PHOTOS AND STORY BY DAN GARCIA
“Used to ask for a verse, they said $500. Now they want to do a record, n*gga f*ck your budget”, raps Miami-native Bizzy Crook on the title track for his newest mixtape No Hard Feelings. While these lines may come off as vengeful and a contradiction to his “no hard feelings” mentality, it really isn’t. Rather Bizzy Crook, like all great rappers should (but who often don’t), raps about his real life and true experiences, to a more personal level than most rappers ever touch. Whether he is writing about rappers who wanted to charge for a verse who later had a change of heart when Bizzy began to create a buzz, or even the darker moments of his life when he used to battle suicidal thoughts, Bizzy Crook keeps things authentic. And his name is no coincidence, as Bizzy stays busy as well, now touring with Wale as part of the MMG rapper’s Simply Nothing Tour. Fortunately though he was able to sit down with us after he rocked the crowd on his Milwaukee stop of the tour, to talk about his No Hard Feelings project, working with artists and producers like Pharrell, Nelly and Boi-1da, Chicago influences and more.
When we first met with Bizzy, we wanted to ask him about his newest project, No Hard Feelings, which was released at the end of last summer and has some big contributions from Lloyd and OVO Sound‘s Boi-1da, who has worked with artists like Drake, Kanye West, Eminem and more. “(Boi-1da) That’s the big homie. He has supported me for a minute.” And if working with some of music’s best young talent wasn’t enough, Bizzy has also been able to witness a couple rap legends at work in the studio, in Nelly and Pharrell. “I was around Pharrell while he was working with Nelly, on Nelly’s last album M.O. It was crazy watching his work in the process. It was a humbling experience.”
It was no surprise that working with big names is humbling to Bizzy, as Bizzy’s own “m.o.” is laid back and forgiving. When talking about the inspirations for his No Hard Feelings project, which by its own title spreads a message of forgiveness and moving forward, Bizzy explained that recording such a project was therapeutic in ways. “Absolutely it was like therapy. The whole project was like therapy.” But just because the man forgives, does not mean he forgets as his lyrics suggest.
“Used to ask for a verse, they said $500. Now they want to do a record, n*gga f*ck your budget.” – ‘No Hard Feelings’
Staying authentic Bizzy explained that not only was this lyric drawn from actual experiences, but it would happen often during his come up. “That was inspired by real life. It was happening to me so much, trying to grow up and come up into the game. And I get it, it’s all about the money, but I think artists should take the time out to listen when there’s something there so later they don’t look crazy”, Bizzy explained. “That type of sh*t just inspires me and always made me want to get bigger and go hard.” It certainly did inspire him too, as he recently put out his best project to date.
One of the most powerful things about Bizzy’s No Hard Feelings tape is its cover art, which complements the feel and sound of the project. The cover displays a pearl white background contrasted by Bizzy’s arm and hand, fingers crossed (which represents his Good Luck crew), with blood running down his arm and Rolex. “I wanted something that was going to tell a bunch of different stories in one image. If you look at it and then listen to the music, everything makes sense, as opposed to just looking at it. It’s like a whole picture.”
Finally, we of course talked to Bizzy about our hometown of Chicago, the same city of basketball legend Michael Jordan, whose rookie season inspired Bizzy Crook’s 84” mixtape. We asked Bizzy what it was like performing in the Windy City, as the Simply Nothing Touring had just made a Chicago stop before Milwaukee,”Chicago was love. We went out there, rocked out, had some good pizza.” We also asked him if he had any Chicago influences in his music, “Kanye of course. I like that Chicago sound. I like King Louie and shout-out to (Lil Durk).” Then to close our conversation with Bizzy, he told fans to stay tuned as he has a lot of big surprising coming up soon. So definitely do yourself a favor, take his advice and stay tuned now, as no one wants to come to the party late.