It’s a well-known fact that Jeezy is one of those hip-hop artists that actually lived the life he so often raps about. That includes his past affiliation with hustling on the streets of Atlanta. Following his recent interview with Drink Champs, he revealed that if it wasn’t for T.I., he might not have even jumped into the rap game full-time.
During the interview, he opened up about how much a moment at Atlanta’s famous Patchwerk Studios helped to steer him into what would become a hugely successful career. At the time, the Atlanta native shared that he was working on the album Thug Motivation when T.I.P came into the studio.
At that time, he recalled that he had “2.5 in the booth sitting with me.” When T.I. saw this, he told Jeezy he wanted to talk to him privately. In the bathroom, the “Live Your Life” rapper gave Jeezy some simple life-changing advice which was that he could choose to do both music and drugs, but ultimately he would have to choose one path.
“I looked at him and said, ‘Well, sh*t. Don’t you do both? ‘Cause you the Rubber Band Man.’ He’s like, ‘Hell nah! I left that alone a long time ago.’ For me, that was a real wake-up call,” Jeezy added.
It would be not too long after that the “Soul Survivor” rapper’s friends and associates started ending up behind bars because of a federal drug indictment. Those words of wisdom helped him not only avoid major jail time but turn his immense talent into a high-paying career as well.
As the law closed down on his circle, it became a very dark time, he shared. Jeezy described it as a really dark time that led him to heavy drinking and smoking as his mind was clouded. It was his poor handling of the stress that led him to make a lot of mistakes at the time as well.
The “Street Cred” rapper would then make one of the most important decisions of his life as he walked away from the streets. Something he admitted some of his friends made fun of him for.
“It was so funny to people that I was really trying to be a rapper. You wouldn’t know how many homies laughed at me. I’ll never forget, when I got that first deal and when ‘Dem Boyz’ came on the radio, it was God, man … The minute everybody started getting indicted is when I started blowing up. I was like, ‘Damn, I’m supposed to be here,'” he continued.
As one of the lucky few, he was able to use his authentic experience in the drug game to mold his lyrics and give fans an accurate depiction of the life of a thug. For him, his music had to be about the truth of life on the streets. Something he’s stuck to ever since becoming a household name in hip-hop.
The relationship between him and T.I. remained solid throughout the years, and they’ve even collaborated as they dominated the trap game. Two notable tracks that came from the duo include “F.A.M.E.” and “Bang.”
They even considered doing a joint album, but that never materialized. Even so, they remain good friends, and Jeezy remains grateful for the advice that changed his life from a negative to a positive.