(AllHipHop Features) Since the age of six Bizzy Crook knew he wanted to be a rapper. The rising Hip Hop artist fell in love with the culture during his formative days in Miami and West Miramar, Florida, and while the 21-year-old grew up during the Golden Era of 1990’s rap, it is the previous decade that provides the setting for his latest mixtape 84.
After recording over a 100 songs and pushing back the tape’s original May drop date, Bizzy’s manager finally forced the studio addict to finalize the project just days before its October 21st release. The 16-track “free album” features appearances from Nelly, Estelle, King Los, Melody Thornton, and Daniel Daley and touches on the real life troubles, triumphs, and motivations occurring in Bizzy’s young life.
From reflections of signing with Love and Hip Hop‘s Mona Scott-Young to stories of battling depression to admissions of blowing a meeting with The Notorious B.I.G.’s former manager, BC shares it all in his music.
AllHipHop.com: Can you explain the significance behind the project’s name 84?
Bizzy Crook: ’84 was the year [Michael] Jordan was drafted among many other things. Michael Jackson put out a classic album that year. I think Godzilla came out that year. It just represents the beginning. The early beginning of something, and nobody could have expected it would be as legendary as it is today. Jordan for instance. In 1984 Jordan was drafted. At that time Michael Jordan was just a rookie in the game, and nobody expected for him to be the greatest today. That’s how I feel about myself. I feel like this project is me in 1984. Me coming in as a rookie, and I know what I’m going to do. I know I got a lot of work to put in before I get everybody else to believe.
It sounds like you went into this project with a concept of what you wanted it to represent. You don’t get that a lot from artists as far as their mixtapes. Why did you choose to make this a conceptual project?
Music is my journal. Music is my outlet. As a 21-year-old kid I go through regular 21-year-old kid stuff. There are things when you are 40 years old or 12 years old that you’re going through. That’s why I feel like my music really connects with the people, because it’s so relatable. I‘m not afraid to speak or address certain situations that I go through in my life, and that’s why this project is doing so well. So many young kids are just inspired by it which is initially the reason I fell in love with music in the first place.
You’re pretty open about your battles with depression and you talk about suicide on the project. Was it difficult to be so vulnerable about such personal matters on records?
Even on my last project I had a record called “Pain Feels Good” about suicide, but I didn’t know how it would be interpreted. I kept it limited. Then this project I felt like, you know what, this is 84. This is something that happened in my life, and it took for me to go through a situation where a lot other kids had the same issues. I realized that they don’t have any role models. They don’t have anybody to influence them or inspire them to keep going.
I said to myself this needs to be me. So on 84 I mentioned a lot of references about me going through suicidal depression, building to the “If It Isn’t You” record where I completely open up about a situation I went through. Everything is 100% true. We got rappers who rap about popping bottles. If you’re fortunate to do that then cool, but there are kids out there who go to sleep at night and they feel alone. They feel lost in the world, and they don’t have no music to turn on and listen to help them to feel better about themselves. If I can do that, why not?
On 84’s intro “The One,” you talk about a meeting you had with music executive Mark Pitts and it sounds like the meeting didn’t go to well. Can you elaborate more on that situation and what you learned from the experience?
At the time I got signed to Mona Scott-Young I was still in high school, so literally the day after my high school graduation I’m flying to New York [to meet with] all these labels. It came really fast. I wasn’t prepared. I had to be 17 maybe, barely 18. I’m in front of Mark Pitts at a label meeting that could possible change my life. Two weeks ago I was struggling to keep my G.P.A. up. He asked me to perform a record in front of him, and I completely froze up and forgot the lyrics.
At the time I just felt I wasn’t ready, but now that I looked back at it had I not forgot those lyrics and had that meeting took more of a positive route, that could be the difference from you and me having this conversation right now or 84 not coming out or the topic of the music coming out the way it did. At the time I was always able to rap, but it wasn’t always me. I wasn’t always rapping from the standpoint of inspiring people.
You’re from the Miami area and your mixtape is inspired by Michael Jordan. Who would you take in their prime, MJ or LeBron?
Jordan absolutely. I feel like it might be kind of unfair for LeBron. It’s like a 2Pac and Biggie thing. You’ll never know if LeBron is going to be able to surpass Jordan because Jordan is not playing anymore, so Jordan is always going to be on that shelf. I’ll always have to go with Jordan, but it’s kind of unfair for LeBron.
To stream/download Bizzy’s 84 visit datpiff.com.