Jeezy Launches Mentoring Program With Tequila Avion to Help Aspiring Rappers With Their Music Career
Jeezy has been in the game for over a decade and with his experience, he has a wealth of gems to drop.
On Wed., Feb. 8, Jeezy decided to share his knowledge to give the gift that keeps on giving: guidance. The Trap or Die 3 rapper partnered with Tequila Avion to launch a nationwide radio competition where aspiring rappers could win a chance to gain special access and mentoring from him. The winners of the competition, Brandon Howard and Mikke Ripper, got the chance to meet with the CTE World leader in New York City, play their music for him and get feedback on the tracks. They also received insight about the hip-hop industry.
Brandon Howard, a native of Baltimore City, was grateful for the chance to speak with the Atlanta rapper and receive some words of wisdom. "I'm so thankful for the amazing opportunity provided by @tequilaavion & @92qjamsbmore! I learned so much and I'm ready to work 💯x harder on my craft as we go to the next level! @therealmikkeripper Major thanks to @jeezy for the mentorship & investing in me," he wrote as the caption to an Instagram photo of his music meeting with Jeezy. Check out the rapper's music on his YouTube page and SoundCloud page.
While meeting with his mentees at the Tequila Avion embassy in New York, XXL chopped it up with the Atlanta native about the Jeezy Mentoring Program, his partnership with Tequila Avion as the multicultural advisor and his thoughts on Donald Trump as president.
XXL: Tell us about the Jeezy Mentoring Program.
Jeezy: Basically, I partnered with Avion, I do a lot of community service work things, of that nature. So, it was important for me to give back to the community in this way because a lot of this [music] is about information and knowledge in this game we in. I’ve been blessed to be in it a little over 10 years and you get smarter every year with this and sometimes it’s about giving some of that information and knowledge to the youth, the up and coming cats. There’s a lot of things that they shouldn’t have to go through that you already kind of went through for them, so you gotta kinda lead them in the right direction.
I think it’s dope. Just partnering with Avion and being able to reach out to a lot of these markets. I’m not really familiar with the independent artists so it’s dope to be able to bring them to New York, it’s a big deal. I remember my first time in New York, it felt big, when I got my first record situation. I think it’s big for them, I’m happy to be a part of it.
Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve always done community stuff, a lot with kids. Christmas, Thanksgiving, mentorship, bookbag drives, things like that. But, this is something I’m near and dear with. This is my passion, music. For me to be able to spend some time and kick it with people that have the same passion, I think is something I really want to do so it just makes sense.
You’re the multicultural advisor to Avion. How did that partnership come about?
Basically just meeting with Ken [Austin]. We hit it off with our first conversation and I just told him what I could bring to the table and bring to the situation. I felt like that was something that they needed and he felt the same way. It was something really organic, nothing we had to think about. I’m a hustler by nature, I could sell water to a well if I need to, so to me is was second nature.
You just dropped Trap or Die 3 about five months ago. What can we expect from Jeezy in 2017 in addition to your partnership with Avion and your mentorship program?
Just a lot of big business, get ready for that. About to go on tour for Trap or Die 3 with YFN Lucci from ATL. He’s from my city and Lil Durk, shout-out to Chicago. I’m back focused. Right after that, planning 2020, 2021, you know what I mean? That’s how we on it.
You know how the hip-hop community reacted to Trump being elected as president. How do you think we, as a hip-hop community, should cope with his presidency?
I don’t even think about it as the hip-hop community at this point. We -- taxpayers, entrepreneurs, parents -- I just think a lot of the things that he’s doing are irate. When you dealing with irate people, a lot of people ain’t gonna be happy.
America is a place of respect, we always been. The way we go about things is what makes us great and what makes people want to come here and start their life over. We just gotta keep that in mind, you know what I mean? I don't think all people are bad people, nor am I in his position, so I don’t know what our threats are. But, I just know a lot of the things that he’s doing makes us look irate too. The worst thing you could do is take away from somebody’s hope and their dreams. I just feel that’s something we’re going to have to reconsider at some point. I don’t feel like that’s something one person should do without consulting everybody. I think he’s on his own with that one. If he’s talking about making the country more money, we all here for that. But we don’t need anymore issues. We just wanna get that paper, take care of our kids and keep it moving.
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