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Compton Rapper Teeezy Says “Rapping Is A Dangerous Ass Job Now”

July 20, 2023

Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!

The West Coast is home to a slew of talented artists. Los Angeles, specifically, seems to be the hub for some of the realist MCs you can find, and most might not be in the mainstream light.

Insert Teeezy, who’s here to tell his story through his rhymes. Bringing that same authenticity, hustle, and grit from the streets, the rising star knows he has the talents to make it in the big leagues, and he wears his confidence on his sleeve with each release.

Most recently, Teeezy unveiled the official music video for “Members Only,” a West Coast anthem that gives you a glimpse of his roots and where he comes from. He spits on the chorus: ”I’m a gang member, girl i walk with a limp. I don’t trust s###, only talk when I sip. All death darts at the top of this clip. It’s a rag on the left, you can tell I’m a Crip.”

Beyond the music, Teeezy is as loyal and passionate as they come. He’s currently a father to his 10-year-old daughter, which gives him purpose and drive to continue on the grind — whether it’s music or hustling.

AllHipHop caught up with Teeezy in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his sound, roots in Compton, being from the streets and doing music, “Members Only,” rapping being a dangerous job, and more!

AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?

Teeezy: I really make good music. I don’t rap about b#######. To me, I got the greatest sound. I don’t really like to categorize myself. A lot of people will say I make street music, this or that, but I make real rap. When they classify my music, they classify it as real rap.

AllHipHop: Being born and raised in Compton, what was that like growing up?

Teeezy: S###, it was cool. It was alright. We were gangbanging like a m###########, a whole lot of b#######. [laughs] But it will make you happy at the same time. It’s f##### up, but it’ll make you. It forced the young n*ggas from around here to grow up way earlier than regular society. It’s life or death.

AllHipHop: When’d you fall in love with music?

Teeezy: I wrote my first rap at five years old. I still remember six bars of that s###. [laughs]

AllHipHop: Damn, that’s super young.

Teeezy: Hell yeah, my mama was a rapper. She was tight. Moms was hard.

AllHipHop: Who did you grow up listening to?

Teeezy: I guess you can say the normal ones was Tupac, Biggie. I was big on all types of music. I like Eric B & Rakim. I was off the Snoop fasho. The Ja Rule back in the day. I was really off everything, not even gonna lie. I’m super musically inclined.

AllHipHop: When did you realize you could do music for a living?

Teeezy: I’ma say 2009. I was f###### around, but I didn’t really take it serious. In 2010, s### I had started rapping and I took off with that s###. Me and a little f###### group. [laughs] We were kind of big, then I ended up going to jail and everything fell apart. Everything stopped when I went to jail man, the whole music s### stopped. Everything was over with.

AllHipHop: What’d you get locked up for?

Teeezy: A little b####### robbery, a robbery they framed me on. B####### too. It wasn’t even for nothing. It wasn’t even worth it, at all. That’s what I always tell these young n*ggas: if ya’ll gon’ do something, just realize that little s### will really f### you up for the future.

AllHipHop: How long were you behind bars?

Teeezy: That first one, I did two years. I came home, then went back. Another four years at 80%.

AllHipHop: What happened the second time? 

Teeezy: Possession for sales. B####### again. When I left that first time, I lost all my buzz. I had to start all over. 2018, I realized I really had it again fasho.

AllHipHop: What happened then? 

Teeezy: I dropped a freestyle, and the freestyle went viral. After that, man I really could do this s### again. My mom already told me, “give the music a year.” I was already iffy if he wanted to give it a year or not. She was on some “well, give this m########### a year and you finna have to figure something out.” [laughs] I was like f### it, I’ma take it seriously. I dropped a freestyle, boom. The freestyle went viral. I started doing Freestyle Fridays. Every Friday on Instagram, I never missed one. Next thing you know, that s### took off. That became my life, my everyday life.

AllHipHop: Let’s talk about “Members Only.”

Teeezy: “Members Only” is the single I just dropped,it’s lowkey the anthem of the city right now. Everybody off that m###########. To keep it real, that started off freestyle too. I went to freestyle that at my boy’s podcast, The Corner Store LA. I freestyle a track on there, and that s### went viral. It took off. Man f### it, I’ma put it on a track and that s### end up catching. It caught good right now. It’s an anthem for the city, everybody off it. It came to a n*gga out of nowhere. Chillin’ with the homies, this whole song popped in my head. On God,I didn’t think it was gonna take off to be where it’s at right now.

AllHipHop: Best memory from the video shoot? Did I see Saviii3rd in there? 

Teeezy: Yeah, Sav was there. AB popped out for me, my boy Yak popped out of course. The best memory from the video shoot was this d###### breaking the f###### window. [points to manager] He’s an a###### man, m############ can’t control their liquor.

AllHipHop: You have to pay for it?

Teeezy: Hell yeah we had to pay for that s###. [laughs] Don’t worry about it, we charge it to the game.

AllHipHop: Where do you stand on the streets?

Teeezy: That’s a hard question. I guess you could say now I’m a rapper and s###. It’s hard breaking the seal on gangbanging and only gangbanging. I’m definitely not what I was, what I used to be. I’m stuck in the middle man. That’s a hard answer to give, I don’t know. I really don’t know that.

AllHipHop: Do you feel like you have to step away for the music?

Teeezy: I feel like I gotta pick one, I’m either gonna do the music full or I’ma do the streets full. There’s no in between. That’s a hard decision, to give up the only thing you knew forever, to go pursue something that you don’t didn’t know nothing about. I know now, but…

AllHipHop: You still walking the fence?

Teeezy: Nah, I’m a rapper.

AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?

Teeezy: I want them to know that anybody could do this s###. I’ve been shot the f### up, car accident, jail back to back, everything. I’m still on top. I’m still in a position of comfort. I don’t need to rob, steal, kill, none of the extra b#######. Anything is possible. Really this is for the younger generation, m############ that’s blind and don’t got no direction. Anything is possible. They told me I was supposed to be dead, at 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23. I’m still right here making music. That’s an important message.

AllHipHop: You knew MoneySign Seude?

Teeezy: That’s my dawg, I got a song with him. That one f##### me up. Rapping is a dangerous ass job now. Rapping is dangerous, that’s another thing a lot of people don’t get. A lot of people see the chains, money, fame. Anytime you step outside, it’s a high chance of anything. A super high chance. You got people hating on you because of what you done made for yourself. N*ggas feel they get a piece of the pie. You got n*ggas who want your chain, your name, your spot. On top of that, it makes you a trophy? to anything that’s opposing you. You gotta know all that s### when you’re pursuing this s###. If you do pop, not only do your name and your image go up, but the level of danger you’re in goes up. No matter where you’re at. Any place, any state. In jail, on the street, whatever.

AllHipHop: What sets your next project apart from your previous?

Teeezy: I’ll always have The Fkn Blue Devil, but this right here is one of my biggest projects. I put a lot of love into this. The rest, I was just making music. This one right here is going to be my first project I drop at the level I’m at right now. Whole different sound, whole different everything.

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