The patron saint of the hood and the hustle celebrates his birthday today (Sept. 28). His name is Jeezy and he turns 38 years old.

Jeezy has long been considered one of the realest rappers in the game to most who aren't named Freddie Gibbs. It's partially because of his back story: He was grinding down in Atlanta before seemingly willing himself to mainstream success. The rapper was releasing albums independently before signing with Def Jam records. In 2005, he delivered his major label debut with Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101. The album was a hit, and "Soul Survivor" featuring Akon (who's adept at making hood anthem hooks despite his bass-less singing voice) rose to ubiquity.

His distinctive voice and his memorable ad-libs -- basically common terms with the syllables stretched, as if Jeezy is willing them into catchphrases -- stayed within the hip-hop consciousness through the millennium. He even ended up in unexpected places; you could argue that it's his laugh that truly makes Kanye West's best single "Can't Tell Me Nothing" stick.

These days, Jeezy is preparing to uphold the title of hood savior. His eighth album, Church in These Streets, comes out Nov. 13.

Listen to Jeezy's "God"

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