Bizzy Crook Talks Racism at the Airport, Battling Depression, and New Album, '84
The wound of losing a first love heals at its own pace, not when you say so. And sometimes, the pain leads to depression, which may lead to worse.
But it could also lead to the kind of music that makes a career. The best example, of course, has been Drake. In this case, though, we're talking about Bizzy Crook, a Miramar rapper who has turned failed relationships and the aftermath into the Good Luck EP and P.S. I'm Sorry 2.
Now, the 21-year-old rapper is getting ready to release '84, an album named for the year that Michael Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. After pushing the record back several months while dropping singles featuring Nelly, Estelle, and Lo$, Bizzy is finally set to release '84 on October 21.
Crossfade met up with Bizzy in Atlanta at A3C to talk racism at the airport, battling depression, the new album, and more.
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Crossfade: What racism did you encounter at the airport on the way to Atlanta?
Bizzy Crook: You know when you just pass security already? And they just randomly want to check your bag or stop you before? Yeah, so I'm about to get on the plane, and they stopped us, they IDed us. I stopped right before getting on the plane. I'm like, "Yo, let me see if they do this to anybody else. And they didn't ID anybody else. It's always some sort of shit, man. I've been stopped before getting on the plane. You know that hole right before you get on? Them dudes is like, "How much money you traveling with?" And made me pull out my money and counted my money. It was like $300.
Tell me about your childhood because from what I know it's pretty unique.
I actually lived in Egypt. I don't know if you knew that. I lived in Egypt. My father was a bodyguard for the royal family. So I spent some time living in Egypt. It was crazy. I grew up in North Miami, Miami Beach. Then I moved to Egypt. Then I moved to West Miramar. So growing up, I just loved music. It was always what I did. The minute I discovered rap music I just stuck to it. I was six.
You had interesting taste in music growing up.
Before anything else my dad, when I was like five, he used to force me to listen to opera music. Two hours a day I had to sit with him. He used to take me to operas and shit. And I used to hate it but as I grew older I learned to appreciate it. And before I discovered rap music all I listened to was NSYNC. I remember going to Target one time and I made my sister ask for a J. Lo CD because I ain't want to ask for it. I just loved music, and as soon as I discovered rap I was like, "Ok, this is for me."
Tell me about the time you were locked up.
Yeah, I got locked up when I was 16. I was riding around with a gun for no reason. Just trying...
Trying to be cool?
Yeah, trying to be cool. Got pulled over. I was on probation. Missed prom. I missed all that shit.
What did your parents do?
First thing they tried to do was take away my music. They felt like that was the only way to punish me. I flipped because I was like, "How yall punishing me. This is my work." I never looked at music as, I mean it was fun, don't get me wrong, but I never looked at it like, "Yeah, this is just a hobby." This is my future. They took away my microphone and shit I used to record in the crib. I'm like, "How yall going to stop me from working?"
At what age did you start battling depression?
It really hit around 17-19. Yeah, I was with a girl. She was crazy.
Was it just that?
Yeah, for the most part.
How did you deal with it?
Well, music for one. It was just the outlet at first. It was a time where I really tried to kill myself, and I ended up in a psych ward. And you know, that's when it kind of hit me, I had a lot of visions come to me of stuff I got to do. That was really the last time where I kind of woke up. And I was like, "This is not what you're here for." After that I learned to love myself.
Why do you feel unappreciated?
It was just a thing where, you know, it's one of those who you love versus what you love. The music thing wasn't really supported. I just felt like I did everything - I'm the person...I don't like failing. Failing is my biggest peeve. So I try my hardest at everything, and when I fail, in a situation like that, it was kind of beyond my control, so I didn't know how to deal with it. You know, I did everything on my part, and I still wasn't getting what I expected out of it.
Was it certain individuals as well?
What do you mean?
I ask because you tweeted this and it seemed like it was also, not specially aimed at one individual, about people that used to be in your circle.
Yeah, it's been a long time coming. It's been a lot of ups and downs. It's been a lot of just kind of emotional abuse. One day I'm managed by Mona Scott, and the next day it's I don't know what I'm going to do. It's definitely been hard. As a kid it's hard. I was never prepped for this. My family didn't believe in me, so I never got the talks at that point. You know when I'm here one day and then here the next day as a kid you just got to learn how to deal with all that, and I didn't know how to. It just became overwhelming.
Your parents didn't believe in you?
See my mother supported me for the fact that she was like, "Yo, I'll buy him this equipment. I'll keep him out of trouble." But my mom is from D.R., you know, she lost her family at a young age. She grew up on the thought that nothing really happens in life. You know, you can't really say what you want to do at six years old and do it. So, she never really believed in me and the fact that I would even be where I am today.
And your father?
My father's the opposite. Me and my father growing up we didn't have the closest relationship, but he's always been supportive because he's from Cuba. He's just a dreamer. The fact that he got to America he felt like he could do anything. He's had like every type of business, or tried and it failed, but he's still going. I think I get that from him.
What's your relationship like with your parents now?
Me and my father, we have a better relationship than we've ever had just because he's very supportive of where I am. My mother I feel like is straining away because the closer I get to it, I don't know what it is, but its just tension between us. I guess she has regret for not supporting me. My mom always wanted me to go to college. I didn't go to college and it ended up working out for me.
What's life been like for you since the release of the Good Luck EP and P.S. I'm Sorry 2?
It's been great man. Definitely ups and downs. See I learned, man, I no longer doubt anything. I'm a strong believe everything happens for a reason. I done been through every up and down you can think of. But every window lead to another one. Every door that closed opened five more. Since P.S. I'm Sorry 2 I've been in the studio with Nelly, T-Pain, Pharrell. I traveled everywhere, and it's just crazy.
What about personally?
Personally it definitely built, man. I feel like I could do anything.
So far the content of the singles that you've put out off '84 are completely different from the previous two.
Growing up I was a quiet kid. I always stayed to myself. My mom was, she was kind of strict, because she's so scared of stuff happening. So I stayed to myself, and music was always my outlet. Music is like a journal to me. P.S. I'm Sorry 2 I was in a different phase of life, so I would speak on that. '84 was completely different. I grew a lot. I matured a lot. I went through a lot of shit. Going back to the depression shit, I opened up a lot about that on this project. I'm just speaking on - it's to the point where I don't care whether you like me or not. I'm going to give you my story the way it is.
I'm not talking about those type of singles. I'm talking about your singles with Nelly and Los. Those don't speak on depression.
It goes back to the journal thing. I'm 21. I'm not a total emo. Sometimes I turn up. I get drunk. It all depends on the mood. Me and Los, Los is the homie. Me and Los got in the studio and it was just a feel good situation. Me and Los joke, we clown. I make music on the current emotion.
You're relatively young so you may not have seen Jordan play...
No, I watched Jordan play. I caught the end.
No, I'm not talking about when he played with the Wizards. I'm talking about the early years, the championship years. You go back and watch those games?
I watched some shit on YouTube just because of the project. But the thing with the whole Jordan tape is not even so much - it's not so focused on basketball. It's focused on the idea in '84 Jordan was just a regular rookie just like anybody else. Nobody expect Jordan to be that guy. Nobody expected Jordan to be that guy. Nobody expect Jordan to have a pair sneakers where kids are outside the store fighting over the shoes. Kids is camping out.
I'm a rookie, but where I aim to be in 10 years I don't expect anybody else to expect that yet.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter: @LeeMCastro
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