In this week’s episode of “You Should Know,” Billboard caught up with Detroit-based rapper Tee Grizzley to find out how he first got into music, which artists people might be surprised he’s a fan of, who his dream collaborations are, and why he thinks of his music as “scriptures.”
Asked what initially drew him to music, Grizzley tells Billboard that when he was around 12 years old, his uncles needed a kid’s voice for a chorus so they enlisted his help. “I was so nervous to do it,” he recalls. “But when they played it back and I heard my voice on the song, I just fell in love with it.”
The rapper is also asked which music he listens to that people might not expect, and he confesses to being a fan of Adele and Taylor Swift. “My favorite Adele song is ‘Hello,’” he notes. “My favorite Taylor Swift song is between ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Wildest Dreams.’”
In the interview, Tee Grizzley names Michael Jackson and Jay-Z as dream collaborators, explaining that he likes to record with people who he can learn a lot from. He also reveals that the most sentimental item he owns is a chain that he designed that defines his struggle.
“It’s half of my face and half of an animal face. It just shows you the two sides to me,” he says. “It’s a grizzly bear, but the grizzly bear, his ear kinda bit off, there’s a scratch in his face. Basically letting you know that he’s been through something and he barely made it out where he was at.”
When prompted to describe his music in one word, Tee Grizzley opts for “scriptures,” stating that he views scriptures as the truth.
“It’s a lot of substance in my music,” he says, adding that while many people go into the studio and record the first thing that comes to their minds, he records what he needs to get out the most. “I’m really giving you a real life story,” he adds. “I just feel like it’s a lot of substance in it.”
You can check out the full video interview with Tee Grizzley above.