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Jay Wayne Jenkins (born September 28, 1977), better known by his stage name Jeezy (formerly Young Jeezy), is an American rapper and an influential figure in southern hip hop .[2][3][4] Along with fellow Atlanta-based rappers T.I. and Gucci Mane, Jeezy is credited for helping to pioneer and popularize trap music with a mainstream audience.[5]

Jeezy
Young Jeezy July 2005 (cropped).jpg
Jeezy in 2005
Background information
Birth name Jay Wayne Jenkins
Also known as
  • Lil' J
  • Lil J
  • Young Jeezy
  • Snowman
  • The Snowman
Born (1977-09-28) September 28, 1977 (age 40)
Columbia, South Carolina,[1] US
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • actor
Years active 1999–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website jeezyofficial.com

Outside of his solo career, Jeezy is the de facto leader of the southern hip hop group United Streets Dopeboyz of America (U.S.D.A), and a former member of the Bad Boy Records' rap group, Boyz n da Hood.

Jeezy began his music career in 2001, as Lil J, with the release of Thuggin' Under the Influence (T.U.I.). He later joined Boyz n da Hood in 2005, the same year his solo major label debut Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, was released. Its lead single "Soul Survivor", which features R&B singer Akon, became a top-ten hit in the US. His subsequent albums, The Inspiration (2006) and The Recession (2008), both yielded chart-topping singles as well. Jeezy has also been featured on numerous hip hop and R&B hit singles, such as "Say I" by Christina Milian, "I'm So Paid" by Akon, "Hard" by Rihanna and "Love in This Club" by Usher, the latter of which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, in 2008.

Contents

Biography

Early life and career beginnings (1977–2004)

Jay Wayne Jenkins was born on September 28, 1977 in Columbia, South Carolina. When he was a toddler, Jenkins relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where he lived with different family members, as a result of his parents separating. [1][6][7] In an interview with XXL magazine, he described his childhood as "empty".

In 1994, Jeezy spent nine months in YCA (Youth Challenge Academy), a boot camp in Fort Stewart, Georgia, for narcotics possession.[8] Four years later, in 1998, Jeezy launched the label imprint CTE World, then known as Corporate Thugz Entertainment.

In 2001, under the name Lil J, Young Jeezy released his first independent album, Thuggin' Under the Influence (T.U.I.),.[9] The album included features from artists Freddy J., Kinky B, Fidank, and Lil Jon, who also produced some of the songs. In 2003, Jeezy independently released Come Shop wit Me, a two-CD set featuring new tracks along with some songs previously released on T.U.I. In 2004, Jeezy signed with Bad Boy Records and joined the group Boyz n da Hood, whose self-titled album was released in June 2005 and peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

In May 2004, Jazze Pha's manager, Henry 'Noonie' Lee, showed Jeezy's demo to his friend Shakir Stewart, then Vice President Artist and Repertoire (VP A&R) at Def Jam.[10] Stewart "fell in love with it [the demo] the first time [he] heard it" and took it to L.A. Reid.[10] Reid recognized Jeezy's talent and gave Stewart the green light to sign him.[10] However, due to Jeezy's rising popularity, other record labels began pursuing him simultaneously to sign with them, most notably, Warner and Interscope. Ultimately, Jeezy decided he wanted to be in business with Stewart and Reid and signed with Def Jam Records as a result.[10]

Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 (2005)

Jeezy released his major label debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, on July 26, 2005. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, selling 172,000 copies in its first week and was later certified Platinum by the RIAA.[11] The debut single off his debut album, "And Then What" featured Mannie Fresh and reached #67 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single off the album, "Soul Survivor" featuring Akon, reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would become Jeezy's highest-charting single of his career. The third single, "My Hood", reached #77 on the Billboard Hot 100. In an interview with HitQuarters, A&R Shakir Stewart said that Jeezy had recorded over 60 songs for the album.[10]

In interviews and on several records, Jeezy has affirmed his resistance to commercialism in his music.[12] According to Jeezy, maintaining his street credibility, is of the utmost concern to him as an artist.[8] In 2005, Jeezy was featured in several popular hip hop songs including Gucci Mane's "Icy"[13] and Boyz n da Hood's "Dem Boyz". Although, he would later leave the group after having successfully established himself as a solo artist.

The Inspiration and U.S.D.A. (2006–07)

 
Young Jeezy in 2006

In 2006, he was featured in Christina Milian's single "Say I". Later that year, on December 12, Jeezy released his second major label album, The Inspiration. It topped the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 352,000 copies and would go on to be be certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album's first single "I Luv It" peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the second single, "Go Getta" featuring R. Kelly, peaked at #18.

Jeezy also extended himself into gaming, portraying himself in the 3D hip-hop fighting game Def Jam: Icon, released in March 2007. Also in 2007, Jeezy's group U.S.D.A (alongside Blood Raw and Slick Pulla) released their debut album, Cold Summer. The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200, selling 95,000 copies in its first week.

On December 17, 2007 Jeezy and CTE started their week-long toy drive and charity event series called the Toyz N Da Hood Drive. The series presented 1,000 toys for 1,000 kids at various locations in Macon and Atlanta. The CTE Christmas Kickoff portion of the event ran from 10 pm to 5 am at Club Miami. The toy giveaway took place in the Unionville neighborhood of Macon and at the Old Fourth Ward Community in Atlanta.[14]

The Recession (2008)

On September 2, 2008 Jeezy released The Recession, his third studio album and, what would be, his second consecutive number one album. It topped the Billboard 200, selling 260,000 copies in its first week and was later certified gold by the RIAA. The album's lead single, "Put On", featured Kanye Westand reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Recession also earned Jeezy a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap performance by a duo. Other singles off the album included "Vacation", "Crazy World", "My President" featuring Nas, and "Who Dat" featuring Shawty Redd. Separately, Jeezy made appearances on Usher's "Love in This Club" and Akon's "I'm So Paid" which also with Lil Wayne. "Love in This Club" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later, Jeezy performed on Ciara's single "Never Ever", from her album Fantasy Ride.[15]

In the summer of 2008, Jeezy was at the center of a controversy over his choice for president. While he had previously endorsed Barack Obama, during an interview with Vibe, Jeezy spoke about meeting and supporting John McCain. The statement caused a stir, and Jeezy quickly clarified his stance via a viral video. In the four-minute explanation, Jeezy made it clear, Obama was his main choice. "I represent the Democratic party. ... I've never been nor do I ever plan to be a John McCain supporter", the rapper said. "I support Barack Obama."[16] Jeezy and Jay-Z performed in a concert to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 18, 2009.[17] On The O'Reilly Factor, commentator Bill O'Reilly criticized their performance as a "rant that offended people", but Jeezy responded: "I got white friends. It's nothing like that. I'm a taxpayer, I got a right to voice my opinion at any point in time. I don't think he really understands my struggle."[18][19]

TM:103 Hustlerz Ambition and Its Tha World (2010–12)

It was announced on November 2009 that Jeezy started working on Thug Motivation 103.[20] In March 2010, it was reported that Young Jeezy dropped "Young" from his stage name.[21] Later, Young Jeezy denied the name change and claimed it was just a rumor:[22] However, on the cover for his single "Lose My Mind", his name is printed as "Jeezy". "Lose My Mind" peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100.

On March 4, 2010, Jeezy released "Illin", featuring Clipse, more specifically, Pusha T. On the track Pusha T raps, "No amount of record sales could derail this ...Stuffing dead prezzies in the wall like that Yale bitch..." The line was controversial as many felt the line was in bad taste. Here Jeezy is alluding to Yale student Annie Le, who was murdered in 2009. Many felt Young Jeezy was making light of Le's tragic death.[23]

Nearly two years after first announcing work on Thug Motivation 103, on May 17, 2011, Jeezy released the first single off Thug Motivation 103, "Ballin", which features Lil Wayne and peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two months later, on July 22, 2011, the second intended single off the album was released, a track called "Shake Life," although it was later scrapped. On July 26, 2011, Jeezy announced a September 20, 2011 release date for Thug Motivation 103.[24] However the album was pushed back yet again, this time to December 20, 2011.[25] On September 29, 2011, Jeezy released the third single off Thug Motivation 103, named "F.A.M.E." (Fake Ass Motherfuckers Envy), featuring T.I.[26] The song was T.I.'s first appearance on a song since his release from prison. On December 20, 2011, Thug Motivation 103 was finally released. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, selling 233,000 copies in its first week, becoming certified Gold by the RIAA. "I Do" featuring André 3000 and Jay-Z was the album's fourth single; it peaked at #61 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Leave You Alone" featuring Ne-Yo was the album's fifth single and reached #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2012, Young Jeezy's "I Do" received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance.

In October 2012, Jeezy released a new single called "Get Right" on ITunes and sent it to radio. Shortly after the single's release, Jeezy confirmed he had plans to release a new mixtape by the end of 2012 as well as a new album in 2013. On December 12, 2012 , Jeezy released It's Tha World, the aforementioned mixtape, hosted by DJ Drama.[27][28] The mixtape features 2 Chainz, Trey Songz, Lil Boosie, Birdman, YG and E-40. Production came from Jahlil Beats, The Renegades, DJ Mustard, Warren G, Mike WiLL Made It, Cardo and Black Metaphor.[29]

Boss Yo Life Up Gang, Seen It All: The Autobiography and Church in These Streets (2013–2015)

 
Young Jeezy Performs "Go Getta" and "Soul Survivor" in 2014

On August 13, 2013, Young Jeezy released a compilation mixtape titled Boss Yo Life Up Gang with CTE World artists, Doughboyz Cashout and YG . The mixtape has two singles, "My Nigga" by YG and "Mob Life" by Doughboyz Cashout, both of which Young Jeezy was featured on.[30] On September 17, 2013, Jeezy premiered the first single "In My Head" produced by Childish Major, from his CTE collaboration mixtape "Its Tha World 2". The following day he announced plans to release his next album, saying it will more deeply detail his street origins. He revealed that Future, Usher, Ludacris, and Don Cannon would be involved in the album.[31][32]

On May 30, 2014, Jeezy released the first single "Me Ok" from his upcoming fifth studio album Seen It All: The Autobiography.[33] On July 1, 2014, he released the second single, "Seen It All", featuring Jay-Z.[34] On August 31, 2015, Jeezy announced that he would release a new project entitled Church in These Streets. Four singles were released and the project as a whole came on November 13, 2015. It debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200.

Trap or Die 3 and Pressure & Thug Motivation 104: Trust the Process & retirement (2016–present)

On October 28, 2016, Jeezy released his new album Trap or Die 3, which became available for pre-order on iTunes earlier that month.[35] It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming Jeezy's third album to top the chart.[36]

On December 15, 2017, Jeezy released his eighth studio album Pressure (originally titled Snow Season).

On March 22, 2018, Jeezy announced that he would retire from rapping after releasing his final album Thug Motivation 104: Trust the Process.[37]

Personal life

After Hurricane Katrina, Jeezy opened his house to victims, offering those who had been displaced from their homes a place stay. In October 2005, the mother of his 9-year-old son used his act as the basis to petition for child support. Early in the year, she had claimed that she had little income, no assets, and did not even have a house. Young Jeezy has a sister named Katrina Wright.[38]

Legal issues

On March 11, 2005, Jeezy was arrested after an alleged shooting involving some of his friends in Miami Beach, Florida.[39] He was charged with two counts of carrying a concealed firearm without a permit; however, prosecutors dropped his charges two months later over lack of evidence.[40]

In the early hours of September 29, 2007, Jeezy destroyed his Bugatti Veyron when it was hit by a taxi crossing Peachtree Street, outside of Justin's, Sean Combs's club in Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported his claim that the incident had given him "a new appreciation for life".[41]

On April 16, 2013, Brian Smith filed a copyright infringement complaint seeking an injunction, damages, and attorney fees against Jay W. Jenkins d/b/a Young Jeezy Music and others in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, concerning the work "Jizzle" which was released in July 2010.[42]

On August 27, 2013 Leroy Hutson aka Lee Hutson, Sr., former lead singer of 1970s R&B group The Impressions, filed a complaint against Young Jeezy and others alleging that Young Jeezy's song "Time" inappropriately incorporated the instrumental portion of "Getting it On", which was registered with the United States Copyright Office in 1973.[43]

On January 4, 2014, Jeezy was arrested for battery, false imprisonment, and terrorist threats, after an alleged fight with his son in September 2012.[44]

On August 24, 2014, Jeezy was arrested before performing at the Irvine, California stop on the Under The Influence Tour in connection with the deadly shooting two days prior in the backstage area, on another stop of the tour in Mountain View, California. When the police raided Jeezy's tour bus, they found an AK-47 military-style assault rifle and guns on several members of his entourage. In total six people, including Jeezy were arrested, because "no one admitted to owning the assault rifle." His bail was set at one million dollars.[45][46] On August 26, Jeezy, as well as the five other men he was arrested with, entered not guilty pleas to possession of an illegal assault rifle. Two days later, Jeezy and his associates bonded out.[47] Officers were reportedly told repeatedly that the registered owner of the AK-47 was the tour security chief, who was hospitalized at the time.[48]

In Atlanta on June 18, 2008, Young Jeezy was arrested for DUI.[49]

Discography

Filmography

Awards

American Music Awards
Year Nominee/work Award Result
2007 Young Jeezy Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist Nominated
The Inspiration Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album Nominated
BET Awards
Year Nominee/work Award Result
2008 "I'm So Hood (Remix)" Best Collaboration Nominated
2009 Young Jeezy Best Male Hip-Hop Artist Nominated[51]
2010 "Hard" (with Rihanna) Viewer's Choice Won
  • Note: "I'm So Hood (Remix)" with DJ Khaled, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Birdman, & Rick Ross
BET Hip Hop Awards
Year Nominee/work Award Result
2006 Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 Hip-Hop CD of the Year Nominated[52]
Young Jeezy Hip-Hop MVP of the Year Nominated[52]
2008 "I'm So Hood (Remix)" Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated
Best Hip-Hop Collaboration Won
"Put On" (featuring Kanye West) People's Champ Award Nominated
  • Note: "I'm So Hood (Remix)" with DJ Khaled, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Birdman, & Rick Ross
Grammy Award
Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 "Put On" (featuring Kanye West) Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
2010 "Amazing" (with Kanye West) Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
2011 "Lose My Mind" (featuring Plies) Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
2013 "I Do" (featuring Jay-Z and André 3000) Best Rap Performance Nominated
Ozone Awards[citation needed]
Year Nominee/work Award Result
2007 The Inspiration Best Rap Album Won
"Go Getta" (featuring R. Kelly) Best Rap/R&B Collaboration Nominated
"Grew Up a Screw Up" (with Ludacris) Best Video Nominated
USDA Best Group Nominated
2008 Young Jeezy Best Rap Artist Nominated
"Love in This Club" (with Usher) Best Rap/R&B Collaboration Won

References

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External links