Dizzy Wright introduces conscious rap to the mainstream market 


If their collaboration had taken place a couple years ago, it might have been Dizzy Wright who'd have gotten a career boost from Black P.

Of course, that was back before the Las Vegas rapper's "Can't Trust 'Em" single blew up, along with an accompanying video that's fast approaching 5 million views. So it's not entirely surprising that when Wright featured on Black P's "Silly of Me," it would become the Colorado Springs emcee's most successful single to date.

"People have been gravitating to it," says Black P of his three-month-old song, which surpassed 100,000 views last week. "I know this has a lot to do with his name being on it, but I also think the track is pretty solid, too."

The two emcees became friends while on tour with Hopsin, the L.A. rapper who'd signed Wright to his Funk Volume label. Afterward, Black P enlisted him to guest on his single and video.

"He has this young audience, the kind that's into swag, but he doesn't necessarily rap about swag," says Black P, who likens the 22-year-old's energy to that of Tupac. "A lot of people are making conscious music, but it's not catching on like it is for Dizzy."'

Although it was just last year that Wright released his debut album, Smoke Out Conversations, the smooth-flowing rapper is hardly an overnight sensation. "I had already come out with five mixtapes prior to being with Funk Volume," says Wright, who also grew up around the music industry. "At an early stage, I knew what it felt like for a promoter to just treat you like shit."

In fact, it was Wright's concert-promoter mother who encouraged Dizzy and his brother Zeba to begin rapping more than a decade ago. "My mom kind of brought us into the industry. She loved hip-hop, and she saw potential in us. She was like, 'If I write it, will you rap it? I was like 8 years old. They were real positive rhymes."

The same can be said for Wright's output. Last December, he released the first in a series of EPs based on Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements, a book of Toltec wisdom unlikely to be found on Tyler, the Creator's nightstand.

When asked about his misogynistic contemporary — whom Hopsin famously dissed for his "wack beats and gap teeth" — Wright is considerably more diplomatic. "Tyler's a little dark in what he talks about," he says. "The kind of energy Tyler puts out in the world is not the kind of energy that I'm trying to put out in the world."

As with most artists in their early 20s, Wright is still working out a few identity issues of his own. "I'm tryna find my connection with God / That's why I've been hiding behind this marijuana," he sings in "Fuck Your Opinion."

Elsewhere on Smoke Out Conversations, he addresses ongoing Tupac comparisons. "The young nigga that's gettin' compared to Pac, now that's deep / And I know they don't want another Pac, cause that's too real for the motherfuckin' streets."

In any case, Wright's comfortable with his current indie status. "I'm not trying to just blow up instantly, I'm a slow burner," he says. "With the route I'm taking, it's slowly gonna get to everybody that it needs to get to. And the industry is not gonna have a choice but to respect it, you know?"



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