Discover: Detroit’s Own Tee Grizzley

Tee Grizzley’s demonstrative manner of storytelling has shifted the landscape of hip-hop. His raucous single, “First Day Out” instantly drew comparisons to Meek Mill’s unforgettable execution on the Dreams & Nightmares intro. First Day Out is an embellishment of the scenarios that Tee Grizzley has endured and overcame. The song does not have a hook, rather it boasts multiple verses that glide over jarring production from Helluva Beats.

Rough Exterior

The allure and appeal that surround Tee Grizzley arrives from the complexity of his reality. This man grew up on Joy Road in Six Mile, West Detroit without the guidance of important role models. In 2011, his mom became incarcerated due to a drug trafficking charge and one year later his father was murdered. At eight years old, Tee’s fascination with studios, music and the production process derived from his familial influences.

Detroit emcees like Blade Icewood and Streetlord Juan motivated Tee Grizz to pursue hip-hop and strive for stardom. When Tee went on to study Finance and Accounting at Michigan State University, he became the first member of his family to attend college. Regrettably, Grizzley participated in criminal activity even though he displayed the determination to reject the vices and debauchery that plagued his Detroit peers.

Veering off the Path

As an MSU freshman, Grizzley and an associate swiped over $20,000 dollars worth of laptops and cash as a result of robberies committed in residencies at Hubbard Hall. In the meantime, Grizzley fled the state of Michigan in favor of Kentucky where he committed a jewelry store heist. His plot failed when the store’s owner neutralized Grizzley and his conifdants as they were subsequently placed into custody.

Consequently, this budding Detroit artist faced a hefty prison sentence. Initially, he earned his ‘Grizzley’ nickname due to the angry and violent tendencies he displayed in the penitentiary. Rather than continuing the vicious cycle of hostile and malevolent behavior, Grizzley changed his perspective and decided to smarten up. He began to absorb knowledge from wise individuals and sold his television in exchange for literature.

Spiritual Wisdom and Knowledge

During a three year stint, Grizzley proclaims that he wrote five albums worth of material. His process of writing music without hearing the beat reflects his ability to never waste a bar. The music invokes emotional responses and encompasses a wide range of material. Throughout his life, Grizzley has strived to become a spiritual individual that conveys vulnerability and quality through open expression. His tales truly represent a bona fide redemption story.

Tee shot the video for “First Day Out” on the day of his release, thus rocking the same orange jumpsuit he donned at the Central Michigan Correctional Facility. The video, which took place outside of the prison grounds, became a viral phenomenon. The track touches upon topics such as loyalty, pride and vengeance.

Sales for the “First Day Out” record tripled once LeBron James posted his Instagram rendition of the song while exercising. During a series of tweets, Jay-Z mentioned Tee Grizzley and dubbed his breakout single as, “The best out.” Shortly thereafter, Meek Mill hopped on the remix as predicted due to their similar stylistic approaches. As of today, Tee Grizzley has one project out titled, “My Moment.” He is currently aligned with Kevin Liles and 300 Entertainment.

Composed by: Ian Romaker

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