FEATURE: Young Jeezy, Trap to the Future

[Editor’s Note: These are the outtakes to the edited interview that appears in the September 2009 issue of XXL.]

XXL: Do you think [Thug Motivation] 103 is gonna be like The Recession? There were a lot of—not depressing just dark records [on The Recession].

Young Jeezy: No, no. I think this will be a revamp. We gotta start over. And I hate to sound crazy saying it like we just gotta reassess the situation. We gotta kinda bring our standards down, our expectations and just roll with the punches. ‘Cause if you eating one way, and you get a minor setback, that don’t mean you quit. It don’t mean you stop hustling. It means you gotta hustle a lil’ harder than you did to probably get half as that, but you able to provide for your family and your people. You know even with me, like real cats, real niggas pay to see me perform every club around the world all day, but where is it but nothing to pay $200, or $300 to get in the club to see me. Now it might be a issue, but they might not mind grinding no three times hard to still be able to do that and I appreciate them for that cause I gotta grind five times harder to make sure that I got the right things to say to them, so they wouldn’t mind coming for me.

XXL: In “Word Play” you say, “Yo, you saying Jeezy killed hip-hop?” and then it’s like you came with The Recession and everyone’s like, “Damn, Jeezy can make a conceptual song, or he can be lyrical.” Do you feel a validation?

Young Jeezy: Nah! I think that within the two minutes of sitting down and talking to me that I’m really like a lot smarter than they think. I’m a lot wittier and I don’t look at it like that. I know who I’m talking to. And if I’m talking to a person that understands something in a certain way—most people relate to colors, numbers, whatever it is—you know it’s like slang. It’s like lingo. It’s culture and with culture you don’t have to say it the correct way or be over your head or over the top to get your point across. So I felt like if I could say “Trap or Die” and the whole hood felt me, like what’s there to be lyrical about? I was lyrical enough. They been reciting that shit for six years. So what’s your point? You know even with “Word Play” it’s like this what y’all want? Man, this shit is easy man. This shit is easier than the other shit. You know how hard it is to dig in your head and think about how many metaphoric ways that you can put the same thing together? Like, those words? Those are real words. Those test the hearts of men. Shake used to say that shit all the time. I’d used to tell him, “I don’t wanna touch somebody’s cell phone. I wanna touch the hearts of men. I don’t wanna be a ringtone rapper.” So I felt like, y’all want lyrical, you got fuckin’—who’s out there that’s lyrical right now?

XXL: Jay

Young Jeezy: Wayne…you got that. That’s you.

XXL: Jada

Young Jeezy: Jada. That’s all you but you want this shit? Come see me. I’ma give you that motivation. Like I ain’t gon go to a Christian Church if I’m catholic. Like what the fuck? Man, come on. A Baptist Church—it’s like the cultures are two different ways of life. I cater to these people, because these people are who I am. Like, cats in prison like, “Damn, that’s my nigga. Like, for real. Like, fuck what they talking bout. Fuck rap. I don’t even know him by that.” Like, you know what I’m saying, “Jeezy’s a good dude. He checks out.” And that’s what I do it for.

XXL: I was hearing an old interview of yours with Monie Love, and you said you were offended about Nas’s Hip-Hop is Dead cause you were doing Hip-Hop so you felt like it’s still alive. But now that you’re one of the dudes that people really look to keep hip-hop alive in a sense, do you understand where Nas was coming from? I heard interviews where you’re like, “Yo, we’re so saturated now and there is so much trash out here.”

Young Jeezy: I feel what you’re saying but at the same time, these young niggas out here, you would rather them be rapping than robbing your ass and who’s to say… The shit we grew up of, we thought was the shit, you couldn’t tell me that Pac and Big and UGK, all these niggas wasn’t the shit. Like, I can’t tell that to my son, the younger people comin’ up. They like fuckin’ whoever, that’s they people like that, so to me it’s that transition but at the same time you gotta still have a respect for it because Big rapped about fuckin’ movin work and gettin’ money and shootin’ niggas and shit. What’s any different from what I’m saying? That’s how I took it. I couldn’t say that he was wrong or he was right or he was taking shots.

XXL: You have trouble relating to say even the XXL cover with the new dudes like Cudis, the Drakes, do you have trouble relating to that type of music?

Young Jeezy: Nah, nah! I fuck with Cudi and Drake, they cool, them niggas on they grind. I mean to be honest man, there’s enough for everybody if everybody stay in their lane.

XXL: Is it hard for you to hear a record like “Day ‘N’ Night” and be like, “Aight this is about being”—

Young Jeezy: You know, I didn’t understand it as much but when I seen that shit the other day when I was out [at some] club, some shit out there in Europe, I was like damn! But, at the same time that might not be something that I can regularly relate to but being in that situation, I could understand it and I be like, “Oh ok.” You can’t knock a nigga when he is getting his money. Everybody got [a] different talent, everybody don’t want to hear about what I talk about everyday. It’s always time for some Jeezy though, always time for some Jeezy.

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  • Silly Willy

    “We gotta kinda bring our standards down, our expectations and just roll with the punches.”

    This nigga serious ??? And he calls it motivation……

    • Silly Willy

      “Man, this shit is easy man. This shit is easier than the other shit. You know how hard it is to dig in your head and think about how many metaphoric ways that you can put the same thing together? Like, those words?”

      I thought that’s what a skilled rapper does, if it’s THAT hard, that means you ain’t that good at it…but what do I know ?

    • http://xxlmag.com quisy

      daz fuckin rite he said it >>> and a million mufuckas still gon eat his craft up he aint doin it 4 hip hop nerds who care about verbs he doing it da real nigas who can follow a simple and more direct approach mufucka

      • Silly Willy


        I get it. People who cares about coherent thoughts, knowledge, ambitions of a higher education, and thinks that uplifting people is actually a goal we all should try to achieve,…those people, are NOT real !!!

        The REAL ones are those who don’t care about all that, and just need to be spoken to in, at worst,a master-slave, at best parent-kid dynamics, but not as grown-ass men, and are striving to keep it REAL,…..REAL dumb!!!

        Now I TOTALLY get it !!!!!! Thanks a lot !

        Now if we could just figure out why niggas stay losing………..

        • Enlightened

          I feel you, but that’s not what he’s trying to say.

          Let me say first I am not a Jeezy fan AT ALL.

          But he’s trying to say more along the lines of what I try to explain to niggas in the whole 2PAC/BIGGIE argument that will never die.

          Jeezy wants to do what Pac does. I think T.I. is the closest to it now.

          For Pac, it was like similes, and metaphors wasn’t as important as touching a niggas heart and soul. Really making you think and possibly even making you feel better about some shit you were going through. That’s a different kind of “lyrical.”

          When you used to have grown ass men in a room recitin’ that nigga shit with so much emotion that you would have to be in church to reach that level, that’s what Jeezy’s talking about.

          For some of these niggas, Jeezy does that. Listen to the verses in “Live Your Life” by T.I. Niggas look at it as a pop song, but it was one of the most lyrical songs of the year to me.

          He’s giving you real life advice like a counselor sitting down talking to you.

          Biggie had the punchlines all day, Pac wasn’t trying to come up with shit like “leave you More Gone than Freeman” and “more butt than ashtrays.”

          Pac’s version of lyrical was more like “should we cry when the Pope die? my request/ we should cry if they cried when we buried Malcom X”

          I’ll take that type of lyricism over 100 Slaughterhouse style punchlines. But it’s all in what you like.

          Jeezy is no Pac by any means, but that’s what he’s striving for. Not what you’re talking about. Most of the “lyrical” niggas like Slaughterhouse and others like them, are not talking about knowledge at all. They just kick punchlines to entertain you.


          “I’ll take that type of lyricism over 100 Slaughterhouse style punchlines. But it’s all in what you like.”
          ^^co-sign. i like, & listen to both kinds of lyrics from a lot of rappers. but real shit, i want to feel a song when i hear it. a nigga could say something a certain way or deliver it a certain way, that sounds & feels better than anything a ‘punchline king’ can come up with.

    • yoprince

      “This nigga serious ??? And he calls it motivation……”

      i think he was referring to record sales… not quality of music.

      • Silly Willy

        I seriously hope you’re right, prince! Then again, in his interview he gets all over the place with his topics, I might just be right,…unfortunately…

        In any event, how can one motivate you by saying: “Yo! This shit ain’t right! Lower the standards, niggas!”

  • tronthadon

    I like Jeezy but what they fuck is he talkin bout?…

  • AvengerXL

    Jeezy is one of the LCD rap kings. So he is in character in this interveiw, basicly saying that he raps to street level urban poor people and people who use this lifestyle as a form of entertainment. Look at the hoods crumbly education systems, lack of employment, high illegitamcy rates, cats going to jail like it is college etc…. etc…. Jeezy is rapping to people who are a part of this lifestyle and the fake clowns who big up this lifestyle and live in the suburbs. Dude is a business man and and playing a role. I bet off camera he probably smart dude but he has to stay in character to appear super real.

    • Master CHeef

      Avenger XL, what does LCD stand for?

  • Mutada/Mullah Atari

    I don’t understand why Jeezy constantly feels the need to fend of critics. His rhymes, even on his early stuff pre Thug Motivation 101 are not THAT bad. There are quite a few “Trap” rappers that are far worse. And we don’t listen to him for clever metaphors and witty lines (although he has a few). He grinded it out and got a fan base based off of what he did. Why he gets the brunt of the scrutiny does not make sense to me. If he wants to step it up, that cools. But it seems like he’s reacting to bloggers and critics instead of reacting to his fans. Who LOVE his music?

  • nabz

    jeezy makes some pretty good music

  • Eric

    when he talks about lowering expectations, I think he means that since everybody is going through this economic crisis, we gotta be able to settle for less sometimes. I don’t think he means “don’t set high goals” or some shit. I think he means set goals but don’t go kill yourself if you don’t achieve them.

    You know, “shoot for the moon and if you miss, you’re still amongst the stars” type of shit.

  • http://Twitter.com/choice09 Choice

    Jeezy is still one of tha realist niggas that rap

  • kelito-vision

    i like Jeezy but he gives the worst interviews…his shit is incohorent like a mofo

  • IpopXusemagnumXLandreadXXL

    yo, u a “Dumb Smart” dude huh..’bring our standards down’, he was referring to this current situation our economy is in…if you hustle and its a recession goin on, you gotta re-evaluate ur hustle..bring ur standards as far as ur way of life..cant be splurging on unneccesary shit..but what do I know

    • Silly Willy

      Sorry if this comes twice, I couldn’t post the other response.

      But I got it, ipop! Peep my response to yoprince above. But given that this man’s interviews aren’t that coherent, it’s not too far-fetched to think it could go both ways. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion.

      See ? That’s called a discussion….no need to call people names….then again, the fuck a dumb smart nigga like me knows, right ?

  • allhiphop>xxlmag

    good interview
    jeezy is pretty good
    hes like 50 cent without the dre and em

  • vhingrhamesonyo’momma


  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    Jeezy always gives WTF??? interviews.

  • BigCityGzZy

    I kinda got either bored,lazy or too confused like half way thru the interview..Not again Jeezy!


    lol. these must be the ‘throwaway’ questions. cuz i’m looking @ the new issue & these questions aren’t in here.? they chose the right ones to ‘throwaway’. i still fux with Jeezy, though. regardless of any of the bullshit ya’ll feel he speaks out his mouth. he makes good ass music. keep it coming.

  • Shawty J

    Damn, Jeezy’s interviews are almost as bad as Wayne’s interviews.

  • http://www.myspace.com Reef88

    it’s crazy i never have to say shit cause enlightened said exactly what i was thinking lol again

  • gift

    The whole rap game right now is fucked up. You got niggas wearin tight shirts and pants, and motherfuckas are acceptin rappers w/half the lyrics and all the “SWAG”. Jeezy is as real as it gets right now, and I hope he keeps doin his thing. Unfortunately, alot of artist, including some of the established ones, have dumbed down shit at one time or another. Any nigga that is independent escpecially knows what I’m saying. Everybody complains about the state of hiphop, but keep supporting half ass rappers and albums. It’s our problem as the hiphop community, and I will support jeezy before a nigga hollerin bout stanky legs or any other hoe ass dances. PEACE!!!!!