After serving 30 months in a Federal penitentiary most would never have expected a would be Detroit rapper to rise virally overnight, but that’s exactly what happened as his debut video went on to be featured on most major blogs and stream millions of times. But overcoming the most dire circumstances is becoming a habit for Tee Grizzley after overcoming life’s obstacles, prison and the doubts of everyone.
But the single that has set him on a run is nothing close to fictional. Tee was really on his grizzley so to speak in the streets before landing in prison, as detailed by Genius all the crimes that were committed are detailed in “First Day Out.” Little did he know the first song out, after the pen, would garner over 20 million combined streams on YouTube and Spotify, landing him a deal with 300 Entertainment.
The unfortunate start for rapper born as Terry Sanchez Wallace, is all too familiar in the urban community. Living in an impoverished neighborhood, around the drug life and raised by his grandmother due to his mother and father’s frequent incarcerations. The Detroit streets in the 90’s were fighting an impending recession, rising crime and dilapidated streets serving as volatile petri dish of ill circumstance for Wallace.
In 2011 tragedy happened when his mother was given a 15 year sentence for drug trafficking, and within the next year his father was killed in the streets. “ You’re gonna have people that either love you or hate you, and in the streets, the people that hate you are going to want to kill you. It wasn’t for him necessarily, but the life he was living you know… I’ll never question what God did,” he told XXL in 2016 of the events.
But the streets that claimed his parents’ lives, nearly cost him his. After being caught for a jewelry store robbing gone bad in Kentucky, he was then extradited to Michigan for a series of home invasions in 2014 when he was a student at Michigan State. The case and situation would turn for the worse before it got better it seems, all things he raps about in “First Day Out” both admitting his faults and exuberant for making it out.
After getting released in October of 2016, Tee went directly to work recording the song and shooting the video, that immediately sky-rocketed. “It’s like a breath of fresh air, for me and my fans, because this type of music is really not around,” Tee says about the massive success of the song. “It’s kind of hard to tell your life story and state all facts and it still be sweet. A lot of people that tell their life story, it be boring, ain’t nobody wanna hear that. We wanna hear something hype, we wanna be turnt up. But I do it in a way where I’m telling my life and it’s still intriguing,” said Wallace about the song.
The three years Wallace spent behind bars, he actually used refining his bars coincidently, to seize his moment. And the time is now for Tee Grizzley, who dropped his first mixtape titled, ‘My Moment.’ The 13 track project has a wide range of styles, while the signature song that launched him remains the crowning jewel of pain and angst, there are plenty of great songs, like “10K’s”, “Day Ones” and “Catch It.” Grizzley shows more than just moxy and street allure in his bars, showcasing a technical skill and precise diction like many other Detroit rappers.
Aside from his debut mixtape, Tee Grizzley is fire hot right now with millions of hits on WorldStarHiphop with Lil Yatchy on “D to the A” and appearances by BandGang and even comedian Mike Epps. His buzz is so thick even Chris Brown & Trey Songz brought Tee out to a packed out show in Detroit. The future is bright for Tee Grizzley, so stay tuned on Gold Pager for more.