The 2005 single from Jeezy’s Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would go on to become one of The Snowman’s biggest hits. In a recent interview on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast, Akon admitted he wishes he never gave the song away.
“One record that I gave away that I felt like, ‘Damn. I should keep’ was ‘Soul Survivor,'” he said about an hour long. “I gave it away and I was like, ‘Man, I should have kept this record, God!'”
Elsewhere in the interview, Akon spoke fondly of “Soul Survivor,” saying that Jeezy requested the song within an hour of listening to it because he knew it was a hit.
“It’s one of my favorite records, too,” he said. “At the time, BMF was a group from Atlanta that was just killing it in every aspect. [Big Meech] was a really, really good friend of mine and he said, ‘Listen Kon, I have this artist guy, I need your help with it. I promise man, I’ll look after you, wherever you need me, I’ve got you.’
He continued, “I said, ‘Man, whatever bring him.’ He brought him off the studio and Jeezy was so raw at the time. I thought, ‘Brother, this kid, I don’t know where you found him, but he’s out of here. Just like he’s out of here.’ So Jeezy played me his mixtape at the time and I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’
“So when I got to the studio, I reached back to Meech and said, ‘I got him, trust me.’ that!’ He knew as he knew. The hour didn’t pass; he sent me back the song with his lyrics already on it. I thought, ‘Oh yeah, this is a monster record.’
Akon previously talked about his Jeezy collaboration in a 2019 interview with HipHopDX, where he elaborated further, saying that he found “Soul Survivor” “necessary” to Jeezy’s success.
“I had just signed Young Jeezy and I was like, ‘This record is necessary for him right now because he’s actually in a position where he can say it,'” Akon said. “Not only will it be believable, but he went through it with BMF [Black Mafia Family] movement and everything that was going on around us. It was like the perfect, perfect record.”
He continued: “Then I diversified a bit more into the pop world and slowly moved away from street records so I felt like it was the perfect segue into through him but also out at the same time, you know what I say?
“So that record was very strategic in terms of how we put it out. At the same time, I could continue to get street cred from the record but still be separate on my pop side where it didn’t affect the record I was putting out with Gwen Stefani [laughs].”
In other Jeezy news, the Atlanta icon is fresh off the release of his new Gangsta Grillz mixtape Snowfall featuring DJ Drama that dropped October 21st.