Tee Grizzley Talks 'Still My Moment,' Finally Getting off Probation & Being the Current Face of Detroit Rap


Tee Grizzley continues to be on the highway to constructing a solidified fanbase and having the world fall in love along with his artwork, so the Detroit native had no drawback returning simply six months following his debut album to unleash the uplifting Still My Moment mixtape final Friday (Nov. 9).

On the tape, Grizzley interweaves his road tales with inspirational knowledge for the youth to chew on, however makes certain to maintain issues mild with some cheeky pop-culture digs. Tee even hilariously tried to slip within the DMs of Nicki Minaj final week.  

Billboard caught up with the 24-year-old on the eve of delivering Still My Moment, the place the "First Day Out" rapper exuded a refreshing exuberance since regaining his whole freedom after lastly getting off the hindering restrictions of probation in October. "Getting off parole is like strolling out them cells once more," he explains. "My profession is one-hundred % in my arms now."

Grizzley really crafted the undertaking over the summer season whereas on home arrest, however refused to let his unlucky predicament dictate Still My Moment's encouraging tone. The gritty MC is aware of he set the bar excessive along with his riotous "First Day Out" final 12 months, which reached hit No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100, however admits he's tremendous if that occurs to be his peak when it's all set and accomplished. 

Below, take a deep dive into our chat with Tee Grizzley, as we flesh out the parts of the rapper's Still My Moment, his turning into the face of Detroit rap, his hopes for prison justice reform and way more. 

After delivering Activated in May, what made you wish to come again six months later with a mixtape?

Tee Grizzley: I needed to return again. I don't really feel prefer it's an issue placing out plenty of content material, particularly for an artist like me. I'm nonetheless on the level the place I'm attempting to get folks to fall in love with who Tee Grizzley is. I'm simply going to maintain flooding the streets. There's plenty of music popping out nowadays, the music world strikes 200 miles per hour. Four months by at present's normal is sort of a 12 months. 

I noticed you lastly received off probation in October. Can you communicate to how a lot of a aid that's been?

Getting off parole is like strolling out them cells once more. There was plenty of stuff I couldn't do once I was on parole. I had a curfew, couldn't go to sure cities, couldn't be round sure folks, and also you miss out on plenty of alternatives. Once that was over with, my profession is 100 % in my arms now. I can do no matter I would like with it, and it felt good. I wish to do reveals in another country. Now, I can do all that form of stuff.

Stemming out of your theft prices, I believe I noticed somebody on-line calling you out for stealing their Xbox. Was that true and have you ever repaid these you probably did take from?

Yeah, lots of people are saying that. They simply need some a reimbursement, however I already paid everybody again who I received. I do know whose rooms I used to be getting into. I actually did my homework on who we have been about to get. So I already knew who it was when it got here to paying folks again. 

What do you wish to obtain with Still My Moment?

I simply needed to place out new content material, and that was the very first thing. I really feel like persons are going to like that I took my time on this. As far as the method of constructing it, I used to be on home arrest. I couldn't go away the home. The time I couldn't transfer, I simply gathered my ideas and put music collectively. This was round July and August. 

Even with you in that form of predicament, you continue to managed to make this undertaking about uplifting others. What impressed you to drive that message house all through the mixtape?

That's as a result of I want someone would've did that for me. If I had somebody that been by these sure issues that I knew I used to be most likely headed towards, it could have gave me some jewels or actual information. I most likely would've listened and went a special method. I mentor the artists I signal or the children I cope with within the neighborhood.

Do you're feeling the stress of topping what you achieved with "First Day Out" so early in your profession?

I'm not even going to lie -- once I'm within the studio, I'm not like, "Alright, let me make successful." I simply attempt to make good music to one of the best of my capacity. If it finally ends up reaching that, then it's a blessing. If that's my peak, I'm simply comfortable I received that top. 

On the undertaking's opener, you ensure that to pay homage to XXXTentacion. What was your connection to his music? I noticed you say "SAD!" was one in every of your go-to songs. 

"SAD!" is certainly one in every of my go-to songs once I wish to vibe. I shouted him out as a result of lots of people assume for those who're a rapper you then don't must go to this point with defending your self, however on the finish of the day, we're the targets. If I received 10 folks round me, the people who find themselves hating wish to get to me -- I received to be ready as a result of that may undoubtedly occur, if it did to someone as large as him. There's sure locations I don't even go round simply so I can hold myself out of conditions. 

During "1 Night," you contact on having a fractured house with one mother or father in jail and the opposite dealing medicine. What affect did which have in your upbringing?

It had a big effect on me as a result of it made me assume, "What do I wish to do?" I'm considering I might both be broke or get cash within the streets. My mother went to jail within the streets and I believed I wouldn't get locked up by doing it in a different way and never messing with the folks she was. That's all I used to be uncovered to. I believed that was the lifestyle. 

I by no means was an entire idiot. When academics would say, "When you all graduate, you gained't have anyplace to go" -- I'm the kind of individual taking part in chess and considering forward. I believed that was a very good query. Am I going to be winging it? I didn't wish to be in that place, so I set myself as much as go to school. So if all else failed, I had that to rely on and are available out on prime. 

How did you hyperlink up with Chance The Rapper for "Wake Up"? He was the right match for a document like that.

I knew Chance was the right individual to slip on there. Once I knew what I needed to make the track about, he was essentially the most certified individual, as a result of that's what he's actually on. I had put that collectively. On there, I'm speaking about stuff I simply want folks had informed me. It's not simply anyone telling you both. Of course, somebody that graduated school might simply say it, however I come precisely the place you come from. I'm telling you, that is one of the best ways to go, and also you'll hear it in a different way as a result of we received the identical experiences. 

"Hustlin" was a standout document to me. I appreciated the way you had Bryan Hamilton on their singing in regards to the streets. 

That's been my favourite track on there. I wrote that entire track once I was locked up. I didn't wish to sing it as a result of the imaginative and prescient I had for it wouldn't have been like I imagined. I can solely achieve this a lot with regards to the singing, however I needed someone severe for the lyrics on that track, so you possibly can really feel it. I requested Bryan to assist me carry that track alive and it got here out how I envisioned. 

On "Keep the Rest" you reference Tupac as your favourite rapper. What was about him that struck a chord with you whenever you found his music?

He's undoubtedly in my prime 5. I didn't hear anybody else speaking like he was. I grew up round different people who most likely performed a track or two, then I'd return house and analysis it. 

What message did you wish to go away folks with on the nearer "Babies to Men"?

I simply needed to carry folks into my upbringing. This is how we began off, and that is the place we're bringing it towards. We actually went from being little small children, [to] earlier than you knew it, we have been catching felony prices. There's plenty of household I received that's useless or locked up. We had occasions collectively the place I might have simply appreciated it extra. There's folks that also have them of their life however may not speak to them. 

Last month, I seen you have been hanging out Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. How's your basketball recreation?

Hassan is my man. We rock with one another heavy. I used to be in Miami capturing the "Hustlin" video and he needed to go to the gymnasium. We walked into the world, and plenty of Miami Heat gamers have been in there hooping already. I noticed D-Wade. I received some work on the market on the court docket, for certain. 

I really feel like we at all times see you within the studio with one other distinguished artist each week. 

I really feel like we're all friends, and it's good that we vibe as a result of metal sharpens metal. It's not even to get a track, it's nearly studying from them. A variety of these artists are who I be taught from. I'm doing a joint undertaking with YNW Melly. Me and Lil Durk are going to return with Bloodas 2. It's within the works, most likely January or early February. 

Do you're feeling such as you're one of many solely mainstream rappers representing Detroit within the truest sense?

I really feel like I used to be, however once I received the sunshine, I began shining it on different folks developing as nicely. I believe Big Sean is engaged on some new music. I locked in with him not too long ago. As far because the Detroit scene, I'd undoubtedly say I'm the face of that. 

With your experiences with the jail system, what prison justice reform would you hope to see within the coming years?

I'd somewhat see jail develop into a spot for rehabilitation. A variety of these guys are popping out worse. They're not studying something they usually come again into society with all that point wasted. They had time to consider how they might get away with the crime subsequent time. I wish to see education and studying trades so you'll be able to have a job whenever you come out. I've been in there, so I do know the battle. 

Before they arrive house, allow them to undergo one thing that helps put together them for a transition to society. They must learn to conduct themselves in interviews. You need to assume, we haven't even been round females. I wish to see higher meals and therapy of [inmates]. The meals is horrible. If you go in there, you gained't eat something for 3 days.