There are certain rap albums that will always stand the test of time. Dr. Dre’s Chronic, Nas’ Illmatic, OutKast’s Aquemini, and Jay Z’s Blueprint are a few rap albums that achieved critical acclaim while also redefining how rap should sound and be presented.
Jeezy joined that prestigious group with the release of Let’s Get It: TM101. It brought a new perspective of street life to the music while also creating a new sound with the help of producers Shawty Red, Drummer Boy and Midnight Black.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of TM101, Jeezy hosted a concert in Atlanta. A sold-out crowd packed the Fox Theatre on July 25 to reminise about that special moment and, also, witness history.
Backed by a live band, Jeezy hit the stage shortly after 9:30 p.m. dressed in all-black with a leather jersey that featured the words “Thug Motivation 101” stitched on the front. Several gold chains also hung from his neck as he opened with the song “Standing Ovation.” Shortly afterward, Jeezy was joined on stage by T.I. and Young Scrappy who performed the ode to Atlanta, “Bang.”
D4L’s Fabo joined Jeezy for “Geeked Up”; the original members of Boyz N Da Hood hit the stage to perform “Dem Boyz”; and DJ Drama also got in on the action by jumping behind the turntables and properly introducing several songs from their classic Trap or Die mixtape. Bun B rapped his verse from the title track “Trap or Die.”
Jeezy performed TM101 in its entirety, but also reminded his fans that there were dozens of other hits that followed his classic debut.
When Usher hit the stage to perform “Love in the Club,” it was obvious that the night would be full of more surprises. The first big surprise was Andre 3000, who joined Jeezy to perform the relationship inspired “I Do.” It was a big deal considering that Andre 3000 rarely performs and hasn’t hit the stage much since the OutKast reunion in 2014. Following the song, Big Boi joined Andre 3000 on stage as they both congratulated Jeezy on his success.
Once OutKast exited the stage, Jeezy took the moment to discuss the impact of Atlanta’s rap scene and expressed how he has always represented well for the city. It was the perfect introduction to his hit “Put On For My City” as the night’s biggest surprise, Kanye West, hit the stage in all camouflage to rap his verse.
Since the release of TM101, other trap music influenced rappers have gained prominence in the genre; however, their sound and style of rap was influenced by Jeezy in one way or the other. For one night only, it became apparent as to why TM101 was so important then and continues to have an impact today.
Photos: A.R. Shaw