Young Jeezy, born as Jay Jenkins in Columbia, South Carolina, before moving to Atlanta, Georgia, in his teenage years, has become one of the most recognizable rappers on the hip-hop scene and has churned out a slew of hits that have brought him mainstream success. Soon after moving to Atlanta, Jeezy began his rapping career under an independent label and released Thuggin' Under the Influence in 2001, using his original stage name, Lil J. The first album proved to be a runaway hit in underground rap circles and the performer caught the attention of Bad Boy Records, which signed him to a recording contract in 2004.
Soon after joining the new record label, Young Jeezy joined the group Boys n da Hood, whose self-titled album would prove to be a major hit and would peak at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums charts. While this release proved to be a major boost for Young Jeezy's career, his demos began to circulate around the industry and caught the attention of Def Jam Records. Young Jeezy's major label debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, would sell 172,000 copies in its first week and would drop a series of huge singles. The track, "Soul Survivor" featuring Akon, proved to be Jeezy's highest charting single to-date, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and solidifying his status as one of the biggest rappers in the genre.
Young Jeezy took his newfound star status and relayed it into various collaborations, but his second major album release proved to be just as successful as his first. In 2006, Jeezy's album, The Inspiration, featured a bevy of new hits including "I Luv It," "Bury Me A G" and "Go Getta," featuring R. Kelly. He followed this effort in 2008 with The Recession, which dropped the singles "Put On" featuring Kanye West, "Vacation" and "Crazy World."
In early 2012, Young Jeezy released Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, which would prove to be another huge commercial success. The album featured collaborations with artists like Lil Wayne, Clipse, T.I. and many other big names. With a long list of rappers and pop artists chomping at the bit to collaborate with the talented artist, Young Jeezy is a breath of fresh air in the hip-hop world and seems to continue to crank out quality material with each release.