(AllHipHop Features) Live from Maryland comes a fresh wordsmith that is ready to put his section of America on his back. As the DMV Hip Hop scene continues to spread worldwide, Ezzy Babe is making sure people recognize Montgomery County as an important staple of that movement.
The Silver Springs born rapper once attended Morgan State University in Baltimore. Even though Ezzy admits school was not his thing, the time spent at the HBCU did inspire a single that would help draw eyes to him as an artist.
“Growing up you freestyle with your friends, but a lot of people don’t take it seriously. I noticed I was a lot better at that than my friends were. They would make comments like, ‘Why don’t you do it?’” says Ezzy. “Then we made the ‘Morgan Girl’ song some years back, and that jumped off. That really started my career.”
The aspiring emcee born Brendon Perry began gaining traction in the B-More/DC area thanks to his 2009 ode to the ladies of Morgan State. The campus hit borrowed from the soundscape of K. P. & Envyi’s skating rink classic "Swing My Way,” six years before Bryson Tiller incorporated the cut into his Top 40 smash “Exchange.”
At the time “Morgan Girl” was building a buzz, Perry introduced himself to the music world as B-Ezzy. However, the stage name was eventually replaced with the more search-friendly Ezzy Babe.
“It was just too many B-Ezzys. It was getting on my nerves. I would search Twitter for my name and other stuff would come up,” Perry explains. “I just put the ‘B’ to the back and created something. Now when I search my name all my music comes up. It’s a lot better.”
More music from B-Ezzy/Ezzy Babe arrived after he officially stepped onto the rap court. His Addicted To The Game mixtape earned a co-sign from DJ Smallz, and 2014’s “Mo County Anthem” featured an appearance by fellow Capital Beltway representative Phil Adé.
The success of the track led to Ezzy being selected as a DMV Spotlight participant for WPGC 95.5, one of Washington’s most popular urban radio stations. The rising rhymer also displayed his marketing acumen by promoting “Mo County Anthem” as if it was a product from AT&T or McDonald’s.
“I did bus ads on the Metro for that. It was super big, super crazy,” Ezzy informs AllHipHop.com. “I wanted to get around to doing a video for it, but me and Phil’s schedule was jacked up. Time wound up passing, and I was on to the next thing. That was definitely a good start for me.”
Last year, Ezzy Babe dropped the full length project Layup Lines (The Pre-Tape). Vybe, June G, Paul Cabbin, and others provided production for the tape with DMVLife’s “Best Mixtape DJ” winner DJ 837 serving as host.
Layup Lines was the first body of work Ezzy had released since his days at Morgan. His initial intent was to just provide more content to the public, but it ended up gaining positive feedback.
“It did better than I expected it to do. I was just putting out some music, because I hadn’t put out a project in a while,” he explains.
Up next are several new collections. Live From Maryland will consist of previous songs from Ezzy’s catalog comprised into one set.
That will be followed by Rock Star Like CDR. Former University of Memphis basketball standout Chris Douglas-Roberts (aka RockstarCDR) is the inspiration behind the Rock & Roll infused EP.
In addition, an untitled studio album is nearly complete. A joint project with Ezzy Babe’s frequent collaborator Lil Zay is in the works as well.
As his status in the Hip Hop community continues to rise, Ezzy will likely connect with more acts. Perhaps he will get to hook up with two of his biggest influences - Meek Mill and Big Sean.
“I’ve been a big Meek Mill head for a long time. It was Pac before that,” reveals Ezzy. “I like Big Sean too. I used to listen to him in my dorm room a lot. I like how he carries it, his versatility. That’s something I try to base my music off of - doing street records and commercial records. I don’t want people to put me in a box like how you can’t put Big Sean in a box.”
It is also true that the DMV music scene cannot be simply labeled with a certain style. Numerous acts from the Mid-Atlantic foster distinct vibes that are establishing each individual as his or her own entity.
While Wale had a major hand in The District breaking through to the mainstream and XXL Freshman class alumni Logic, Shy Glizzy, and Goldlink aided in further shattering that ceiling, the locale still does not have a great deal of old heads to look to as examples.
The region is just now beginning to form into a nationally recognized Hip Hop hub. But in Ezzy’s eyes, his comrades from the city are still putting in the necessary effort to succeed on their own merits.
“Once Shy and Goldlink made it, they definitely shined some light on the city. It’s some dudes here. And not just rap. There’s R&B and everything,” says Ezzy. “It’s all about exposure and making the right moves. There ain’t too many people who made it from here. There really ain’t no blueprint for people to follow, so everybody’s just kind of doing their own thing and hope for the best.”
For his own career, Ezzy is constantly putting in the work that is required to get to the next level. And the up-and-comer is doing it all as an independent artist.
“I’m just trying to build and get these projects out there. It’s just things you gotta do to get to where you want to get to,” says Ezzy Babe. “I’m trying to get enough paper to put myself in position I’m trying to be in, because everything is funded by myself. I ain’t as lucky as some of the other artists in the area, so I gotta grind a little harder.”
He continues, “But I think in the next year or two I’m gonna soar off. Every release gets bigger than the last one.”
[ALSO READ: #DMVOnTheMove: Tate Kobang Wants The World To Know He Won’t Be Placed In Any Musical Box]
Read other installments of AllHipHop’s #DMVOnTheMove series here
Stream Ezzy Babe’s Layup Lines (The Pre-Tape) below.