Imagine your girlfriend at home struggling with her little brother’s diagnosis of cancer, and you’re in Los Angeles trying to be a rapper. That's Miami artist's Bzzy's truth. The rap game isn’t easy. There are the out-of-state trips because “no one is fucking with you” in your hometown, the posed Instagram flicks, and lines in your raps that are more fabricated than a stripper’s boobs. And dealing with depression makes it worse. You never know when people are depressed because it’s not written on their foreheads, but it's written in Bzzy's music.
Bzzy, formerly Bizzy Crook, tells his story of depression and suicidal thoughts somberly with swift lyricism and thought-provoking imagery in Before I Jump, his latest album. Bzzy has never been a SoundCloud rapper. Although his music is uploaded on the infamous streaming platform, you’ll never catch him spitting bubblegum raps over 6ix9ine-like beats and looking to internet trolling for a come-up. His delivery makes clear he isn’t here to play games but to tell stories. It’s easy to say rap doesn’t sound the same anymore, but it just depends upon whom you’re listening to.
Listening to people talking about wanting to kill themselves isn’t painless. In Before I Jump, Bzzy confronts his depression and suicidal thoughts. The project flows together as a narrated version of a teenager’s diary, spilling all of his deepest, darkest secrets. From the day he learned he was going to be a father to the time he stole jewelry from his mother’s closet, Bzzy tells it all — sometimes too much. “We've all had our moments of being fucked-up human beings,” he says. “Daily, we deal with things like fear, self-doubt, pressure from our loved ones, our own expectations, fear of failure, our own insecurities, and so much more.” That "so much more" is detailed in 14 tracks.
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All of them are scary. They are transparent, Bzzy’s way of telling his truth. In today’s rap world, artists lack transparency. The chart-topping hits aren’t tell-all novels that give insight into artists' lives; they are pop hits that trigger dance crazes and challenges. ”I just want people to listen,” Bzzy says. The album begins with an eye-opener in “Suicidal Tendencies.” The soft piano keys, accompanied by a roar of storm sound effects, spill what seems to be an open letter to his past self. With a feature from Toronto singer Love Mansuy, he details how depression changed his life. Standout tracks include "Firefly," "13 Reasons Why," and "Inside My Head," which all describe how he righted himself.
“Depression saved my life...” is the pinned tweet atop the musician’s Twitter feed. Although it’s a common story line in music, there’s no gimmick. The whole thing sucks. Your favorite artists, including Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and Lil Wayne, have all aired their dirty laundry in attempts to break free of depression’s hold, but this saved Bzzy's life. In all, a walk through Bzzy’s battle with mental illness is refreshing. Because music is a tool to relate to audiences, his work has reached listeners dealing with the same thoughts. According to the South Florida rapper, Before I Jump is dedicated to those struggling with inner doubt, anxiety, or depression, and he’s always open to listen.