For Grammy nominated rapper Jeezy, discipline, leadership, and ambition come naturally. He grew up in a military family that moved around from Hawaii to Japan before he was sent back to Atlanta to live with his grandmother. From a young age, Jeezy lived his life in the streets, but he always knew he was destined for more. As he realized he did not want to contend with the consequences of such a risky lifestyle, he saw music as a way out.
Putting himself behind the mic wasn’t his original plan. He invested in a recording studio and gathered his friends to be his artists. When that plan fell through, Jeezy decided to step in the booth and tell his own life stories. He released his first mixtape in 2001 under the name Lil J. It was titled Thuggin Under the Influence. In 2004 he collaborated with DJ Drama to release his second mixtape, Tha Streets Iz Watchin. Jeezy’s natural business acumen came in handy. He built a loyal fan base by passing out his CDs and performing around the city.
Soon, he was sought after by some of the biggest names in the music business. He negotiated deals with both Bad Boy and Def Jam Records. He released one album with the group Boyz n Da Hood under Bad Boy records in June 2005. The next month he released his platinum selling solo album Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 with Def Jam. Jeezy has released more than 10 studio albums and four of those albums are platinum. Jeezy sees business as his true purpose. In addition to music, he is involved in sports, real estate, beverage companies, and his nonprofit named Street Dreams Foundation.