4. Young Jeezy, Trap or Die (2005)
These days he's an executive at Altantic Records, but back when Jeezy released his second DJ Drama mixtape, he had a different occupation—and it wasn't rapping. The Snowman spends most of this 26-track opus underscoring that point, nowhere more indelibly than on "Miss Me With That Rap Shit."
Trap or Die was more than just a declaration that Jeezy was about that life; it was the start of a whole new movement in Southern hip-hop. Sure, T.I. had dropped Trap Muzik two years earlier, but ATL rap changed forever when Jeezy started groaning those "Yeeeeah" ad-libs. Everything about this release is historic, from the Shawty-Redd-produced title track to "So Icy," the song that helped spark a long-running rift with Gucci Mane.
This mixtape didn't just certify Jay Jenkins as a street legend, it also established DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz as the definitive Dirty South mixtape series. —Rob Kenner