Tee Grizzley has had a meteoric rise to relevance over the last half a year. After being arrested and sentenced to 15 months in prison for a robbery on the Michigan State Campus in 2015, Grizzley was released in October 2016 and dropped his song “First Day Out” in November.
“First Day Out” was an immediate hit and Grizzley became an overnight sensation. Tee Grizzley was suddenly on all the curated playlists and discussed as an exciting new prospect in hip-hop.
While he received plenty of praise from across the hip-hop spectrum, and was a finalist for the XXL Freshman list, Grizzley’s greatest cosign came from outside the music world entirely.
In the aftermath of the Cleveland Cavaliers loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, LeBron was right back in the gym showing off a new bald head and singing along to Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out.”
The video of LeBron went absolutely viral. Obviously anything LeBron does is met with wide public attention, but this particular video, a couple days after losing in the Finals, donning a new buzz, was the subject of wide internet conversation and part of the meme war between LeBron and Draymond during the Warriors’ parade.
Tee Grizzley had now gotten the infamous LeBron stamp of approval. Despite the fact that “First Day Out” had already been getting Grizzley attention, his numbers skyrocketed after LeBron’s video.
TMZ caught up to Grizzley in the airport and asked him how that LeBron cosign was working out. Turns out, it’s helped Grizzley go platinum. The Detroit rapper told TMZ,
“My record sales tripled after LeBron put that up. Shout out to LeBron, you done made me a couple dollars.”
Those are some pretty impressive numbers, especially for someone so new in the game.
This isn’t the first time LeBron has helped spark an artist’s career. Last year, Ohio rapper Jarreu’s “Really Got It” became the Cavaliers unofficial theme song, it even appeared in a LeBron Beats commercial.
Jarreau went on to perform the song at Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals, showing the power of the King’s influence.
Whether it’s Tee Grizzley, Jarreau, or Nipsey Hussle, a simple LeBron listening sesh can be a career-defining moment.