By 9:30, the streets around Atlanta’s Visions Nightclub were already buzzing. With a line at the front door down the street and around the corner, and a massive crowd surrounding the VIP red carpet out back, Jeezy’s buzz was clearly about to climax with the release party for his major label solo debut. While guests at the VIP entrance struggled for position, various rappers, DJs, and industry figures strolled up the red carpet. Killer Mike, Too Short, Gangsta Boo, Ludacris and his DTP family, Khia, Jody Breeze, Boo da Boss Playa, Field Mob, and comedians Roland Powell and Shawty braved the sweltering July heat to come out and show support.
Venue: Visions Nightclub Location: Atlanta, GA Date: July 26th, 2005
Jeezy arrived fashionably late, well after 12:30, after the fire marshal had shut down all entrances. With Slim Thug and his CTE entourage in tow, Jeezy strolled the red carpet and greeted the media before heading into the packed nightclub (1). The path upstairs to the VIP section within the VIP section was overwhelmingly crowded and humid. Jeezy and co. moved (slowly) towards an ultra-exclusive section of the VIP where JayZ and Beyonce were hiding out from the crowd, alongside Ludacris. While everyone jockeyed for position, I moved to a slightly less crowded part of the club, where the open bar was adorned with snowmen (2). Just when you thought it was too late for a performance, Jeezy and co. hit the stage (3). Backed by his CTE artists Slick Pulla and BloodRaw, fellow Boyz N Da Hood member Big Duke, and a whole bunch of guys wearing all black, Jeezy’s crew runs deep (4, 5). Fellow BMF affiliate Fabolous made a guest appearance (6). Jeezy ran through a string of street hits (“Ova Here,” “Air Forces”) along with new cuts off his album (“Then What,” “Tear That Pussy Up,” “Soul Survivor”). The crowd was already familiar with the material, since bootleg copies of the album hit the streets weeks ago. Nonetheless, judging from the fans in the front row holding up copies of the actual album (7), it doesn’t look like the bootlegging hurt Jeezy’s Soundscan too much.
On one cut, Jeezy assured his folk on lockdown that he won’t enjoy the success until they’re home, but he still looked like he was enjoying himself (8). When 3 AM rolled around, the club turned off the sound system. Everyone left sweaty as fuck, but satisfied with a fire performance and a story to tell. Ain’t nothin’ like a gangsta party, right? - Julia Beverly OZONE AUGUST 2005
Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005