This may possibly be one of the strangest beefs I’ve ever seen within hip hop period. Despite efforts between both parties to come to a truce, It’s clear that Rick Ross and Young Jeezy just don’t like each other or care much for each other these days. But what people don’t know is that Ross’s and Jeezy’s career parallel each other more than many people think. These two actually started off as good friends.
They both were signed to Def Jam in 2005 by JayZ and presented as the “new faces” of Def Jam during that time. It was clear that the South was building heavy momentum doing that time and long time vets such as Method Man, DMX, LL Cool J, Redman, and other long time members of the label were losing star power. Young Jeezy and Rick Rose’s rise to fame and riches were almost identical. Young Jeezy’s mixtape titled Trap or Die hit the streets and flooded like crack in the late 80s. Jeezy was destined to blow and the labels saw star potential within him. He had catchy adlibs, He had hood appeal, The way he talked and delivered was different from any rapper and he had a voice that made him distinct from his peers. He had 2 side deals with Bad Boy for his crew Boyz in the Hood and a solo deal with Def Jam along with heavy anticipation for his debut at the time. Jeezy’s stock was about to emerge and Ross was on his trail.
Rise to the top
Rick Ross on the other hand was on the rise. What people don’t know is that Ross been in the game for a long minute, After working as a Correctional Officer(More on that later) for 2 years, He got his foot in the game Ghostwriting for different artists on Suave House and Slip N Slide. He was also to find his identity as a rapper so he soaked up alot of knowledge as a ghost writer. He came in with a new revamped image, a bald head, sunglasses, and a beard that heavily resembled 80’s drug trafficker Freeway Rick Ross.
Like Jeezy, Ross had a more gruff sound that didn’t sound like his peers. It seemed as though he watched a couple of gangster movies and decided to paint images of that within his music. Ross to his credit is very talented as he He scored one of the biggest hits of 2006 with Hustlin. The song was catchy, Ross’s cocaine trafficking drug kingpin content was what related to the streets at the time because it came across as a mob movie on wax. Port of Miami became a hit album, Selling 187,000 units the first week and becoming certified Gold months later.
Both artists continued to maintain a mutual respect with one another throughout their rise to fame. Young Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 101 went platinum thus making him a serious player into hip hop and one of the biggest artists of the south. He along with Rozzay were on that tight edge of whom had the streets on lock throughout 2007-2009 with them getting better within every album. Problems didn’t seem evident despite how a potential issue caused between the two would be great publicity, They did multiple songs together to show unity among the south and that there were no problems. You can see them on Birdman’s 100 Million, Hustlin Remix, Luxury Tax, and DJ Khalids Put Your Hands up.
Career on the ropes
Since Smoking Gun exposed Rick Ross’s coverup about his background as a Correctional Officer. It seemed that Ross’s career was gonna be finished. What Rick Ross committed was treason within the rules of hip hop and thats lying about his background. An emcee being exposed for his lack of authenticity would be considered a death-blow to a rappers career. Then he started a beef with hip hop aggressor 50 Cent in an effort to gain credibility as he figured that if he was gonna go down, He was gonna go down in a blaze of glory.
With his back against the wall, Ross put out possibly his best album to date with Deeper than Rap. He scored hits and continued to release critically accepted music to where people slowly started to stop caring about his background as a C.O. He also stepped up his pen game and his lyrical ability which was once limited became more in-depth and more cohesive. Deeper than Rap was the album that saved Ross’s career as he would build heavy momentum as he would be the guy to go too when it comes to delivering “street bangers”
Young Jeezy on the other hand was struggling to keep up with the new era during the time. Even with 3 successful albums under his belt The Hipster movement was becoming stronger and hip hop seemed to shift away from the gun and coke talk into more radio friendly dance tunes with guys like Rosco Dash, Travis Porter, Soulja Boy and others leading the way.
Despite putting out a Grammy nominated mixtape with Trap or Die II, Def Jam became very unsure about Young Jeezy’s star power. Yes he scored hits with Plies titled Lose My Mind and became one of the hardest songs of the summer. But Def Jam didn’t feel the song caught on like Im a Survivor or Go Getta so they shelved Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 103 album for the remainder of 2010. Jeezy would continue to release mixtapes to keep his name out there but the public perception was that Jeezy was done.
While Jeezy was struggling to even get a release date for his album, Rick Ross’s stock were heavily emerging. He was in demand for guest appearances , He started receiving more endorsements and popularity was at his highest. Every song he leaked from Teflon Don was accepted as a banger so it seems that the C.O. controversy brought out the best within Ross as a artist. It was the smash trap heavy song BMF that became the biggest hit of the summer and will also be the start of a new beef.
Many people started to question and wonder why would Rick Ross yell BMF and shoutout drug lords when his credibility was already on shaky ground? Because when an artist tries to gain credibility by paying homage to incarcerated drug lords and gangstas, It comes off as a desperate attempt to gain extra street credibility.But to the surprise of many including Young Jeezy, Big Meech phrased the song on his twitter:
“I LUV THE RICKROSS SONG! I HEARD IT & THAT NIG WENT HARD 4 ME SO LET HIM KNOW I APPRECIATE IT”
-Big Meech(6/24) via DJ Drama
Big Meech appreciation to Ross’s BMF seemed to have rubbed Jeezy the wrong way and in ways left him salty. Jeezy distancing himself from BMF while they were being indicted rubbed alot of the crew members the wrong way. Jeezy may have done the right thing for his career and he felt he can represent Big Meech by wearing his picture on T shirts at award shows. But for those who knew Meech personally didn’t see it that way. Pimp C(before his death) Blu Divenci and Jody Breeze were some of the few artists whom publically called Jeezy out for basically being a traitor and not being loyal to the crew. To further throw salt into Jeezy’s wound, Def Jam seemed to be backing Ross heavily while Jeezy sat on the sidelines and watched. Then watching his former boss and friend phrase his labelmate for a song dedicated to his old crew had to infuriate Jeezy even more.
In bizarre fashion, Jeezy leaked a song himself titled BMF that was obviously unreleased, it featured Big Meech himself talking in the beginining and Jeezy goes into the song basically claiming BMF and paying homage to his old crew. It was seemingly released to derail Ross’s momentum as well as repair the broken relationship with Meech. But once he released the BMF freestyle off his 1,000 Grams mixtape, It was clear that Jeezy was salty about the situation and threw shots at Ross and just like that, It was on.
Ross responded days later with The Summers Mine, Taking shots at Jeezy’s street cred and suspect Gang affiliation. Even though he didn’t mention Jeezy by name, Judging by the timing and some of the dialogue it was clear aimed at Yeezy.
Is it Deeper than Rap?
Aside from subliminal jabs between the two , No diss records started to really fly. Def Jam have tried to construct peace talks among both artists to bury the hatchet to no avail. Its been said that the issue was squashed with Jeezy and Ross taking a picture together to cease the peace. But it wasn’t until when Ross released his Rich Forever mixtape is where he aimed square at the Snowman’s head-piece
Jeezy while being silent on wax and basically putting his head down to working on his album chose the high road which was a surprise. Considering how aggressive and abrasive he went at Gucci Mane with Stay Strapped, It seemed to be uncharacteristic of Young Jeezy to really throw shots and hide his hands. Jeezy’s calmer approach took many by surprise while he would try to downplay the issue within interviews.
The beef would hit its climax when the two would square off almost physically for the first time at the Hip Hop Awards. This was proof that no issue was settled and these two just don’t like each other one bit. The interviews describing the event further proved that this beef wouldn’t be squashed anytime soon
Jeezy discussing the fight
Ross discussing his version of the fight
My thoughts are that these two need to just either squash this issue or really go at it because all of the fake peace treaties along with the phoniness.