Detroit is a city with one of the most controversial, inspiring, and influential histories in all of the US. While it may be known for its violence or ties with the auto industry, it has also produced some of the most successful rap artists in history. Today, the city is making a comeback thanks to the efforts of talented performers like Tee Grizzley.
Grizzley has emerged as one of the hottest rappers in the past couple years. His first singles, including “First Day Out,” and “No Effort” saw tremendous critical and commercial success. While his career has the music industry buzzing, many fans know little about him. For those who want to know more about the person behind the voice, here are five of the most interesting facts about Tee Grizzley.
5. He has been rapping since his childhood
2016 and 2017 may have been breakout years for Grizzley, but his passion for music has existed for many years. As a child, he was fascinated by relatives who would go to studios and actually be able to hear their work. His childhood home was apparently always filled with R&B music. Unsurprisingly, this music became a part of who he was. In high school, he formed a music group with some friends called AllStars Ball Hard.
4. He went to prison
Like many rappers, Grizzley has had some run-ins with the law. While some might look at him and see nothing but a criminal, his past does deserve some explaining. He was actually the first member of his family to go to university, studying finance at Michigan State University. Unfortunately, he quickly found that he had no money. This led to stealing and eventually an attempted robbery of a jewelry store. He went to prison for attempted robbery and was released in 2016.
3. He made the most of his incarceration
Most people know that the US prison system often does nothing but make the inmates angrier and more violent. Grizzley found himself falling into the same cycle when he was first incarcerated, as he was constantly getting into conflicts with other inmates. However, he had the wisdom to realize that his life meant more than being tough in prison.
Instead of asserting himself as a dangerous presence, he decided to make the most of his time. He started associating himself with older inmates from whom he could learn lessons and read as much as he could. He even sold his television to buy more books.
2. Both of his parents were taken from him
There is no excusing crime, but understanding a person’s past is important to truly know why they behaved the way they did. For Grizzley, his criminal acts were not isolated outbursts. They are better seen as the product of a difficult upbringing. He has explained that his childhood home was constantly filled with drugs and alcohol. Further, his mother was given a 15-year prison sentence for drug trafficking. Only a year later, Grizzley’s father was murdered. Given the horrible circumstances of Grizzley’s early life, it is incredible that he has turned out to be such a success.
1. He owes much of his success to Lebron James
Anyone who has heard Grizzley’s music knows that he is destined to be a star. However, many talented performers never see success because they never get a big break. For Grizzley, this is not the case. Incredibly, it turns out that the best basketball player in the world is a huge fan of his music. Lebron James posted an Instagram video of himself dancing and singing along to Grizzley’s music. Apparently, Grizzley’s sales more than tripled after the video was posted.
Rap music has just as much poetry, emotion, and depth as any other genre. However, it also speaks to people in a profound way because many rap artists have survived horrible circumstances. Grizzley is no different, as he endured a great deal of hardship growing up which led to a stint in prison. Today, he is one of the fastest-rising stars in the industry. His story is not even nearly complete, but already shows how self-belief and hard work can turn one’s life around.