My guest tonight is a Grammynominated hip-hop artist
whose new album Trap or Die 3 comes out tomorrow.
Please welcome Jeezy!
(cheers and applause)
What's going on?
Uh, what's going on, sir?
-I can't call it.-Welcome to the show.
For sure, for sure.Appreciate you having me.
Thank you so muchfor being here, man.
This is a discussion we've beenhaving in the office.
-People have been arguingfuriously. -Right.
-You were known as Young Jeezy.-Right.
-You are now known as Jeezy.-Right.
The money got grown,so I had to drop the Young.
My taxes, you know,my-my commerce went up.
I see, I see, I see.
I'm gonna, I'm gonna applaudto that.
-Ah, the money got grown,I like that. -Yeah.
-Welcome to the show, man.-Thank you for having me.
Yeah, before we getinto the music,
I wanted to chat to you about...
We were talking in the headlineabout having health insurance,
-and how a lot of peopledon't have it. -Right.
And, uh, you've been makingyour money from the streets
-for a very long time.-Right.
-I-I know a fascinating storyabout you, -Right.
and that is you didn't havehealth insurance
-when you had to go forvocal cord surgery. -Right.
-I, uh, tore my vocal cords.-Yeah.
I didn't have insurance soI actually had to pay cash.
I think it was $75,000.
And I took a brown paper bag
and counted all the money outacross the counter.
Like, you didn't even think ofgetting like a bank bag...
You're like, nah,brown paper bag.
Nah, I had to geta brown paper bag.
-It-it was a littleuncomfortable at first, -Yeah.
but I was just like, listen,I have...
Well, I couldn't talk,by the way,
-so somebody had to talk for me.-Oh!
So a, so a guy comes inwith no voice.
-A guy comes in with no voice,-Right.
just gets to the counterand puts down...
-And then just starts...-Right, right, right.
And, uh, look, they thoughtI was crazy,
but I had to get it done,and then, after the fact,
I had a-a-a great vocal coach,
which was, her name was Jan,
and she had me singing all thesedo, re, fa, la, la, mi...
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So everybody in the housethought I was going crazy.
I used to be in the showersinging, ♪ La-la, la-la, la.
I was tryingto get my voice back.
And I finally got it back,and, you know,
I just thank God for that,
because that was the beginningof my career.
And, uh, if I wouldn't have gotmy voice back,
-I wouldn't be here, you know?-You wouldn't be here today.
-Right. So it was great.-Uh, you have come.... Yeah.
-(cheering, applause)-You have, um... -Yeah.
-You... you've come a long way.-Right.
You tell a very familiar storywith your life, you know.
-Right. -And I thinkwhat's interesting is,
-a lot of people talk abouttrap rap these days. -Right.
What is trap music?
What does that mean?
Uh, trap is more of a lifestyle.
Um... in the wayI figure it, Trap or Die,
with my series and the seriesI've done,
were mix tapes in the beginning.
They was basically saying,
"If you die, you're takingthe options they give you."
-Yeah. -But if you trap,you're taking a chance.
So if you trap and you comefrom your mom's house
and you end up going to collegebecause you worked seven jobs
and you did what you had to do,that was trappin' to me.
-Yeah. -If you die,you just took whatever,
you know, they gave you,and just lived with that.
I grew up in a place whereeverybody had jobs at factories
and nobody ever made it out,and I was determined to be
the one that made it out,and that's what I did every day.
So anything that I had to do toget me here, that's what I did,
and that's whatI consider trapping, so...
You know, there are a lot ofrappers
who have experienced success,
there are a lot of rapperswho haven't,
but there aren't many rapperswho have experienced success
-both, uh, on the streets,-Right.
in the world of trap,but then get shout-outs
from the presidentof the United States.
Yeah, shout-out to Obamafor shouting me out.
-My stock... my stock went up.-Now, you...
Yeah. Now... Yeah.
But what's interestingwith that is,
I mean, you know, places,obviously conservative places
-like Fox News,-Right.
who have always seen rap music
-as the epitome of violenceand hatred, -Oh, yeah.
-Yeah.-went at you specifically,
-Right.-and said, you know,
"How can anyone supportthis man?
How can anyone support someonewho raps about these things?"
How do you reconcile that story,because, you know,
-you preach about a life ofmoving forward. -Right, right.
-You preach about a lifeof improving yourself. -Right.
Uh, and then at the same time,in some of the rap lyrics,
-it's about gangsterism,-Right.
-it's about shooting,it's about drugs. -Right, right.
How, how do youreconcile the two?
Y-you kill themwith success, man.
You kill them withbeing great, you know?
You kill them with owninghalf of Atlanta, you know?
And, and they see...
You know, and they sit downand talk to me,
it's like, I'm-I'm so muchsmarter than you, man.
-You just have no idea.-Yeah.
You talk about politicsa lot, though. -Right.
In fact, in fact, uh,on your previous album,
uh, you-you said thatyou spoke a little too much
-about politics in your music,-Right, right, right.
-and then the fans backed awayfrom that. -Right.
But-but you're not someone who'sbeen afraid to get involved,
which doesn't seem like the mostnormal place for a rapper to be.
Why do you talk about politics?Why do you talk about...
Like, in this election, you'vetalked about Trump and you've
talked about Hillary.What-what do you...
-what do you have to say aboutthat? -I mean, because I-I...
I'm the voice of a lot of peoplethat don't have a voice.
And it's-it's...I have a responsibility
to express my opinion,our opinion. And, um,
I think sometimes you just gotto let people know, man.
It's just like, we just can'tgo for anything. It's like,
the guy talks reckless,this guy talks...
How can you call a-a lady the devil on national TV
and think that you...we want you
to be our commander in chief?I just couldn't go for that.
-(cheering, applause)-You know what I'm saying?
-Trap or Die 3. -Right.
As the name suggests,third installment.
-Uh, it's Jeezy coming back.-Right.
What is the one thingyou want people
to take away from this album?
Um, well, it-it's... You know,just so you know the story,
um, I basically spentall my hard-earned money
to make mixtapes,and I gave those mixtapes out
-to get my buzz and that's howI got a record deal. -Yeah.
And that was the first Trap or Die.
And this is just taking it backto that very essence
of, you know, getting backto the grind and, you know,
getting back to the gristle,but if you listen to it
from front and back,the last title track
is called "Never Settle."And that's basically what
I'm saying. If you want to behere, you want to be able
to sit on this couch,or sit on this chair and
state your opinion, just neversettle for what they give you.
Just go hard every day,get up every day
and give it all you got.And never quit.
And that's it.
-(cheering, applause)-That's it.
Trap or Die will be availableat midnight tonight.