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“You can’t ban the Snowman,” the phrase used to ring out in 2005. By then, Young Jeezy had emerged from the mixtape circuit in Atlanta as a star soon to break out even further. On “Dem Boyz,” the lead single from his one-off album with the group Boyz In The Hood, Jeezy batted leadoff. It’s still one of his more memorable verses.

Armed with street cred, a penchant for hard hitting beat selection and memorable cadences, Jeezy crafted a classic debut album with Thug Motivation 101, mixing radio savvy with catchy ad libs and tales of the hustle. “Last time I checked I was the man in these streets,” the saying goes on “Trap Or Die.” Snowman T-shirts flocked the streets, forcing some schools to ban the shirts outright due to fear (or lack of knowledge) of what they represented.

Still, Jeezy persisted. When he decided to switch it up for 2008’s The Recession, he was still Jeezy who knew his core fanbase wanted hard hitting trap records. But he also made “My President Is Black,” which became the unofficial anthem for President Barack Obama. TM 101 was one of those debut albums you couldn’t escape in the summer of 2005. Thirteen years later, Jeezy is still cranking out hits and one of the greats in Atlanta rap history.

Dem Boyz- Boyz N Da Hood

My President featuring Nas

And Then What feat. Mannie Fresh

Put On feat. Kanye West

Lose My Mind feat. Piles

BLACK MUSIC MONTH COUNTDOWN: No. 25 – Future | No. 24 – J.Cole | No. 23 – Nicki Minaj | No. 22 – Rick Ross | No. 21 – Master P | No. 20 – Big Pun

Black Music Month Countdown: No. 19 – Jeezy  was originally published on