While discussing his life journey with Detavio Samuels at REVOLT WORLD, Jeezy candidly talked about how his childhood shaped his life.
The “Adversity for Sale: Ya Gotta Believe” author was raised in an underserved community in Atlanta, but always strived for more because his perspective of life was expanded at a young age. During his interview with Samuels, the trap rapper revealed that during his youth, he traveled around the globe and even lived in Japan due to his father being in the military before his parents decided to go their separate ways.
“Childhood life … how can I describe it? You know, my mom was from the hood. My dad was a military guy… I got to travel the world at a very young age, so I saw Hawaii, Japan at a very young age,” the businessman told ‘The Blackprint” host. “And when my parents got divorced, I had to go back to the hood, right? And going back to the hood, it was a change of life for me because my palette was different as you could imagine. I was eating with chopsticks, you know, at four or five years old.”
Being honest about his experience as a minority residing overseas, the now real estate investor gave insight about how he handled standing out among the crowd, which was difficult even though he was a trendsetter.
“I’m a country boy you know what I’m saying? I’m in a different country and I’m away from my family. It was like I was a fish out of water and I immediately took my habits from where I came from with me,” he said.
“So, back then I was probably the best thief in my class. I was stealing everything you could get your hands on in Japan and, you know, trying to hustle. And then immediately, I connected with the bad kids, so I pretty much had my own gang over there. And when I say that, I was living on a base so it was American kids, so they was from D.C, Chicago, wherever, and I was the leader. I was the leader when I was in the hood, but now I was a leader in Japan. So, I was still being a natural born leader if you will.”
After seeing different sites of the world, it was difficult for the South Carolina native to live among people who lacked ambition following his parents divorce.
“When I had to go back to the hood, the day I got to my grandmother’s house, I told myself, I said, ‘I gotta figure out a way to get back to what I know,’ which was like beaches … different cultures, different people because the town we lived in, the town population was maybe 3,000. You probably got 10 times more than that at REVOLT [WORLD],” Jeezy shared.
“And the thing that threw me off the most was everybody that I was telling, all my peers that I was telling that there was beaches and all these things out there, thought I was lying, and I couldn’t understand it because I saw it, so that started my pursuit. I just jumped off the porch and was like ‘Man, I gotta get back to what I know I know.’”
Having an innate entrepreneurial spirit, the father of four did what he felt was necessary to ensure he would eventually elevate — even if it meant turning to the streets.
“It was crazy because the only thing that I saw that could get me back to that was the streets, and that’s the approach I took because the street guys were making the money, they were living the life and that’s what I wanted at the time. Call me ambitious if you will,” he said.
Using that money, Jeezy funded his music career and the rest is history. He’s become a pioneer for the Atlanta hip hop scene and made his wildest dreams come true.