Jay "Young Jeezy" Jenkins
As one of the most talented artists to emerge from the Southern rap scene, Young Jeezy's brand of streetwise lyrics and undeniable swagger propelled him to the top of the music charts. After spending his formative years in and out of trouble, Young Jeezy pursued his dream of becoming a rap star, making his mark in the underground rap scene before releasing his independent debut Thuggin' Under the Influence (T.U.I.) in 2001. Hip-hop's biggest names soon took notice of the skilled MC, including Bad Boy Records' Sean 'Diddy' Combs, who was one of the first to sign Young Jeezy to a major label. In 2005, Young Jeezy's mainstream debut Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 landed at the top of the Billboard charts and established him as one of the genre's most buzzed about new artists. Likewise, his hit collaborations with the likes of Jay-Z, Usher, and Ciara, as well as a duet with Kanye West, cemented Young Jeezy's career as an artist with commercial appeal and critical acclaim.