Exclusive: Young Jeezy Talks 'TM:103' Album and Clothing Line Expansion
After countless delays, Young Jeezy promises "everything is done" on his fourth Def Jam studio album, "Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition" (Dec. 20).
"When I work on albums, I like to be focused. I want to appreciate the end result before I push it onto somebody," Jay "Young Jeezy" Jenkins tells Billboard.com's The Juice before an Atlanta album session in mid-November. "I want to get the right features, the right feel. It was a timely process, but it's worked out because I'm 100% happy with it."
"I think it's all my albums mixed into one; from "Thug Motivation: 101," to "Inspiration," to the "Recession," Jeezy says of "Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition" (above). "I think over the time I grew and evolved so it's like I wanted to take a little bit of that "TM: 101" with me, a little bit of that "Inspiration" with me, and a little of that "Recession" with me, to have that "TM"103" class. We've been through all these three steps, it's everything one one page. Let's see if you pass," he says.
As the release date for "TM:103" fastly approaches, Jeezy makes it clear to The Juice on who this album is for. "My mind hasn't changed since the first day I stepped in the door. It's always been the same," he says (above). "My mind frame has been strong through out the bullshit and I stayed focused. My message is if I can do all that with the weight on the world on my soulders then I know you can. That's what being ambitious is about. That's what being a hustler is about. The system didn't work for us we made it work. The industry didn't work, i didn't give a fuck. That's on them, they got to deal with it. But I know the people love me. The streets love me."
"We got every day people who live every day lives and I make music for them. I'm not making that shit to be top ten, top 20. I don't give a fuck. That's on them, let them deal with that. As long as I'm in the hearts of men, I ain't got to sell no ringtones. I'm cool," Jeezy says (above).
A deluxe version of the album will include a documentary of the rapper's life, titled "A Hustlerz Ambition." Directed by Chris Robinson and narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the documentary was filmed during a three-year span. It covers everything from Jeezy selling drugs in Atlanta at age 11 and suffering from Bell's palsy to fighting an FBI investigation stemming from an erroneous gang-affiliation claim. Interwoven throughout the chronicle is commentary from current and former Def Jam executives, including ex-Island Def Jam chairman/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid, collaborators ( Diddy, T.I., Jay-Z), family members, friends and business partner Demetrius "Kink" Ellerbee.
Aside from music, Young Jeezy is expanding his 8732 clothing line to London, China and Japan. "It's basically the code of the streets," Jeezy says. "We're the new Ralph Lauren, so tell him I'm coming."