Jeezy knows he gave the world a certified classic major label debut album.
On Sunday (July 26), the Atlanta rapper took to Instagram to commemorate his Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 album and reflect on his time in music.
“Hopped off the porch in my momma two bedroom trailer with a dream, a grind and an all around vision,” he began the lengthy post. “My vision was to take a culture that was demonized and told they would never be anything or have anything. I endured any type of obstacles u can think of ; from dodging penitentiary to having a full time job of staying alive . I always told myself if u want heaven its on the other side of hell. So, I laced up my air ones and walked thru the fire until I got to the other side.”
He continued, “Someone once told me that freedom is on the side of fear. So I took all the chances to get there. In the process I obtained and gained insight of the art of (adversity) and I turned my pain into passion and put the passion into my music, so the world could see it was possible. To become something even when everyone is counting on you being nothing. That was the birth of #ThugMotivation. 2 Million records later!”
“It is one thing to say what would you do in the music but I wanted to show action,” Jeezy added. “Even at this present day, everything I stand for is about evolution. Evolve or Die! Thank you to everyone who supported my vision and my music, that got some through your hardships, prison time, college courses and even life in general. Today we celebrate 15 years of Thug Motivation. But our next 15 will be epic! @Tonyrobbins I’m up next just so you know! Happy 101 day #KeepGoing‼️”
Released off the heels of his debut group album with Boyz N Da Hood and a string of wildly popular mixtapes with DJ Drama, Thug Motivation 101 became an instant success for Jeezy, selling 172,000 copies its first week. The album would eventually go double platinum. Buoyed by the hit singles, “And Then What,” with Mannie Fresh and “Soul Survivor,” with Akon, TM101 remained a force throughout the summer and fall of 2005.
Jeezy has spent numerous moments to highlight his groundbreaking debut album. In 2015, he partnered with TIDAL for an anniversary concert that saw him reunite Boyz N Da Hood and broke down how his now-infamous album cover came to be.
“It was about $1.8M … $1.85M,” Jeezy told HipHopDX. “When I got to the shoot they wanted to put paper in the boxes. I didn’t know any better so I called one of my homies and told him to look in the bags in the back and bring them to the shoot. I had them put the money in the boxes.
“At the time, this was my first album, I thought that’s how the game went. I thought everything had to be real. For me, it was just another day at the office but for them it was like, ‘OK.’ It was my shot to get on. The more authentic I was, I thought that would push me closer to getting on.”
Revisit the landmark album from Jeezy below.