Just over a decade ago, Jeezy revamped his music career -- he dropped his previous stage name, fashioned himself "The Snowman" and dropped a mixtape called Trap or Die that had the city of Atlanta buzzing. Shortly thereafter, the MC released his major label debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, in 2005.
The album was ripe with tips on street etiquette, plentiful ad-libs and a healthy serving of wit between bars. Jeezy had found his place, setting the tone for the trap rap subgenre alongside T.I., who was doing the same at the time. Since 2005, Jeezy has dropped the "Young" from his name, highlighting the fact that he’s grown in a variety of ways. At his start, he founded the imprint Corporate Thugz Entertainment, which proved he was more of a businessman than a corner boy on the block.
As a matter of fact, Jeezy has taken on a whole other tone with the release of his eighth studio LP, Church in These Streets. Going by the name Pastor Young, the rapper has notably made a significant change in his way of thinking since making the “dope boys go crazy” 10 years ago. As much as he’s been in the spotlight, there may still be some facts that you don’t know about the CTE CEO. The Boombox has compiled a list of lesser known details about his life. Here are 25 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Jeezy.
In 2011, Jeezy dropped a documentary about his life titled ‘A Hustlaz Ambition,’ which was narrated by one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Samuel L. Jackson.
The rapper grew up much faster than most since he sold drugs in his prepubescent years. In the film, Jeezy admits to peddling drugs as early as age 11.
A number of quiet facts popped up in ‘A Hustlaz Ambition’ including Jeezy’s struggles with polyps -- before his throat surgery in 2005 -- and Bell’s Palsy in the years previous to the documentary’s release.
Jeezy gives Beyonce credit for putting him on to Jill Scott. In 2011, the rapper told The Boombox that it happened while he was poolside with Bey and her crew in Vegas. The chanteuse was incredulous. “I knew about Jill Scott, but… One day I was chilling in Vegas with Beyonce and all them, by the pool. She was playing all these songs and I was like, ‘Who the f--- is that?’ and she was like, ‘You don’t know ‘bout Jill Scott?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah…’ But she was playing all these records I’d never heard, I just became a bigger fan and I felt I just had to do something with her.”
Soul crooner Maxwell actually completed a song with Jeezy around the time 'TM103' was being put together. “It didn’t make the album,” Jeezy told The Boombox. “But it’s a dope record so I’ma definitely use it later.”
Rather than look to a major label for help, he could afford to fund the entire making of that album with his own funds.
Jizzle wasn’t always The Snowman though. When he was a kid -- about a year or so before he started hustling on street corners -- Jeezy was on his legal hustle. “I remember being 10, 11 years old,” he told ANDPOP. “I was asking the older ladies [in my neighborhood] if I could cut their grass. It went from that to me standing on the corner by their house. They would come out and give me food -- or Sundays, I could go eat at their house then go back to the block.”
He also held down a second job as a youngin’. The ‘Church in These Streets’ creator revealed to ANDPOP that he used to go “throw watermelons” with his uncle during Georgia summers. “You could get bit by snakes, anything, out in those big ass fields, throwing watermelons. And whatever the load is for that day, he may give me $20, $30... After that week, I might have $100 but $100 in ones with a 20 on top and I would be fooling my friends with it.”
When Jeezy’s camp ran into Rick Ross’ crew at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta, the MC told Big Boy’s Neighborhood that it was actually his first time ever seeing Rozay face-to-face. Then their respective teams ended up getting into it. A few years later, the two squashed their beef and dropped their collaborative effort, “War Ready.”
During that same interview with the L.A. radio jock, he said that Gucci Mane, despite all of their perceived drama, has called his team on a couple of occasions wanting the Hawkinsville, Ga. native to do feature verses. “It’s crazy because when you don’t get on songs, this is what happens. I just told him that I thought it wasn’t a good idea.”
Big Boy later asked Jeezy a hypothetical question about floating across the ocean on a raft. Big inquired, “If Wiz [Khalifa] and T.I. were in the water drowning and you could only save one of them, who would it be?” Jeezy said that he would jump in himself and save them both. When Big asked, who then, would take care of his son? The rapper quickly replied, “Tip got me.” Then, “And Wiz gon’ make sure he cool.”
Hip Hop DX spoke with David KA of Motion Family, a three-man video production team that has been commissioned to document Jeezy's life over the past few years. KA said that Jeezy's recent change in content was especially noticeable during the Mike Brown protests in Ferguson over a year ago.
Did you know that Rich Homie Quan's RICH line of T-shirts were distributed through Jeezy's Eight732 clothing company? Well, they were.
Luckily, the younger generation of MCs can have some faith in the OGs. At the shoot for YG’s “My Hitta,” long before it was a smash hit, Rich Homie Quan told The Drop, “YG is like a brother. Even though we just met a few weeks ago, I could tell he’s a good dude. When Jeezy linked us together it was like murder she wrote.”
Fashion cues run in the family. When Jeezy’s son graduated high school, he went straight to college -- now he’s enrolled at a prestigious fashion institute.
Jeezy told Angie Martinez that he was in France when President Obama shouted him out at the Congressional Dinner: “Last term I played Al Green, this term I’m playing Young Jeezy.” Jeezy says that his phone was blowing up the night it aired.
In a live Twitter Q&A hosted by Billborad in 2014, a fan asked Jeezy to name his favorite Tupac album. He replied that it was ‘Makaveli.’
Tupac is one of Jeezy’s biggest musical inspirations, along with UGK and 8 Ball & MJG.
In that same live Q&A, another fan asked Jeezy if he’d ever partake in reality TV and he responded, “Absolutely not. My private life is all i have. Plus my s--- is too real.”
Although UGK was one of Jeezy’s favorite hip-hop acts growing up, he found himself caught up in Pimp C’s wrath back in 2007. The Texas rap pioneer called up Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 and went on a rant that caught everyone in A-Town hip-hop off guard. Especially Jeezy. Pimp said, “Mothaf---er talking about they’ve got kilos for $17,500. Bitch, ain’t no kilos for $17,500 up there, and you know what I’m talking about. Come to Houston and get the work and pop it cause we’re right there by San Antonio and we’re going down there and gettin’ the work. And guess what, man. All y’all n----s talking about selling dope? If y’all n----- was some d-boys, guess what, man? I don’t believe you n----- no more cause I’m seeing you n----- in button up shirts getting cute and pretty trying to look sexy. N----, f--- you. N----, and I ain’t gotta say your name. Play with me and I’ll expose the n----- that was wearing backpacks with their pant leg rolled up back then in Atlanta when me and Big Meech [one of Jeezy’s closest associates when he debuted] used to be off in the club kickin’ it buying each other champagne.”
After Pimp C’s on-air scolding, Jeezy was one of a few artists to respond. He told RapMusic.com, “If he ain’t referring to me he ain’t referring to me but first of all I’m 100, I’m a real street n---- and I ain’t gotta stress that. And nor will I get myself or anybody in my circle indicted to prove nothing to no n----, but at the end of the day that what it is and that’s what I’m standing on. He been gone six years, he don’t know what’s been going on in these streets. And to be honest with you, nobody ain’t got to go shop over that way anyway. Come on man, this real man, this the world. You can go to the West Coast, you can go wherever you need to go to do what you got to do, ain’t just one store.”
A few months later it was too late for the two to make amends publicly -- although they were able to speak privately -- Pimp C was found dead from an overdose in December 2007. The next year, Jeezy laid the beef to rest publicly in half-a-bar on “My President.” “It’s all love Bun / I’m forgivin’ you Pimp C...” He performed the song at the 2008 Ozone Awards in Houston. “I had to bring out Bun and get everything straight,” Jeezy told MTV backstage. “We took a Gatorade break and got everything straight. We can agree to disagree, but it’s all love." He continued to explain the song. "I took a verse off ’My President,’ where I shouted out the whole N.O., shouted out Soulja Slim, Pimp C, BG, Bun -- I summed everything up. Everybody thought [the situation with me and Pimp] was something else. But it really wasn’t that. Before Pimp C passed, he reached out to me and everything was good. I wanted the world to know that. Rest in peace, homie.”
The beat for “Go Crazy” just sort of fell into Jeezy’s lap. He’d actually heard one of his best friend’s on the track before he had the opportunity to use it for himself. He told Vice, “The ‘Go Crazy’ record came about when I was listening to a T.I. mixtape and I heard him freestyling over the beat. Don Cannon had did the beat and he was a good friend of mine, so I hit Don Cannon like, yo, I need a beat like you gave Tip on this song, and he was like, ‘Tip don't even want the beat. You can have it.’”
In that same interview, Jeezy said that his Snowman tees were way more widespread than even he figured they’d go. “By the way,” he revealed to Vice. “I saw those shirts being sold in Harlem. In Harlem, man. I went to the store to buy some s--- and they was trying to sell me my own shirt. That's when I knew that that s--- was for real. I remember going to the Magic show [apparel trade show] one year with Jay-Z, that's right before I got my clothing line, and we walked around the Magic show and 70 percent of the booths were snowman shirts. We had people walking up to me saying, ‘Man, thank you for creating a way for us to feed our kids this year.’”
In 2008, Jeezy was dating songstress Keyshia Cole. She ended up proposing but he turned her down.
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