From the second that Jeezy and Gucci Mane walked onto the stage at Atlanta’s storied Magic Metropolis strip membership, the rap world held its breath. This was some prizefight-level programming by Verzuz. For greater than 15 years the Atlanta duo have been nemeses—the real-deal variety, not the Instagram-beef variety—with an extended, sophisticated, and violent historical past. Up till final Thursday, most episodes of the now-legendary “battle” present began by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, from Snoop and DMX to Patti and Gladys, had been low-key competitions amongst pals. Jeezy and Gucci, although: this was battle. And Gucci got here armed.
He lobbed diss document after diss document. Jeezy largely performed it cool, leaning into the bag of monster hits from his breakout 2005 debut, Thug Motivation 101: Let’s Get It. Nevertheless it was Jeezy’s response to Gucci enjoying scathing mixtape minimize “Fact”—which Gucci formally launched to the foremost streaming companies as a single simply hours earlier than the occasion—that appeared to safe him some kind of psychological win.
That’s when, as “Fact” light out and Gucci stored speaking shit, Jeezy took a second to step again from their private beef to place their feud into an even bigger, deadlier context.
“All these youngsters out right here doing what the fuck they do trigger they noticed what went on with us, canine,” he mentioned. “So this shit ain’t about me, this shit ain’t about you, you are feeling what I’m saying?”
He namechecked a few of hip hop’s current, tragic deaths: “This shit about King Von.This shit about Doe B. This shit about Nipsey Hussle. This shit about motherfucking Pop Smoke. M03. And I’m actual sufficient to try this, n***a, as a result of one factor about it, two issues for positive, three issues for sure, n***a…”
And at that second, Jeezy’s DJ, DJ Ace, dropped the Thug Motivation anthem “Get Ya Thoughts Proper.” The entire tone modified. The evening ended peacefully and even featured Jeezy and Gucci collectively performing “So Icy,” the observe that helped spark their beef. Practically two million individuals tuned in on Instagram, plus greater than two million extra through Apple Music. It’s the most-watched Verzuz to date.
Just some days later, GQ caught up with Jeezy to speak about his new album, The Recession 2, his podcast, assembly Joe Biden, and his impressions of an evening that can dwell endlessly in hip hop historical past.
First off, I do know your fiancée, Jeannie Mai, not too long ago had a well being scare. How is she doing?
She’s good. Thanks for asking. She’s again. I feel she’s in a position to eat now and she or he’s about 80 p.c. Twenty extra p.c and she or he’ll be again on the market saving the world. Again on The Actual and again doing what she do.
I’m glad she’s on the mend. You’ve got loads happening. New album, new cope with Def Jam, podcast, TV present on Fox Soul.
I’m all about psychological stimulation. My first visitor on Value a Dialog was Steve Harvey. My second visitor was Deion Sanders. And the third visitor was John C. Maxwell, who’s a thought chief. And my [most recent] visitor was Tamika Mallory. [On the show I] discuss to individuals about what they went by on their roads to success, why they didn’t hand over, what was the toughest second and what was the largest lesson they realized. When you’ve gotten the conversations with these individuals, you be taught issues, and for me, utilizing my platforms to coach my tradition is the purpose.
On the Re(Session) podcast facet, it’s extra about actual life. My first visitor was Tony Robbins. It’s dope as a result of Tony Robbins has his personal outlook on how the world ought to work and the way individuals needs to be motivated, and I’ve mine, too, so we sort of had a gathering of the minds there. And my [most recent] visitor was Freeway from Roc La Familia. He talked about having kidney failure, and [the costs of doing] dialysis with out insurance coverage, just for his son to get slain somewhat bit later. And whereas he’s telling me this, his [teenage] daughter is sitting subsequent to him and she or he was simply recognized with most cancers. I requested him how did he cope with all of that. He’s a Muslim, so he was like, God, Allah. And I feel individuals want to listen to that. I don’t simply wish to encourage individuals with my music and my albums, and people issues, I wish to use each platform to present them that perception.