Last week it was reported that Freddie Gibbs was in talks with Young Jeezy to sign to Jeezy’s Corporate Thugz Entertainment.

Saturday (April 9), the announcement was confirmed in Chicago, as Freddie Gibbs surprised his fans during his show by bringing out Jeezy. In an exclusive interview with DJ Smallz, Gibbs explained his rationale for signing with Jeezy’s Corporate Thugz Entertainment label.

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“It’s always good to work with people that you respect,” Gibbs said. “I bump Jeezy and I think that he carved his own lane in the game, and that’s what I’m trying to do. What better way to elevate myself to the next level than doing it with somebody that I admire and respect? The situation with CTE—with Jeezy and Kinky B—it felt correct.

CTE’s lone major label project, Young Jeezy Presents U.S.D.A.: “Cold Summer:” The Authorized Mixtape was released in 2007 on CTE/Def Jam. But Jeezy has always had a strong touring presence due to his seemingly endless string of mixtape releases. Gibbs was courted by several other major labels, but he says the right opportunity never presented itself until now.

“Like I said, this was a long process for myself,” Gibbs added. “I just made the right decision and went with a gut feeling instead of just going off of impulse or signing with somebody because they’re hot. I ain’t wanna be a dick rider. I see a lot of that in the game, and I just wanted to do things my way.”