In April 2011 Freddie Gibbs announced that he had signed a deal with Jeezy’s Corporate Thugz Entertainment (CTE) record label, an imprint of Def Jam. By December 2012, with very little music to show for it, Gibbs split with Jeezy and CTE.
Initially, Gibbs said the split was mutual and that no disses were on the way.
“As long don’t nobody diss me, ain’t no diss records coming,” Gibbs said in a December 2012 interview with The Breakfast Club. “As long as I ain’t disrespected or I don’t feel disrespected then it’s all good.” Even recently, Jeezy maintained that the initial split with Gibbs was amicable, expressing that he simply ran out of funds to continue to support Gibbs’ career.
In early 2014, Gibbs began taking shots at Jeezy. With the release of “Real” on Piñata, Freddie Gibbs’ collaborative album with producer Madlib, Gibbs pulled a major punch and used his street-inspired lyricism to articulate the nature of his animosity toward Jeezy.
To dissect the beef, start with the lyrics:
“Remember everybody ain’t loyal”
Freddie Gibbs uses the first line of the song to reveal that “REAL” is an acronym. In Gibbs’ eyes, loyalty is an essential part of being real. Gibbs takes a shot at Jeezy right away to say that Jeezy’s lack of loyalty toward Gibbs undermines Jeezy’s realness. Freddie feels so strongly that Jeezy wasn’t loyal to him, that the idea is woven into the DNA of the track. This speaks to the essence of the beef from Freddie Gibbs’s perspective. Gibbs says that Jeezy promised him something but didn’t deliver. Gibbs saw Jeezy’s behavior as disloyal. Gibbs’s doesn’t like to roll in circles with no loyalty and he split from Jeezy.
“I thought the world was at my feet when I linked up with the Snow/ But I refuse to be his flunky, so we don’t kick it no mo’”
Gibbs did not feel like the relationship he had with Jeezy was equal. When Gibbs signed to CTE, Jeezy became both his executive boss and his label mate. Gibbs expected support for his projects from a mentor, but instead he claims that Jeezy was more interested in having Gibbs push Jeezy’s projects.
He began to open up about his departure from CTE and admitted that the split wasn’t friendly.
“I can’t really say it was amicable. I could just say that we agreed to disagree. We definitely disagreed,” Gibbs said in a February 2013 interview with The Morning Riot. “The guy moves in a different way that I move, and I just wanted to branch out and do my own thing. I felt like I was wasting time pushing someone else’s brand when I could push my own and do my own thing. Because that’s was what he was concerned with, pushing Jeezy. So I gotta be concerned with pushing Gibbs.”
“I looked up to you, put that on momma/ Signed a deal with you and never asked you for a dollar/ Cause I was down with CTE, plus I was getting cheese/ I played my fuck ass contract, what the lick read?”
Gibbs had faith and trust when he entered the CTE deal, but as soon as he read the contract, he sensed trouble. Gibbs was made to feel one way by Jeezy, but after looking at his contract he felt like he was duped, robbed. The contract may have troubled Gibbs in ways such as how the finances were split or who retained rights to the music. As an indie artist, Gibbs was accustomed to a lot of control. Signing away even a bit of that could have felt “unreal” to Gibbs. Gibbs found himself competing for label resources against his boss. In today’s music game, mixtape artists have slim chances of landing a major label slot. Initially Gibbs saw Jeezy as a supporter, but once signed, Gibbs didn’t like were he was seated at the table.
“Man you said you the realest nigga in this motherfucker, check it/ But Ross had you scared to drop a diss record/ No nuts, got the whole team looking weak/ Guess that’s why they ran up on you at the BET/ L.A. red carpet, yeah, I was geeked/ You couldn’t take security, so we ain’t take a seat.”
The 2012 BET Awards was a public spectacle that helped to crystallize how Gibbs felt toward Jeezy. Gibbs felt like Jeezy embarrassed the whole team by the way he handled a confrontation with Rick Ross on the BET red carpet. Ross and his Maybach Music crew scuffled with Jeezy and the CTE crew. When Jeezy wasn’t allowed to take security into the event, the whole crew left. Jeezy’s public image took a hit that night, and Gibbs didn’t like how it reflected upon him.
“Thought I’d say this shit cause you ain’t man enough to come and discuss it/ You wanna be Jay Z? Nigga you just a fucking puppet.”
Freddie Gibbs stresses that his diss is not intended as a threat. His diss is not intended to start something in the streets. This diss is intended as an invitation for a discussion. Though Freddie now believes that Jeezy falls short of his hero Jay Z as an artist, executive and human being, Gangsta Gibbs still wants to keep it cool. If disloyalty is the essence of the rift between Gibbs and Jeezy, then openness and honesty can bridge the gap.
“And yeah I know you sold the blow and whipped the hard/ But underneath the fucking money you’s a fucking mark.”
Selling drugs doesn’t make you real. Freddie understands that Jeezy was involved in the drug game. Despite this, Freddie still believes that Jeezy handles himself in a way that is weak and cowardly. Those are major shots at Jeezy’s ethos. With this diss track, Gibbs tries to unmask Jeezy to reveal a new perspective on the Snowman.
Gibbs has been quoted, as saying that although leaving Jeezy was the most important decision he has made, he also learned a lot from Jeezy despite the broken promises, which fueled his departure. What the future holds for Jeezy and Gibbs remains to be seen. Will they strike a peace treaty? Will more disses continue now that Jeezy has commented on the beef? We’ll have to wait and see.