Last updated: 01/08/2014 10:13:41 AM
Webbie is the 19-year-old artist behind the hit song "Give Me That" feat. Bun B. currently blazing the Top 10 on the Rap singles chart. His given name is Webster Gradney, Jr., so, as you can imagine, his homies made it easier on the tongue and just called him Webbie for short.
Growing up in the ghetto of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at a time when it had the country's second highest murder rate, Webbie was the product of an unstable childhood. He experienced the death of his mom, Jocelyn, to cancer when he was just eight years old and spent his early teen years shuttling back and forth between his father and grandmother. He started writing rhymes as a release and his background is evident in his lyrics.
At the tender age of 15, Webbie managed to catch the interest of local bigshot Pimp c of UGK, who promptly signed him to his new Trill Entertainment label.
"Webbie [signed with Trill] after I was incarcerated, so I haven't had the chance to work with him," said Pimp C. "But I know he can take it to the top. He's got a knack for writing singles. I can see that already and it's still early in his career. Very talented guy."
Along with Lil Boosie, Webbie staked his claim with the Trill releases, Ghetto Stories and Gangsta Muzik, as well as the 2004 radio hits "Bad Bitch" and "Gimme Dat." His success led to to a Trillville deal with Asylum/Warner which gave him the opportunity to release on a major label. His brand new album, Savage Life, dropped July 5th and offers guest performances from Trina, Bun B, Cash Money's B.G., Big Head, and Mannie Fresh of Cash Money/Big Tymers fame.
Webbie is also among the crew of rap playas featured on the upcoming soundtrack to the critically-acclaimed independent film, Hustle & Flow. The set, due in stores July 12th features a remix of Webbie's "Bad Chick," featuring Trina, also on Savage Life.
When asked about his album's title, Webbie had this to say: "Everything I rap about is my life. It's like 'thug life,' but I call it 'Savage Life'. I don't know what I'd be doing if I wasn't rapping."
Those not able to see Webbie perform tonight at the New Orleans' House of Blues as part of his record release party, can catch him on the road. His promotional tour continues tomorrow and runs through the 15th where it'll wrap in Detroit. In the meantime, check the audio/video.