With a Jay-Z assisted single and artwork from his upcoming album already delivered to fans this month, Jeezy spoke with Power 99 Philly about reactions to the cover and clarified remarks about Jay tearing up while delivering his verse.
“I mean, I wanted to do a crest,” he started. “I kind of was getting some of the feedback, the Illuminati. Let me say this first and foremost, do not get art and creativity confused with ignorance. I am a hard-working, God-fearing man. I have no idea what an Illuminati is and really don’t give a damn. It has nothing to do with me.
“I just wanted to do something different and something bigger,” he added. “That was just my vision. It’s kind of a dark album, so I just wanted to have that kind of mystique about it. Something you wanted to keep as a collector’s edition. Even when Pac—not to compare—but when Pac did Makaveli and he put himself on that cross, that’s how he felt. He felt like it was him against the world, him against all odds. He put himself in that mind state. That’s just how I feel. I feel like I’m bigger than the music. I feel like I’m a leader. I can do that. I don’t wanna stand in front of a Lamborghini and give you another picture of me [with] five chains on. That’s wack for me. I’m nine years in the game, ten years in the game, I’m trying to push the envelope a little bit. But I’ll tell you this, the album cover is whatever, but when you open that album and play that album then we ain’t gon’ have this conversation. That music is A-1, you heard me? All that.”
After he made comments earlier this month alleging that Jay Z teared up while providing his featured verse, Jeezy clarified the claims during the interview.
“I mean not literally but you know,” he said in response to a question about Jay-Z crying while delivering his verse. “Nah, nah, it wasn’t like that. When I sent it to him and he did it and he sent the verse back, I was like, ‘Yo, this is crazy.’ He was like, ‘Man, I went so far back I almost was teary-eyed in the booth.’ He was just kicking it, popping. But that’s how I felt. Even with my verse, it was like, that’s real. If you knew Jeezy in ‘04 or ‘03, that’s what you saw. You saw a young cat hopping out in the club in the newest anything, ten chains on, hundred deep going to club, turn up. That was everyday, everynight. Not once a week, not twice a week, not three times a week, that was Sunday to Sunday. That’s who I was. Just to hear him go back to Marcy Projects and talk about Emory. Emory is a great friend of mine. Just being around Emory, he’s a great dude. Stand-up dude. He went and did his time and he came home. But I never heard Jay talk about him. I ain’t never understood their situation until I heard the record. I had to call him like, ‘You did ten years?’ I didn’t know that. I thought he just went away and came back. I didn’t know he did ten years. A lot of people can’t do ten years and come out and be solid.”
While on the show, Jeezy also detailed the motivation behind his Def Jam comments on “Me OK.” On the song he raps, “When L.A. Reid was in the office made some history up in Def Jam / If Jizzle ain’t droppin’, nigga, what the fuck is Def Jam? / I know you heard how your boy bossed up at Atlantic / Boss shit, might just drop my next album on Atlantic.”
“That’s how I feel,” Jeezy said of the lines. “I’m not gonna bite my tongue just ‘cause Def Jam in the building. Jeezy in the building. I felt like that because at the time I did a lot for Def Jam. I co-signed every artist at Def Jam…I just felt like at the time they wasn’t seeing my vision. It’s like a girl, Def Jam is a great building, a lot of things change. I became frustrated with the situation. But, I’m a businessman so I just had to just put that out there. It’s like my girl, you keep playing I’m gonna get me another chick…We talked, everything was cool. You just gotta just let people know sometimes, I got options. I’m a boss. When I was in the streets I didn’t just have one plug. You gon’ tell me I can’t eat over here?”