The truce was made official at the Snowman’s concert at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on Friday (January 27), where he performed his 2005 debut album Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 alongside the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
During the formal black-tie event, Coach K — Jeezy’s former manager and co-founder of Quality Control Music — took the stage and graced the mic, revealing to those in attendance that he and the rapper have made amends.
“They say for your blessings to really start, you have to have a clean slate. Tonight, two Black men settle their differences,” he said, prompting applause from the audience. “So here I am on this stage tonight to give you the story about how we got here.”
Coach K (real name Kevin Lee) went on to take the audience on a trip down memory lane, regaling the room with stories from Jeezy’s rise to fame while reflecting on their close relationship during his early career.
“I named Young Jeezy and he named me Coach K. We was inseparable,” he said. “We put a plan down to take over the music industry. One night at the infamous 112, Jeezy and his crew bought every bottle of Cristal in the building, and the other crews in the building got mad and left. I don’t wanna say none of their names, I know some of them are in here tonight.
“But leaving that club that night, I told Jeezy, ‘Man, you gotta start talking about this shit that you doing in your music.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Man, you crazy. If I talk about this shit, I’m going to jail!’ I said, ‘Nah, but if you rap it in third person, they gon’ feel it — and you ain’t gonna incriminate yourself.’ After that conversation, the magic began.”
After reminiscing on the success of Trap or Die and Thug Motivation 101 and saluting other key players in Jeezy’s journey such as Joseph “Yusef” Greene, Demetrius “Kinky B” Ellerbee and the late Shakir Stewart, Coach K cast his mind back to the time a pre-fame Jeezy caught Birdman’s attention, and predicted his own rise to stardom.
“Let me set the scene: it’s Atlanta, 2003 All-Star Weekend,” he remembered. “I just talked Jeezy into buying a new blue-body 745i. He looked at me and said, ‘Man, that looks like a corporate car. Why do that?’ I said, ‘N-gga, we Corporate Thugz. Why wouldn’t we?!’
“We pulled up to Lennox, it’s mad pandemonium out there. Cash Money pulls up while we’re pulling into the mall. Birdman gets off the bus with Lil Wayne. Birdman walks by the 745 and said, ‘What is this? I’ve never seen this before.’ I looked at Jeezy and said, ‘Yep, I told you. That’s the right car.’
He continued: “As Cash Money walked into the mall, the crowd started yelling their names. Jeezy turned to me, he said, ‘Bro, I can’t wait ’til they’re calling our names like that. Yeah, they gon’ be calling our names. Young Jeezy and Coach K.’
Jeezy addressed his past issues with Coach K during an appearance on Drink Champs last year, blaming their 2007 fallout on a lack of communication and trust.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s great at what he does, but there were a lot of conversations that didn’t happen before the fame and the money came, and the understanding,” he explained. “It’s like getting into a marriage and you don’t talk about the things that are deal-breakers and what things you don’t want because now it’s a relationship.
He added: “I just didn’t trust a lot of things…I’m just understanding what I’m assuming. So if you’re not communicating with somebody and it’s not going how you want it to go, of course you’re gonna be like, ‘Yo, I’m not rocking like that.’ Then he probably thought it ain’t going how he want it to go.”
Jeezy clarified that he still has “love” for Coach K and is happy for his continued success.