Young Jeezy receives Champion award for contributions to music, community – Atlanta News First

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Award-winning Atlanta rapper, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Young Jeezy was honored with the Spirit of the League Champion award at Tuesday’s annual Urban League of Greater Atlanta (ULGA) luncheon.

Young Jeezy, whose real name is Jay Jenkins, has had a monumental impact on music, culture, community, and business in Atlanta and beyond since he first burst onto the scene nearly two decades ago.

“I am honored to have been chosen for the Champion Award by Nancy Flake Johnson and the Urban League of Greater Atlanta,” he said in a statement to Atlanta News First. “The dedication and diligence that are demonstrated through the programs they provide assistance for to our underserved communities set a standard of excellence that we should all thrive to duplicate. I look forward to bridging the gap and doing my part to provide support to those in need.”

Jeezy, who often refers to himself as “The Snowman,” is known for his ground-breaking hits, platinum albums, and classic mixtapes. He has also impacted millions around the world with his inspirational story of overcoming personal trials and tribulations and turning his life around to become successful.

“Jeezy is a Georgia boy. He lived a street life at a young age and talked about how he turned his life around,” said Nancy Flake Johnson, President and CEO of the ULGA. “The Urban League of Greater Atlanta have really celebrated clients that go through our program, go through obstacles, take control of their lives, and give back to their community. Those who go through a lot of adversity, succeeded, and still give back to their community. That’s why we chose Jeezy to be the recipient.”

One of the key parts of the award ceremony and luncheon was Jeezy continuing to uplift and inspire youth about how to turn their life around and chase their dreams.

“His advice was to stay focused and stick to your dreams and avoid letting negativity pull you off your track. There are so many negative people out there,” she said. “He was involved in gangs and talked about being in the streets and being a product of his environment. He shared that his grandmother’s prayers and upbringing helped him turn his life around. She took him to church and poured love and guidance into him. She reinforced in him that he was a leader.”

Johnson said the Urban League of Greater Atlanta has previously honored people who have overcome obstacles and turned their lives around including several celebrities and youths.

Jeezy speaking at annual Urban League of Greater Atlanta award ceremony and luncheon(Myeisha Walker)
Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy speaking at annual Urban League of Greater Atlanta award ceremony...
Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy speaking at annual Urban League of Greater Atlanta award ceremony and luncheon(Cecintel Public Relations)

Previous recipients of the Spirit of the League Champion award include actor, producer, and philanthropist Tyler Perry, business owner and entrepreneur Pinky Cole, popular rapper and producer David Banner, and actress Monique Williams.

Johnson said Jeezy called Tupac one of his biggest influences and named Magic Johnson, Shaq, and TD Jakes as other role models in his life. He said what he admires about them is that what they’re known for is not the only thing that they have done in their lives. They’ve gone in multiple directions.”

Among other award winners at the ceremony included several youths who exemplified hard work, dedication and a strong desire to change their lives around. Some youths were involved in programs that helped to keep them out of trouble and to provide them with the resources to be successful. Jeezy encouraged them to always chase after their dreams.

Jeezy is best known for “Dem Boyz”, “And Then What”, “Go Crazy”, “Put On”, “I Got Money,” “Lose My Mind,” “Love in This Club,” “Seen it All,” “Air Force Ones,” “Dey Know Remix,” “Get Your Mind Right,” “So Icy,” Get Right,” “Top Back Remix,” “I Ain’t Gonna Hold You,” “Standing Ovation”, “Grew Up a Screw-Up and more.

“To this day, Jeezy goes out in front of a crowd of 20,000 and performs records that he put out in 2005 and will have entire stadiums sing word for word,” DJ Drama previously told Atlanta News First. “Because it was more than just music to them, it was a movement.”

In October 2022, Jeezy and DJ Drama released their hit collaboration album, “Snowfall.”

Jeezy is working on a new book titled, “Adversity for Sale” which is scheduled to be released in August. “He really wants the book to inspire people, to really push through and be their best selves. Tap into their own talents,” said Johnson.

“His full impact has yet to be realized,” Johnson said. “He doesn’t want to just be known as a rapper. He is an entrepreneur, he’s a businessman, he owns property, and he just wrote a book. I think he is coming into his full-blown own.”

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