Though these days producers and artists do most of their collaborating via the virtual world, when Jeezy‘s spotted his match he goes the traditional route… and then some.
In the October issue, GQ reports that the 33-year-old rapper moved into the Atlanta home of gritty producer Shawty Redd in early 2010 to record the bulk of his long-anticipated LP, Thug Motivation 103. “I had just got off tour with Jay-Z when Shawty got home, I went to his crib, we chopped it up and finally I said, ‘I’m gonna go home and grab my stuff,'” Jeezy says. “Shawty was like ‘Grab what stuff?’ I came back with all my clothes and shit and moved in.”
Descending into Redd’s basement for three consecutive months—Cinnamon Toast Crunch on deck—Jeezy compares his local hideout to Kanye‘s popular oceanfront getaway. “‘I hear Kanye say, ‘There are so many distractions that I gotta go to Hawaii to record.’ Well, I guess that basement was my Hawaii.”
As for Redd (who had recently been discharged from jail in March on a January murder charge), it was impossible to shun his new roommate. “When Jeezy told me, ‘You saved my life. If you didn’t make me focus on this music, I’d be dead or locked up. Now it’s my turn to help save you.’ That was the deepest moment for me.” —Tracy Garraud