Words: Brian “B.Dot” Miller
So far, Young Jeezy is having the best
week year ever. Still reveling in the success from last year’s aptly titled The Recession, this January, Da Snowman became the official spokesman for Belvedere Vodka, Then last week, inked a deal with management firm Hip-Hop Since 1978 (Kanye West and Lil Wayne). Sweetening the pot, this summer he makes his acting debut alongside Ice Cube and Mike Epps in the comedy Janky Promoters. Sitting down with RapRadar, Jeezy talks about on his new deal, film, and writing for Kanye West.
You recently signed your management deal with Hip-Hop Since 1978. Why did you hook up with them at this stage of your career?
It got to the point where I wanted to focus just on my music and I wanted to trust somebody else to put it in they hands. So I just took my Louis Vuitton backpack off and put it on them for a minute. I been doing a lot for myself, but sometimes you just gotta expand your game and the way you do that is get linked with people. That what they do for a living, all day everyday.
The Recession was critically and commercially successful. Do you think you’ve proven yourself with this album?
I think when it marinates on people and when they realize what I was trying to do and what I set out to do, I’ll feel much better. But for the most part, if people really knew how much work I put into that album, how many studio hours, and how much I paid attention to what was going on to complete the project, then I think it [would be] appreciated much more. I was working night and day on that shit. I just felt like I had a lot to prove. I had to show people that I wasn’t just some nigga that was just standing on the corner a few years ago, doing what I was doing. I had to show them that I’m a part of this society. I’m a part of this world.
Why didn’t the iTunes bonus song, “Done It” make the cut?
Yo, I’m about to shoot a video for that. I’m about to tell you the realest shit in the world. You know why that song didn’t go on my album? Cause it was a fuckin Hall and Oats sample and they cleared it the day the after the album was turned in. We kept trying to track them down to clear it, but they cleared it the day after. That shit hurt me. I went in on that song. I brought out harmonicas, violins— we built that song from scratch. I had a saxophone player come in my nigga! That was it. That was the one. They cleared that shit like a day after I turned my album in. I could not believe it.
Damn, that sucks. Were you also upset for not winning the Grammy for Best Rap Performance last month?
I mean shit, my nigga I was bitter. I was ready for whatever. But you know, just to get nominated for some shit like that was a sign for me. It definitely showed me to keep it moving and go just go harder next time, man. But shit, I’ll see ‘em next year. I ain’t letting up. I don’t give a fuck, I’m a winner.
So where do you go from here?
I don’t think that I should get off my square and try to do something that’s too far out the box because that’s what everybody else is doing. I been the type of nigga to stay to my lane. I call it staying in my lane, staying in my coupe. I just hope with this next album, people appreciate it the same and just know where I’m going. I ain’t trying to be no lyrical nigga. I’m just trying to get my point across for the people.
Well, didn’t you extended your pen and pad to Kanye West on 808s & Heartbreak?
I went [to Hawaii] to do a record with him, but I end up helping him write like four or five joints on his album. It was crazy though man, but it worked out good. It was kind of innocent. We just started writing together and it just worked out. He would play something and I would help him like get his point across or whatever.
Your relationship with DJ Drama has been rocky as of late. Have you guys since reconciled?
Niggas can agree to disagree. Drama alright. We spoke. He still the homie, my nigga. I been on the road getting money, so I hear things and I addressed it. I let him know how I felt and we pretty much kept it moving from there. It wasn’t a problem cause if it were a problem you woulda heard about it. Other than that, he’s getting his money and I’m getting mine. Maybe sometime in the future we might work together. Other than that, we just moving.
Cool. This summer, you’re starring alongside Ice Cube and Mike Epps in the comedy, Janky Promoters. When did you find time to shoot a movie?
Fuckin’ with Cube, man. I was out in L.A. I think it was for the BET Awards. And so happened that I was out there and I was about to start shooting and you know he called me through and we got it done. I had to test that big screen out. Only time I been on the big screen was videos and the news.
Have you ever had to deal with janky promoters?
I know about janky promoters. I done been put a few of them in my trunk, ya feel me?! [laughs] I done ran up on niggas tour buses and taken my money. All kinds of shit, man. I’m with all that. I dealt with it, so to me it was close to home. Like, the shit really made sense and it was funny cause a lot of the instances I been through. Niggas don’t got your money, they trying to trick you, they waiting on they homeboy to bring it; niggas wanna get you something to smoke, get you something to drink, get you some girls to calm you down. Niggas put you in a fucked up hotel room. Like nigga, I was in better than this at home. You trippin’!
Lastly, what are your thoughts on the backlash your pal Michael Phelps has received?
I don’t know, that’s my dude man. I wish him the best! I hope he come out of that aight. It’s like he was doing a hookah. That what I would said. [laughs] It wasn’t nothing in there but flavored tobacco, yeah.