Some great advice can go a long way, so building off of this premise, Spotify’s latest podcast, Best Advice, features both up-and-coming artists and legacy acts opening up about their successes and missteps throughout their careers. On each episode, guests reflect on the advice that they’ve received from mentors, collaborators, family members, and confidantes, as well offer their own insight to help others navigate the worlds of music, commerce, and creativity.
In her conversation with “Put On” rapper Jeezy, host Kim Taylor Bennett got him to touch a number of different topics, including the importance of self-care, preserving your mental health, and forgiveness.
“Another thing that I had to learn when you come out of the streets and you start getting money, and you’re putting things in your bank account, you just like, ‘Oh, I got all this.’ But here’s the thing: You gotta take care of your star player. You gotta take care of yourself,” he said.
He then told a story about how prior to the release of his major-label debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, he began to suffer medical complications that required surgery. Slight problem: he didn’t have health insurance.
“I was buying all these things, but I didn’t have the things that really matter in life. I don’t have insurance,” he continued. “[If I get sick] I’m thinking I’m gonna pay for it. [...] I got the money and I got sick. It happened right before the release of my first album and it really scared the shit out of me because here I am just getting out of the streets and I had to get surgery. I gave them the money for my surgery in a brown Krogers’ bag. If you know Krogers, that’s a grocery store here. So it’s in a brown bag and they’re like, ‘Huh?’”
He also shared his thoughts on transcending beyond merely being an artist.
“At the end of the day, you are a business. You are the brand,” he said. “When I started understanding what it was to know how to invest, what it was to buy real estate, what it was to use my likeness to use that for leverage to be a part of a brand for equity. But those conversations came by being in other rooms and talking to people that were outside of my comfort level. And we as artists, sometimes you know we’re the leaders of our pack.”
He then addressed the Black Lives Matter movement and how it’s impacting the world in ways he didn’t expect.
“I just had Demi Lovato on my podcast and she explained to me what she was going through when she was watching everything happen,” he began. “When the riots and the killings were going on. I just heard a perspective and I’m like, ‘Damn.’ She’s telling me she was sitting in the house, she was crying, and you just wouldn’t think that it would affect certain people in certain ways.”
He continued, “If it’s in you to speak out and speak up then you should do so. If you are doing it for personal gain in a self-serving way, I don’t think you should do that, it’s not real. […] We’re in the middle of a civil war no matter how you cut it, you know.”
Check out Jeezy’s episode of Spotify’s Best Advice below.