Young Jeezy has bolstered his personal team of artists by adding gangsta rapper-on-the-rise Freddie Gibbs to his CTE (Corporate Thugz Entertainment) roster.
On Saturday night during a performance at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Gibbs brought Jeezy onstage to raucous applause as the latter's "Lose My Mind" began playing. A CTE chain was placed around Jeezy's new protégé's neck, making his addition to the Atlanta rapper's CTE World label official.
While the Snowman made his reputation with drug-infused, street-savvy raps, Gibbs hopes to further rejuvenate the gangsta-rap genre. "I just partnered up with a guy I think can take me to the next level," Gibbs — who credits CTE's Slick Pulla with getting his music to Jeezy's attention — told the Smoking Section. "I got a great respect for him and what he do, and the respect is mutual. Musically, I think we can bring this gangsta rap sh-- back, 'cause it's lacking."
Although Def Jam has distributed CTE projects in the past, including Young Jeezy Presents USDA: Cold Summer in 2007, a Gibbs representative clarified that he is not signed to the label. Born Fredrick Tipton, the Gary, Indiana, native made a name for himself on the mixtape circuit, releasing critically lauded compilations including The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, Midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik and last year's Str8 Killa No Filla. The 29-year-old rapper started pushing mixtapes after a record deal he landed with Interscope Records in 2006 soured and ended with his release from the label just a year later. Last year, Gibbs released an EP called Str8 Killa via Decon Records.
Jeezy has never shied away from collaborating with hot new talent. The Atlanta rapper's fourth album, Thug Motivation 103, has been pushed back several times and does not yet have a confirmed release date.
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