Webster Gradney, Jr., who performs under the mononym Webbie, is an American rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was signed to the independent Trill Entertainment label from 2003 to 2005. In 2005 he came into the hip hop scene in with "Gimme That" featuring Bun B. His songs "Bad Bitch" and "Swerve" were featured on Gangsta Musik, his 2003 group album with Lil' Boosie, and in the 2005 movie Hustle & Flow. Both songs are also on Webbie's debut album Savage Life which was released in the summer of 2005 under Atlantic Records. He is currently planning an independent biography movie called Ghetto Stories: The Movie with Lil' Boosie, based on their lives and lyrical themes.
Webbie was born as Webster Gradney, Jr. in Houston, Texas but moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His mother Joycelyn died of cancer when he was eight years old, so his parental care was split between his father and grandmother. Ever since he was five years old, he had been writing rhymes, and throughout his childhood he had become an avid fan of hardcore rap artists including Southern hip hop performers Master P, Eightball & MJG, the Geto Boys, and UGK, as well as West Coast rap such as 2Pac, Eazy-E, and Snoop Dogg. His admiration for hip-hop is attributed to his cousin from California. He attended Broadmoor Middle School, where he played fullback for the football team the Buccaneers. 7th grade math teacher Sean Fluharty described Gradney as a "quiet, mild-mannered student" and said "he was actually pretty good at math."
Under Trill, he recorded two albums in collaboration with fellow Baton Rouge-based rapper Lil' Boosie, Ghetto Stories in 2003 and Gangsta Musik in 2004. As Webbie's solo tracks "Gimme Dat" " were frequently featured in mixtapes, Trill began a deal to sign Webbie to the Warner Bros. Records subsidiary label Atlantic Records. He was signed there, and his major-label debut Savage Life was released in 2005, debuting at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2007, he wrote and performed on the track "Wipe Me Down" by rapper and began work on his follow-up album Savage Life 2 which was released February 26, 2008. It debuted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 72,000 copies its debut week. Singles from Savage Life 2 include "Independent"