Interview: Shy Glizzy Discusses His Mental Growth And His Mother’s Reaction To His Grammy Nomination (Video)

Shy Glizzy is one of the many young black Americans who found himself caught in the snares of the judicial system as a teenager. It’s unfortunate, but life is cheap in the ‘hood. Throw ten racks in the face of an aggressive, poverty-stricken youth and he’ll more than likely risk his freedom or life to secure that bag. Shy Glizzy was no exception. At 16 years old, the D.C. rapper served a 14-month bid for a robbery charge.

READ: Shy Glizzy Releases ‘Quiet Storm’ Album

Glizzy’s time in prison wasn’t a waste, though. Turning pain into art has proved fruitful for many. In Glizzy’s case, jail was a blessing in disguise. Behind the G-wall, the rapper, born Marquis King, began putting his life on paper, creating that hard knocking G sh*t that offers hope to those in similar situations.

The experiences Glizzy, 25, picked up from the 37th Street area of Southeast, Washington D.C., enabled the “Awesome” rapper to enter the studio with enough ammunition to speak a universal story that helps one anticipate and imagine a life outside of their everyday surroundings. This is an important and coveted role for Glizzy. When it comes to hope and reimagining life, many youth look to their favorite rappers as examples of tireless work habits and impacting lives.

“All of my homeboys see what I see now,” Glizzy says to VIBE. “I used to take a hundred ni**as with me. Now I may take 10. So, even if it’s just my Instagram, they seeing what I see even if they’re not with me.”

Today (Dec. 7), Glizzy, a.k.a Jefe, along with a handful of his homies walk through VIBE’s offices rapping, “It’s Jefe, homes,” an ad-lib from many of his songs. He’s come a long way from jacking rival crews back on the nation’s capital’s southside, but traces of the ‘hood still run through his veins. He still rolls with his day-ones. He’s definitely not into doing interviews — gangstas don’t talk too much. In fact, Glizzy spent nearly an hour energetically proving to VIBE why Lil Wayne is a better MC than Kendrick Lamar (Glizzy does believe that Kendrick is one of the better MCs of today, but he likes Lil Wayne better). But as soon as the interview started, Glizzy’s energy dipped to an unenthusiastic mood.

READ: Interview: Shy Glizzy Gets Serious About His Music And Leaving His Mark In Hip-Hop

Slumped in his chair with a “District of Columbia” hoodie covering half of his face, he speaks in a whispered tone and avoids eye contact. Glizzy is here on this muggy Manhattan day to promote his new project, Quiet Storm. In addition to discussing the soundscape – the follow-up to this year’s The World is Yours mixtape – Glizzy speaks on his Grammy nomination for his collaboration on Goldlink’s “Crew” record, growing mentally and more.

Watch his full interview above.