Hailing from Atlanta, Jeezy went from neighborhood businessman to nationwide rap star in just a few short years. Originally he was strictly a background player, running his own company Corporate Thugz Entertainment and doing album promotions for Cash Money Records. Soon he picked up the mic and began releasing independent mix tapes that sold like hotcakes in the ATL. This led to his inclusion in Boyz N Da Hood, a crunk-thug boy band of sorts, who released their self-titled debut on Diddy's newly-minted Bad Boy South. Shortly after that album dropped, Jeezy released his first official solo piece on Def Jam, Thug Motivation 101: Let's Get It. With the powerful major label machine behind him (not to mention enthusiastic fans ranging from hordes of teenage girls to Jay-Z), he raced up the charts thanks to hit singles like "And Then What" and "Soul Survivor." He also started a brief fashion trend with his unusual snowman T-shirts, which were banned in certain schools because of their drug dealer implications. Lyrically, he's not exactly groundbreaking, with the typical verses saturated in hustler one-upmanship, but his swagger, keen business sense and strong industry alliances made him an instant star in 2005. He followed up the platinum-certified Thug Motivation 101: Let's Get It with 2006's The Inspiration. Not wanting to mess with a winning formula, the album featured dark tales about dealing drugs.
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