The Castle, a jewelry store located in Lexington, Kentucky, is home to what’s said to be “Kentucky and Ohio’s Largest Discount Fine Jewelry Dealer”. It is also home to a Detroit native’s first step towards a life of fame.
In 2014, three men were arrested for attempted robbery on the store; they were unsuccessful. After entering with hammers and attempting to rob the place, according to court documents, it was all stopped when the owner pulled a gun out and alerted the police. One of the alleged robbers involved was Tee Grizzley, a name that the world of hip-hop has come to know.
Grizzley was under arrest in Kentucky when he got word he would be extradited to Michigan to face the consequences for a number of home invasions he had a part in while he was attending Michigan State University that same year.
Tee Grizzley was sentenced to 18 months to 15 years in Michigan prison in 2015. He was released on probation in November 2016 after serving only three years total behind bars.
Before the crime that fled into Grizzley’s life, he had quite a few things going for him. He grew up in the Joy Road area of West Detroit in what was said to be a very violent and abusive environment. In 2011 his mother was sentenced to prison for drug trafficking and his dad was murdered a year after.
He was raised by his grandmother and even though some of his past might of been rough, he was the first person in his family to go to college.
While at Michigan State he founded a rap group called “All-Stars Ball Hard”. The group included three of his friends, one of which Tee Grizzley was good friends with.
“JR” , Jeremy Christopher Ford, was sentenced along with Grizzley for the trouble at Michigan State.
Just a couple days after his release in 2016, he dropped his number one hit single “First Day Out” that instantly raced off the charts on YouTube where the music video was posted. That track is what set Tee Grizzley up to be the icon of rap music he is today.
In the four minute and 15 second track, Grizzley goes through his life story. The first half of the song is Gizzley’s vocals over a very soft beat about all of the things that had led up to him spending time locked away.
He goes on for about a minute and a half and then Tee Grizzley finally reveals himself as a rapper. The beat drops, and he instantly takes off with a very unique, original Detroit-style sound. The way Grizzley raps for the rest of the song is what has got him to the image he has today. Through aggressive punches, he uses his knowledge of his past and how this is all behind him. Some people could describe him as angry, but in a way he’s actually happy.
Grizzley uses a great flow combined with lots of small but deadly bars to rap. He is not your average “trap” artist. He uses more than the street life and his drug influences. Some might compare him to 21 Savage, but ultimately Grizzley raps about the street in a more polished way.
With his first song out of the way, it was time to sit back and wait. Grizzley launched as a rapper and was on the top charts in no time. He got the attention of record label 300 Entertainment and ended up signing with them shortly after.
He stayed quiet until February when he dropped his second single “Second Day Out”, a sequel to “First Day Out”.
Just a little time passed before the rapper finally teamed up with another rapper. “From The D To The A” was released the next month; it featured Lil Yachty.
The song flat out shocked everyone. Before this song, it wasn’t apparent that Grizzley had the capability to add his voice into a collaboration. With this, Grizzley and Yachty took turns going back and forth throughout the duration of the track. Grizzley was in everyone’s ears for weeks, and people began to take note of the 23-year-old.
Later that month Grizzley didn’t fail to impress. “No Effort” was released to the public and was also put onto his YouTube channel. The song trended and was drawing interest from a lot of popular rappers.
Then on April 7, he gave us his first project. “My Moment” his debut mixtape hit the headphones and stereos of people everywhere. The album included 13 songs, including “First a Day Out” and “No Effort”.
Despite having no features on the album, it hit the top charts quickly. Popular songs on the album included “Country”, “Catch It” and “Overslapped”. Grizzley gave fans what they have been familiar to hearing, plus a little more with some songs just like his first part of “First Day Out”. The soft beat with vocal rapping is looking like another option for him he’s going to stick with using.
The album was very successful, and even got some publicity from an Instagram post by Lebron James.
Tee was quiet until the summer. He created “Teetroit”, song about Detroit and why the city is the way it is. He used his aggressive, punch-line style with expressing his feelings on where he grew up and what the city is like.
Most recently, Tee Grizzley has proved himself yet again with a collab between him and Philadelphia native rapper Meek Mill. Both are known for their street style bars, and blending them together was more than just a good idea. “Beef” was released on the first of September.
The song included a repeating hook, as well as back and forth verses between Grizzley and Meek at the second half of the song. The sound was crazy, and definitely took the culture by storm; it still remains up at the top of the charts.
It’s not obvious if Tee Grizzley will be releasing music soon. In the media, he isn’t a person who puts out information clearly.
Through interviews, he has expressed his interest in possibly working with several well-known rappers such as Eminem and Kodak Black.
It will be very hard to predict what’s next for his future, but he has proven he will rise to the occasion.