TeeGlazedIt Takes the Mil,000,000 Grind Out West
While on a two-week hiatus from shooting in Soulja Boy’s mansion out in Los Angeles, TeeGlazedIt stops to get a haircut before a video shoot with a local rapper. As he walks through several designer stores at Mayfair Mall with a wad of cash in his pockets, he is home, but the visit is strictly business.
Though Milwaukee hasn’t had its “Major Breakout Rapper,” TeeGlazedIt has been able to capture Milwaukee’s raw street talent behind the lens. His YouTube page is a treasure trove of street anthems filled with braggadocios rhymes that surf over “Slap” beats. The lyrics are violent, crude and laced in drug abuse, but they are honest. The music was a reflection of the drug dealer’s fantasy, but along with the highs, artists took a nosedive into lows. His videos transported listeners onto the street and into the trap house.
Though the filmmaker had dabbled in video work as a teen, it wasn’t until he began shooting with local up-and-coming rapper, Lil Chicken, when his videography career began to take off. The rapper’s off-kilter, garbled flow was infectious and TeeGlazedIt’s videos showcased his outrageous personality. After creating a buzz, he continued to collaborate with other rappers including: Jigg, Mari Boyz, Paper Team, MT Twins, Cap Drive Montana, Looney Babie, WeUpNexxt, Solowke, Bosses Havin Goals (BHG), among countless others.
“I just have an eye for raw, street talent,” TeeGlazedIt said. “Even if my camera skills weren’t up to par, I had the talent. Content was more important than anything because if you’re filming the right shit, people aren’t worried about quality. Quality is important, but there are different aspects to it.”
From the little boy opening his videos with, “It’s TeeGlazedIt Bitch!” to an entire music video based around ghost-riding a bright pink Cadillac in the middle of an intersection, creativity flourished and antics ensued. Rappers told their stories in their neighborhoods, alongside flashy transitions and drone shots of local landmarks. Video quality was improving, the people were listening and streams were skyrocketing.
Subscribers reached into the thousands and views pushed into the millions. TeeGlazedIt continued to grow as a filmmaker and entrepreneur. He created his Mil,000,000 (Million Dollar) Grind clothing line to promote and market his brand.
“I believe in my brand, it makes sense. It’s not just some stupid ass t-shirt. There is a lot of shit behind this. The Mil,000,000 Grind is relatable to everybody,” said TeeGlazedIt. “What person hasn’t thought about grinding for a million dollars?”
As he continued to collaborate with new artists and hone his craft, some of the talent that helped build the YouTube page originally, were stuck in their ways and dealing with their past. This hit especially hard when one of the most popular artists and his close friend, Lil Chicken, was locked up.
“I’m trying do something positive. I love the raw and hungry street shit, the grind but just like love, there’s another side to it that is destructive,” he said. “I was just tired of seeing all these rappers with so much potential go to jail. It’s just that for so many of these rappers, it doesn’t end well.”
After making several connections out in LA, he flew out to shoot with several up-and-coming rappers. He admired the opportunity the City of Angels had to offer. From the access to camera equipment and studios, to shadowing professionals, LA was the next step in his progression as a filmmaker and businessman. After making several trips over the course of a year, he ultimately made the decision to move from MKE to LA.
“It’s one of those cities where you’re either going to fall on your face or something magical will happen,” he said. “I love soaking up all that shit, I’m trying to be the best. It’s set up for you to win.”
Having worked with industry established rappers like Soulja Boy and Sauce Walka, TeeGlazedIt continues to extend his network.
Although LA is his home at the moment, he wants to continue to give Milwaukee artists and videographers a platform. He hopes to open opportunities for artists in the 414 the same way those in LA have been doing for him.
“I want to see my city win,” he said. “I want to be a part of some legendary shit.”