“I don’t think no amount of money could buy the way I’m feeling right now,” Young Jeezy says when he gets on the phone. His morale is high, but one can’t help wonder if the Atlanta MC is secretly nervous. It’s go time for Jeezy—round two, time to show he has what it takes to beat that sophomore jinx. With Def Jam promising that his second album, The Inspiration, will hit stores in December, Jeezy needs to get his street buzz up stat to match the success of his debut Thug Motivation 101: Let’s Get It.
“I’m trying to put out another classic album, so I did a lot of recording,” says Jeezy. “I had to find the direction I wanted. I recorded a lot of extra songs to get to that.” DJ Drama, who previously collaborated with Jeezy on several mixtapes, can attest to the trap star’s prolific recording habits: “He’s got over a hundred songs done,” Drama says. “They can’t all make the album, so you know we’ve got to feed the streets.”
The DJ/rapper duo collaborated most famously on 2005’s classic Trap Or Die and Can’t Ban The Snowman earlier this year, but Drama promises that their new mixtape I Am The Street Dream, will be an event. “This is our last tape,” he says rather, well… dramatically. “Me and Jeezy, as a team, we’re going into retirement.” Hoping to go out with a bang, the new mixtape, which will hit the streets next week, returns to Trap Or Die’s street album format, sidestepping the excessive freestyles of Can’t Ban The Snowman. “I don’t think Trap Or Die will ever really be topped because it was a moment in time,” says Mr. Thanksgiving. “We’re just trying to bring Jeezy at his finest.”
Chock full of exclusive album outtakes and remixes, I Am The Street Dream features appearances from T.I., Fabo from D4L and the entire CTE team. Drama claims that a club banger called “All I Know” was so hot that even he couldn’t hold his tongue. “It was specifically for the tape, but I might have convinced Jeezy to put it on his album,” he says. “I don’t know how smart that was for my mixtape, but I just couldn’t let that shit go by. It’s just so fuckin’ crazy!” Hoping to get high off the positive vibes, XXLMAG.COM caught up with Jeezy himself to discuss his new DJ Toomp-produced single “I Luv It” and the things that he loves most in his own life.
Young Jeezy “I Luv It”
Young Jeezy “Jeezy”
Young Jeezy “Child Of God (Bury Me A G)”
Jeezy on Magic City:
“I’m definitely lovin’ Magic City. If you ever come through the ATL, you must—I repeat, you must—come through Magic City. It’s one of the memorial landmarks of the city. I’ve been going there since I was 12. I got turned out at a young age, and I think that’s why I grew up so fast. I was in the street, and my peoples, they were older. The first time I went to Magic City they were like, ‘Man, don’t come in here and throw your money away.’ And I was like, ‘Shiiiiit. You must think you talkin’ to somebody else.’ But Magic City, it’s just a whole other experience. You gotta come there and see it rain for a couple hours. Just bring your umbrella and raincoat and shit!”
Jeezy On Hitting The Gym:
“Right now I’m lovin’ the gym. I’m really trying to get my shit together. It’s something new for me. Coming up on some street shit, you don’t really have time for that. But now my schedule is a little more lenient, or at least I know when I gotta be somewhere. I usually get up early and hit the gym. I just feel better. All that smokin’ and drinkin’ for so many years, that shit was kinda crazy for me. When I started doing them shows, I started feeling it. When you doing two or three shows and you ain’t in the best shape, that shit can wear and tear on you. But I get it done, I get it crackin’. I go in and do my cardio, I’ll probably run for like an hour and a half, like 8 miles. And then I come back and do my workout shit with a trainer, just weights with different sets and reps. I ain’t trying to be no buff nigga, I just wanna be in shape. I just gotta be healthy.”
Jeezy on His New Job at 8732 Clothing:
“I’m lovin’ my new job, that shit with the clothing line. It’s called 8732. It was called U.S.D.A. [8732 on a phone’s keypad], but we had to change it up for legal reasons. The government wasn’t happy with that—they probably mad as shit with me. Around the time we were setting everything up for the trade market, the lawyers called me like, ‘Man, I don’t think the government’s having that.’ And I’m like, “Fuck it, I’m a genius, man: 8732!’ The shit is fly and it ain’t no fugazi shit, it’s gonna be in real stores. We got jeans, Tees, hoodies, definitely the polo shirts. Pretty much the urban stuff with a little Georgia swag. You can wear it at a dress up event, or you can wear it in the hood. You can wear it to take care of your business, or you can wear it to college. It’s part of the everyday struggle. I’m hands on with everything. You gotta put your game face on. You can’t have that crazy mentality, you’ve gotta go in there on some grown businessman shit. I attended the last two Magic Shows. My booth was in the Roc-A-Wear booth. It’s gonna be in the major chains, like Macy’s, pretty much everywhere [parent company] Roc-A-Wear’s at right now. We trying to have our launch date on December 1st.”
Jeezy on Atlanta, GA:
“I love my state and I love my city. It’s the only place where I feel like me. I did my elementary shit in the ’Ville, but I was back and forth to Atlanta pretty much my whole life. After my grandma sent me to live with my Aunt [in Atlanta], I never went back. Most of my family’s in Atlanta. After my grandma passed, I had no reason to go back down south. This is all I know, and at the end of the day, when you come back home from being on the road, these are the people who make it all worth it. When you go back to the hood and you’re hollerin’ at everybody, seein’ niggas you grew up with, it just make it all worth it. Niggas show you that they proud of you for putting the city on the map, and lettin’ niggas know what’s really going on down here. Everybody know me, so it’s like, ‘What the fuck you been doin’? Where you been?’”