The story of Tee Grizzley is not a simple tale of rags to riches. It is a testimony of overcoming adversity. Monday night, in a packed Fillmore theater, Grizzley thanked his hometown of Detroit for their continued love and support. “Y’all support is keeping me off the streets…out of the system”. He wanted to make it clear that Detroit is riding along with him on his journey to the top.
The fans rapping along to the gritty lyrics of Detroit’s newest star know from his music alone that Tee Grizzley’s life was far from easy. In 2015, after being arrested for robbing a jewelry store in Lexington, Kentucky, Grizzley served 9 months in prison. For many, these events would be the final chapter of their story. However, the time spent in prison forced Grizzley to take his rapping and writing more serious than he had in the past. His new life experiences added depth to his music that would result in an unbelievable success that he couldn’t have possibly saw coming.
Just a month after being released from prison, he dropped the single “First Day Out” and it became an instant smash hit. The song was on heavy rotation on the radio and the clubs. It even received head nods from the likes of Lebron James and Jay Z. The song grew to become certified Gold and recently earned the rapper two Bet Hip Hop Award nominations.
Detroit was the last stop for his Ain’t It A Blessing Tour. From the top balcony on down to the main floor, fans rapped the lyrics word for word. Many tried to rush to the front of the stage as Tee Grizzley gave handshakes and high fives to fans below. A testament of how Tee Grizzley’s career has grown in such a short period of time.
Wanting the audience to take in every word, Grizzley performed two songs in acapella. Words of struggle and liberation echoed throughout the entire theater. He gets his audience. A rare connection that he shares with his fans. There were people in attendance who could relate to his journey. Even for the ones who haven’t experienced the life Tee Grizzley raps about, his transparency made it easy to vibe to his performance and respect his hustle as an artist.
The night saw performances of cuts from his mixtape My Moment, the recent hit “No Effort”, an encore of “First Day Out” and an appearance by rapper Little Yachty. Being a new artist hitting the road for the first time, the concert was impressive. As Tee Grizzley’s career grows with new albums and singles, his stage show and performance will become larger and stronger. Detroit is eager to see what his next chapter will hold.