- 10:09 AM, Jan 17
Webbie's childhood was particularly hard for he was raised in a tough part of Baton Rouge, Lousiana. He was born Webster Gradney, Jr. on September 6, 1985 and reared in Rough Sherwood where its crime rate was ranked the second highest in the nation. "It's real gutta," he recalled. "But it's nice if you mind your own business. When I'm gone for too long, I be missin' it. That's where I'm from, that's home." When he moved to Glen Oaks few years later, it was not much a change for the area was also still considered 'harsh' for young kids. Gradney however, was keen on developing his artistic side that is by starting to rap at the age of five. He had a cousin from California who taught him how and introduced him to many "gangsta" rappers who had set a name out there like Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Eazy E, UGK and many more. Apt to his life condition, Gradney relates his personal issues being brought up in the tough part of the world to his music. Unfortunately his mother Jocelyn who brought the music influence to him at the first place gave up her life to cancer when he was only 8 years old. He would later recalled that his mother liked to dance to her favorite tunes and somehow introduced him to the kind of life with music. Gradney moved on with his life, juggling his time between rapping and school.
His father and grandmother took turns in raising him, consequently leaving him to depend on himself in school works. He was not the picture of a perfect student. Teachers often gave him poor grades and he was often expelled for fights although he admittedly said that he cared about school so much. In life outside school, Gradney thrived on his rapping skill that he was signed by local label Get Money Boys by the age of 11. He was writing, having gigs and meeting important people that would later help him in launching his career. When urban music splashed its influence thicker in the nation, Gradney moved on with bigger label, Trill Entertainment. The rapper who was only 15 years old was signed to the recording house which was co-owned by the late rapper Pimp C of duo UGK. Together with Lil Boosie, he recorded several indie tapes and slowly became a commodity to rap scene. The teen who was by then known as Webbie began to release singles to urban radios and surprisingly received favorable response. "Gimme That Pussy" and "Bad Bitch" that were released in 2004 managed to turn a few heads, leading to the successful release of his first album, "Savage Life" in July 2005. The debut reached #4 on Billboard Hot 200 and had been certified Gold by the RIAA as in February 2008.