Young Jeezy’s name has skyrocketed in the last year, and into overdrive the last month. He is the opposite of what the “New South” has come to signify. His depth betrays the simplicity of his words, and his flow make his tales of survival that much more real. He has no doubt about who he is, no apologies for what he represents. He is comfortable with his talent, hood fame, and forecasted success. And he has no problem letting you know about his life, or what’s on his mind.
AllHipHop.com caught up with Young Jeezy to address some of the swirling rumors concerning his group, Boyz N Da Hood. We also wanted to give Jeezy a platform to tell his side of the Gucci Mane incident. You’ll be surprised to hear what is said…
AllHipHop.com: It’s funny, I remember last year you were on the “Frank and Wanda Morning Show” and most people had no idea who you were.
Young Jeezy: Yeah. That’s how it goes sometimes. I got signed by the streets before I got my first record deal.
AllHipHop.com: And what’s more valuable to you?
Young Jeezy: Right now? The streets. I mean, real talk, that’s where it came from. I don’t even know what that other s**t like yet.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people outside of Atlanta don’t know that you’ve been around as long as you have been. Tell us a little about how you came up in the ranks so quick, it seems like to everyone else.
Young Jeezy: I had a label called Young Guns Entertainment back in ’94, ’95. Long story short, a couple of my artists, like one or two, caught murder charges; other ones got f**ked. So at the end of the day, I was stuck with a studio with no artists and f**ked off a lot of money. And every now and then, I used to get in the booth and f**k with them. So it got to the point where I basically had to do it myself, or go find somebody else. A lot of times, people don’t take it as serious as you do, ‘cause they don’t see what you see. So I just had to really get on the grind and take one for the team, and try to open up some doors.
AllHipHop.com: Now, you have another label called Corporate Thugs, right?
Young Jeezy: Yeah. Basically it’s my label. I been working with it for a while now, a couple years. We got two situations, just got a label deal cracking. So it’s like, basically we just grinding, we just trying to bring the movement together, get a lot of cats out the streets, and create some opportunities for some cats who ain’t got any.
AllHipHop.com: It’s funny that you would say, “Get a lot of cats off the street,” ‘cause when you say Trap or Die, that could be seen as you co-signing the grind that a lot of people go through, really ‘cause they don’t have another choice.
Young Jeezy: But you gotta look at it like, Trap or Die doesn’t just necessarily mean its street terminology. Like right now, you trappin’ or dyin’ interviewing me. ‘Cause it’s like, s**t, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. And people got to understand that life is some crazy s**t. If you get caught up in that s###, some people can’t handle that. Like a lot of muthaf**kas gotta get out they lid. You can go to college and get out and still be f**ked up. And still not have life skills. So trapping or dying is anything you do, I don’t give a f**k if you sell some socks, as long as you taking care of you and yours.
AllHipHop.com: Down here in Atlanta, every DJs and most independent artists know that sometimes the best way to break a record is in the strip clubs. Did that happen with your music?
Young Jeezy: Yeah, ‘cause you gotta understand, I been f**king with them strip clubs since I was like 13, 14. So I was a thorough n***a. My n***a Fetch, before he just went in, used to own Magic [City]. I done seen them clubs change five or six times, I done seen the girls rotate, retire, all that s**t. And I was there through all that. So a lot of them DJs just remember me from coming through there, breaking real bread. Real talk, the n***as from the valet parking that seen n***as pull up in the real cars when I was young and doing my thing, They the type of muthaf**kas that bounce with me. And I think that that helped out a lot, because word of mouth is better than anything. And the s**t I’m rapping bout, everybody know I’m a real n***a ‘bout that s**t. So it just make it that much better. ‘Cause you know, all the thorough n***as f**k with all
AllHipHop.com: What’s going on with the whole Boyz N Da Hood situation?
Young Jeezy: It’s good! Album in stores June 21st! I mean it’s good. [Laughs] I don’t understand that one?
AllHipHop.com: You gotta see how it looks to everybody on the outside…
Young Jeezy: But then everybody on the outside gotta understand, when you a real n***a… Everybody knew I had a buzz before that. I had a deal first. I did that s**t with Puff on some G s**t. He told me he needed me, and I f**k with dude like that. And it was gonna benefit me too, and I f**k with the fellas. So it was like it only make sense. But at the same time, our albums was coming out around the same time. So it was a conflict of interest as far as the small stuff. But all the big stuff, my label make sure I’m there. Like we just did Rap City, 106 & Park, Direct Effect, see I’m there for all that. But I might not be able to make every show, ‘cause I was getting my own shows before that. I been booked up for the last… Right now we had to do some crazy s**t to get out of some of the shows that I was booked up for, ‘cause they started my promo tour so early.
AllHipHop.com: Still, a lot of people would see it as a little strange that Jody Breeze performed on the Next Stage at the Vibe Music Fest in Atlanta this Saturday morning and you performed at the Georgia Dome with Ludacris that night. And Puff was there. And nobody else was there. How did that happen?
Young Jeezy: Luda is a cool dude. He called me up, told me he wanted to bring me out. Since we label-mates, it only make sense. But you gotta understand, I can do both, ‘cause I work hard like that. At the same time, I can’t worry about what the people outside think, as long as I’m there for the s**t that count to them and long as they straight. They understand, ‘cause that’s what I been doing. It was a lot of times when I couldn’t do shows with them ‘cause I was booked up. They understand. Like I might not be able to make every radio interview, but I make as many as I can. ‘Cause our albums are coming out a couple weeks behind each other, so I
can’t not promote my album, you feel me?
AllHipHop.com: So you’re saying that there is no truth to the rumor that you’re leaving the group?
Young Jeezy: I only did one album. But me and Puffy renegotiating now. We just gonna try to make it a little bit smoother sailing for the second album. ‘Cause I got a lot more going on, it’s gonna be a little different. Because the group’s gonna be bigger now and my s**t taking off, so it’s gonna be on another level. So we gotta just make sure everybody in the same book, in the same chapter, on the same page.
AllHipHop.com: Wasn’t your album originally supposed to come out a week before the Boyz N Da Hood album?
Young Jeezy: Nah, what happened was the Boyz N Da Hood album supposed to been came out. But they kept pushing it back. When they kept pushing back, it kept getting closer to my date, so I pushed mine. Just outta being a real n***a, I told Def Jam, let’s push my s**t back, so I can focus on this with them.
AllHipHop.com: How do you start out basically blowing up Gucci Mane’s single and all of the sudden y’all are beefin’? Where did that come from?
Young Jeezy: To be real with you, there’s no such thing as beef, it belongs at Burger King. I think they just had a bad marketing strategy, I’mma be real with you. Real talk, what am I gonna gain from beefin’ with that little dude? That dude’s a child, man. I’m grown. I got too much going on to even… The song was what it was, but I will clear this up: I never wanted that song. Like it was our song, but it was always understood that it was for him to blow up. And that’s how it was supposed to be, and I was cool with that. He was cool, I used to like little dude, man. But I don’t beef with kids, I don’t argue with children. There’s no beef, and that’s what it is. His album came out, we saw what it did. You got me?
AllHipHop.com: But how did it get to the point of you offering up a bounty for his chain?
Young Jeezy: Real talk, I was really just talking s**t, I was really clowing that n***a. But at the same time, you ain’t fenna put no two, three diss records out about me. First of all, I don’t beef with no n***as on wax. I ain’t the type of n#### who fenna be arguing with no grown ass man over no beat. But at the time, I couldn’t catch up with the n***a. The first thing a n***a try to do is attack your credibility. But like a wise old man told me, if that’s the person you are, you can’t worry about that. But I’m definitely not about to give him no light. I don’t give a f**k what he saying now, I’m good. He can say what he wanna say. He can’t come out in the city: n***as ain’t f**kin’ with him. He can’t go nowhere, ‘cause he f**ked hisself up. N***a, you woulda came out better allying with me, than doing that dumb s**t to sell records. He ain’t know that. So he can try to call me and admit it, but I’m grown, I’m done with that. He got the little light he got, he said what he said. I’mma be the bigger man.