Dizzy Wright Talks ‘The Growing Process’ Album, Creating His Own Weed Strain and Big K.R.I.T. Collaboration [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but not if you are Dizzy Wright. After releasing a handful of mixtapes and a host of EPs, traveling around the world touring and performing at sold-out shows stateside, one of Sin City’s rhymers is transitioning from hometown hero to a rap superstar.
This recognition has been a long-time coming for the 24-year-old, who began rhyming at his mother's request before he even was a teen. He first earned a buzz in 2010, with the free release of Tha Takeover, a 10-track mixtape of freestyles featuring Dizzy spitting over songs like Dorrough's “Ice Cream Paint Job” and Ester Dean's “Drop It Low.”
Dizzy, whose former rap moniker was Dizzy D Flashy prior to Takeover, amassed an impressive internet following thanks to his wise-behind-his-years persona, thought-provoking lyrics and affiliation to Los Angeles rhymer Hopsin -- he's signed to Hopsin’s Funk Volume imprint.
After signing with Funk Volume, he delivered a dose of potent audio edibles on his debut album, SmokeOut Conversations. The LP peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard Hip-Hop and R&B charts and although it was well-received by Dizzy’s stoner stans, it was overlooked by most critics and labeled as “weed music.”
Now, although he still enjoys the sticky green, he plans to shed his “weed rapper” stigma with his sophomore album, The Growing Process. Led by the peace-promoting and uplifting single “I Can Tell You Need It” featuring Bay Area rhymer Berner and “God Bless America” featuring Big K.R.I.T., Tech N9ne, and Chel’le, The Growing Process is already shaping up to showcase more of mature, lyrically conscious rhymes.
The "Solo Dolo" rapper stopped by The Boombox headquarters in New York City to chop it up about his new album, The Growing Process, due May 26, making his own strain of marijuana, and how he deals with the not-so-smooth side of business.
The Boombox: How did the track "God Bless America" come together? Why choose Tech N9ne, Big K.R.I.T. and Chel'le for that one?
Dizzy Wright: I chose Big K.R.I.T. at first 'cause I knew I wanted to put him on the record. Mainly because I knew that he would be able to drop some gems. Like I wanted somebody who already had a little experience in the game. Then I was talking to Tech and he told me he wanted to be a part of the project. But he told me he wanted to be a part of something that I felt that he could express himself on. I felt like it would be best if I put him on the record with K.R.I.T.
So it all kind of just fell into place?
Yeah, it was supposed to be just K.R.I.T. at first and I was going to do a different record with Tech, but I just figured why not have them both on “God Bless America.”
How did you grow personally in the making of this album, The Growing Process?
I grew a lot as an artist. I think just because I took a lot of time, and spent a lot of time and in the studio just to actually sit through the mixes. Usually I would send my music to get mixed then listen and make changes and send it back. We would go back and forth like that, but this time I was there and it made a huge difference. I was able to tweak as we went down the album.
Watch Dizzy Wright’s “I Can Tell You Need It” Video Feat. Berner
What made you make the conscious decision to be more hands-on with this album?
At first, I just think because I was new to the game, nobody was really schooling me on how the music was supposed to sound. I kind of kept people out of that so that I didn’t get caught up in what people expected me to do, especially if I am not on that level. Like I felt I hadn’t reached the level to sit in on mixing and worry about mastering the sound and s--- like that.
It was really about just putting my thoughts down and making s--- sound good. Until you go out in the world and you realize that the show version doesn’t really sound good or people give you that feedback where it’s like, "These strings are drowning your words out," when you get that kind of feedback, it makes you want to sit in the studio.
Who did you reach out to for a collabo that didn't get done for the project but you want for another album or tape?
I think the only person would probably be Logic. I wanted Logic on the album but we just couldn’t make it happen. We are actually thinking about doing some s--- together in the future.
You have a family connection with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Describe how they've influenced you? What advice has your uncle Layzie Bone given to you that always sticks with you?
Well, their legacy just inspired me to create my own legacy. But my mom’s a single parent, you know, so when our uncles or cousins came threw and embraced us and showed us love, we got to get that different kind of affection and game. Running into Bone throughout life and them dropping them little gems on me to keep me focused, I appreciate that the most.
So your mom is Layzie Bone’s sister?
Not by blood, no, but that’s my family.
Watch Dizzy Wright's "Everywhere I Go" Video
So what advice did you get when you realized you wanted to pursue a music career? Did Layzie help you in the early stages?
Nah, it was never nothing like that. At the time, I was too young for them to even talk to me like that. I don’t think… I even put it in my mind that I was going to be a rapper at that. I think even when my mom was writing the raps for my brothers and I and kind of pushing us that way, I was more moving towards rap to get out of struggle. It wasn’t like a love, at the time, so I wasn’t going to nobody for advice with music. I was more interested in learning how to snap my wrist and keep that jumper on point. I wanted to be able to lay up with my left and my right had, you know.
What are you doing outside of the music that is helping to grow your brand?
I haven’t did any outside ventures yet really, [not] any businesses. Yo, I am just now about to have my Dizzy OG, my first weed strain.
Congrats! We could totally see that for you. How did that come about?
Well, Vegas just legalized marijuana, so they are about to open the state’s first dispensary. I am just trying to get me my own little dispensary and build off of that. But outside of that, I have just been focused on trying to get this music s--- right. This album is supposed to create that platform for me to always be able to make albums. From here, I should be able to live and try new things.
Do you feel like there has been a downfall or setback in your career that made you take a step back and regroup?
Not yet. I am pretty much cautious with everything that I involve myself with. But I am honest and open to everyone that I am working with, so I think that people have a respect for that at least. But… there was one time where we collaborated with someone to put a project out -- I’m not going to put them on blast -- it was a little shaky. It wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it to be. That probably was the rockiest it ever got.
So what was the outcome? How did you resolve it?
I have to make my manager get on their heads, s--- [laughs]. We had to let them know that we are working with each other. I am not working for you. I am not making music for you. I am making music for my peoples. I just wanted everybody to remember that. I didn’t come into this situation to work for anybody. We are a team and y’all are not going to play us out. But eventually they got behind it and it ended up cool. Just a little rocky.
What's next for Dizzy Wright?
I would love for people to come see my tour, when I go on tour for The Growing Process -- [a 28-city tour, which kicks off May 29 in California]. This is going to be my biggest headlining tour for sure. For anybody that has seen a show from Dizzy Wright or Funk Volume, they know how that energy is and I don't think people expect that. I think it's because I just be cool, talking about positive s--- and weed and chillin' and s--- so they think I am going to come onstage and do my little C-walk. But, no. They are going to come [to my show], they are going to sweat and say to themselves "Damn, this n---- went crazy." I just want people to come and get that dope 2015 hip-hop show experience.
See 10 Rappers Who Love to Smoke Weed