern rap, but there will be plenty of Young Jeezy to bump from the coups to the corners.
“My whole thing is I want to restore some more morals back to this street shit,” he concludes. “Niggas listen to niggas who rap. I just wanna feed the streets.”