The man named Jacoby White has seen his fair share of ups and downs. He has touched his dreams — and maybe even tasted them — but greed and selfishness abound in the industry we label “entertainment” has been known to hider the best of the best. So Jody Breeze has had to make his own way to the table. And he’s ready to clear the air about the past so that there are No More Secrets and he can meet his present-head on-and move into a future that can only be his.
Throught out the triumphs, Jody has managed to always stay on his grind, recently starting his own label, Young Gunna Records (Atlantic, Interscope, Koch are noted as possible label homes), while constantly doing shows to keep his name in the mouths of those who are willing to listen. Fans of his can’t help but feel that the man has been trapped by his own talent. As he hit the national scene in 2004 with his single “Stay Fresh,” featuring mentor Jazze Pha (and also featuring then-newcomer Ciara), Breeze seemed torn between his playa side and the street lyricist that would become more apparent as he released music as part of Boyz N Da Hood soon after.
Jody was discovered as a teenager while doing a rap battle in Macon by Jazze Pha’s manager, Noon. Soon after, the young star was given the opportunity to be a part of a supergroup — originally slated to be Breeze, Trick Daddy, T.I., and Sean Paul of the Youngbloodz — and he put his solo album on hold to show loyalty to the fledgling group’s solidarity. But the other artists in the group at the time kept releasing new solo material. This prompted Jody and group founder Russell “Block” Spencer to opt for a lineup of up-and-coming artists. Enter Big Gee, Duke, and soon-to-be-superstar Young Jeezy. Boyz N Da Hood was born.
Meanwhile, Jody’s solo aspirations began to take a back seat as Sho’Nuff Records and Jazzy Pha began to experience success with Ciara’s solo career. “Jazzy’s on that playa shit, that’s who he is. At the time, I was straight off the block,” remarks Breeze. So naturally, he gravitated to the success he experienced after the group released “Dem Boyz.” “At the same time, I had a real fan base over at Sho’Nuff,” explains Jody. “It was easier for me to do the [stuff] over with Boyz N Da Hood. It seemed like that hood shit popped off before that Sho’Nuff shit. So I did the whole album. I did the whole 2nd album. Then Jeezy started poppin wanted to go and do his own shit. I was a young nigga, didn’t know nothin bout the rap game. I was in the middle of Sho’Nuff/Warner Bros. and BlockENT/BadBoy. But I was the nigga that stayed down. When I got signed, that’s when everything [deals] started poppin’ off for everybody else. If I would have known what I know now, I would’ve went straight for mine. But that’s what’s wrong with the streets these days [too]: no more loyalty, period. Everybody’s out for themselves. I’m just not that type of nigga.”
Jody is also valued as an award-winning songwriter, having written for Cee-Lo, P. Diddy (two BMI awards), Lloyd, and Yung Joc. “I never really wanted to write. But, that’s where the money is at. I want to touch every part of the game,” he explains. Speaking of game, did you know Jody Breeze grew up idolizing basketball? He even wanted to play professionally. “That’s what makes my situation so special. I never was looking for a deal. I wanted to get off the streets. My daughter was being born. I had to do something.” He lists the hometown Atlanta Hawks as his favorite team and Allen Iverson as his favorite player.
When asking Jody to predict his musical future and name artists he would want to collaborate with, he names “The-Dream and if I could I wish I could get Lauryn Hill out of retirement.” He remains close with Jazzy Pha, likening him to “an uncle”. He recognize that each other is genuine. He is one person that has never changed. I know he’s there no matter what” He considers Block “like a brother” to him, “because sometimes we have misunderstandings and we don’t always agree but I still have so much love for him, though. I used to ride around wit this nigga everyday and the only thing I can say is that at the end of the day, I kept it real.”
At the time I interviewed Jody, we were seven days into a new era in the office of the President of the United States. I asked him to comment on this. “It’s BIG right now. It’s been a long time coming. Once everybody realizes that color doesn’t really mean anything. If we don’t understand that we’ve all got to come together then the only thing we will be celebrating is that we’ve got a black president. This is bigger than black people. Now, don’t get me wrong because African-Americans have been waiting on this for a long time but we can’t make a change if we all aren’t on the same page. I don’t care what color you are. I can speak first-hand that there are those in our judicial system that do not like that [Obama is president]. My advice to the young people is to stay off the streets, this is not the time to catch cases.”
Jody Breeze boasts that he is the “coolest person you’ve ever met,” when the spotlight isn’t on, and he is the man born Jacoby White. “I surround myself with people I know really care about me. I just like to have barbeques and hang out with my boys.”
To hear more from Jody Breeze, he just dropped a mixtape with DJ Teknikz entitled NO MORE SECRETS. And with a new distribution deal, he is in the studio working on his new album due next year under the working title HIGHLY ANTICIPATED.
“I want to thank all the fans who have been there and supported me thrhoughout the years. What rappers don’t understand is fans can like your ad-libs, or like your hooks, or even your verses, but it takes a REAL fan to like you for who you are. If a person can’t feel like they can come up to you and say what’s up, then why do this? Anyone that wants to get at me, can get at me. Everything happens for a reason. I do not regret one thing.”
Check out Jody Breeze in “Stay Fresh”
Check out Jody Breeze (and Boyz N Da Hood) in “Dem Boyz”