Ten years ago in July, Jeezy -- then Young Jeezy -- changed the sound of hip-hop music when he dropped his classic major label debut Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101.
The LP was dark, edgy and gave rap fans an early taste of what we would come to now refer to as "trap music." Tracks like "Soul Survivor," "Go Crazy" and "Trap Star" took listeners through the ups and downs of a drug dealer who was looking for reform.
The album's sound was dominated by eerie synths and extra doses of southern bounce. Thug Motivation (along with albums like T.I.'s 2003 LP Trap Muzik) would help lay the groundwork for the success of artists like Future, 2 Chainz and Young Thug.
On July 26, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 will officially turn 10-years-old, but Tuesday (July 21), Jeezy hopped on Instagram to celebrate a few days early with an open letter.
They say you have your whole life to make your first album, and they might be right.
Some call it poetry, others call it the ghetto gospel, but the industry calls it "trap music." Go figure. Either way it's the voice of the streets, and we all know that when the streets talk, we listen.
I find it odd when people use a negative connotation like "trap music," when the message (lyrics) clearly states: make it out of your surroundings and be the best man and provider you can be. We call that being a boss where I'm from -- a self made individual that refuses to let his environment dictate his or her outcome in life. This body of work you see before you is just that.
Every experience, every up, down and close call. All the nights that you prayed you could make it to see another day. All the sacrifices you made for friends and loved ones you lost to the street life. I can't help but to think of all the obstacles I had to dodge and the times I was unsure. But I continued to keep my faith and hustle strong. I kept pushing!
When I said that the roaches were in the kitchen, I meant that! So now when I tell you the floors look like bowling balls, I mean that too. You can call it rags to riches, but I like to call it a boy becoming a man and believing in his dreams, goals and expectations. I never thought of "fame" or being accepted in this industry; my only thoughts were to represent and speak for every man, woman and child that was in the struggle and just wanted to make a better way of life, without taking no for an answer. With every song, verse and adlib on this body of work, you can hear that determination, that ambition and that drive in every word. If the album touched you in any way, just know that it was all for you.
I'd like to thank my fans and anybody that was a part of my journey. Here I am, 10 years later, doing what I love --motivating the people.