“I used to hit the kitchen lights, cockroaches everywhere/ Hit the kitchen lights, now there’s marble floors everywhere.”
The opening line to the first track on “Thug Motivation 101” says it all. It’s definitely not your average rags to riches story, but Jeezy had a clear message: Life used to be this and now it’s that. No matter where you came from, I’m going to give you ambition to either make it out or make it where you are.
And that he did. “Thug Motivation 101” was released 10 years ago and 10 years later it still speaks to people in the streets, those who made it out and people who were never even there.
Critics can choose to focus on the term “thug”, but they’d be missing the bigger picture. If you’re really familiar with Jeezy and his music, you know it’s always been about the motivation.
“The world is yours and everything in it/It’s out there, get on your grind and get it,” Jeezy raps on “Let’s Get It/Sky’s The Limit”. Jeezy talks about taking advantage of opportunities and grinding from sun up until sun down to get the most out of life.
The lyrics are simple, but from Jeezy to a young man or woman out there who thinks they can’t make it out of their current situation, it speaks volumes.
Debuting at No. 2 with over 170,000 copies sold, Jeezy not only stayed true to himself and the people like him. He did it while remaining commercial friendly.
With five radio single releases, you were listening to “Thug Motivation 101” no matter if you liked it or not. Everyone remembers “And Then What”, “My Hood”, “Go Crazy” featuring Jay Z and “Soul Survivor” featuring Akon. And let’s not forget, “Trap Star.”
You didn’t have to cook, sell or smoke crack to thoroughly appreciate this album. It was something to rock out to whether you were on the block, the club, or at home studying for a test. The album is real and gritty, but it still sounds like feel good music. It inspired different people from different walks of life to keep pushing no matter the circumstance. It’s an honest piece of work. One his fans call a classic.
Now with over 2 million copies sold, “Thug Motivation 101” can still be played from beginning to end like it dropped yesterday. Jeezy took to his Instagram to express his feelings on the anniversary of his album.
“I’d like to thank my fans and anybody that was a part of my journey,” Jeezy said. Here I am, 10 years later doing what I love – motivating the people.”