DETROIT (WJBK) - The chart topping rapper Jeezy surprised Detroit kids with a pep talk Tuesday night. He was a little late arriving but many said that he did not disappoint.
"If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough," he said to the children. "This world is big. Do whatever you want to do. Don't let anybody tell you what you can't do."
Words of wisdom from a man who lived them. Atlanta hip hop artist Jay Jenkins, better known as Jeezy, was in town promoting his new album Trap or Die 3 and taking time to talk with Detroit kids about what it takes to make it in life, regardless of where they start.
"Don't let your situation or your circumstances hold you back," he said. "Because that's not it. If anybody tells you that, they are lying to you. I am living proof of that - I am standing right here."
Jeezy says he grew up in a trailer home, in poverty and got into selling drugs before making it big in rap and leaving that lifestyle behind. He partnered with FM 98 WJLB and the Franklin Wright Settlements to make a surprise visit with the non-profit's afterschool program.
"I really have a lot of love and respect for everyone from this city," Jeezy said. "Because you are tough, you do go hard. And the reason I represent you so well is I feel the same way. I came from the bottom and I strive every day to get to the top."
The Atlanta artist has strong ties to Detroit to go along with his large fan base here.
FOX 2 talked with him about the presidential election. The rapper rhymed about Obama's ascension to the white house, says he's not voting for Donald Trump.
"I have a lot of respect for Hillary for getting that far because she's letting women know the sky is the limit as well," Jeezy said. "As far as (Trump), I'm a taxpayer, I don't believe him. I don't believe he's going to help inner-city kids or help our city."
On stage City Councilwoman Janee Ayers presented Jeezy with the Spirit of Detroit award--saying he embodies the best of what Detroit has to offer.
"We talk about what it means to be a Detroiter, it means we have a little bit of grit to us, we always look out for our brothers and sisters," said Ayers. "He has his Street Dreams Foundation which is something that does good philanthropy things in Atlanta. So the fact that he's here talking to our kids, that means a lot."
And his message hit home.
"He said when people tell him he couldn't do it, he said he worked 10 times harder than he did before," said student Shawn Pierce.
Jeezy stuck around to take pictures with fans and mentioned that he has plans to invest in Detroit real estate although had no word on details.