I’m not sure if many people know of or have seen the film The Wackness. When I saw the trailor for it I was actually really hopeful. With the exception of movies like 8 mile and Notorious (don’t knock it unless you’ve seen it!), Hip Hop usually tends to not transfer well to the screen; coming off contrived or corny. I was all excited for film The Wackness because it not only boasted a soundtrack filled with mid 90’s classic Hip Hop, but it also starred Ben Kingsley, whom I really admire as an actor, as a pot smokey shrink who lives somewhere between morally rightious and totally fucked up. I was unfortunately disapointed and the film was kind of a silly New York teenage love story with some really good music in the background. Never the less I was interested when my friend I-Ron of Tempo Tandrum and Status Apparatus sent me this mixtape by his cousin Sir Tizzy. He did a number of the tracks on this album and in my opinion the best tracks. Sidenote: He also has a beat on The Major Major Mixtape coming soon! (Shameless plug! LOL!).
I immediately took notice that Tizzy used an interpretation of the movie art (it’s not everyday someone puts Ben Kingsley on their album cover!) and a couple of clips from the movie in the intro, because the overall concept was being conveyed off the bat. The ever adorable Olivia Thirlby’s (Juno, Bored to Death) character says that she always sees the dopeness in things and he (in this case I take it as Sir Tizzy himself) only sees “the wackness.” And that gets us underway, letting us know that Tizzy might be as cynical and anxt ridden as many of us were/are in our teens and early 20’s. (Does that make me sound old?) That statement might even exceplify how many artists feel about the state of their chosen avocation. Just sayin’.
We learn that Tizzy isn’t trying to be another rapper but he has his own approach and though sometimes he can over enunciate his words in my opinion, (never cared for when indie rappers, i.e. Eyedea, Esoteric, etc… over enunciate), there is a sense of urgency when he rhymes, which can pull you into a track. With The Wackness, you get the feeling that Tizzy is finding his sound. Like many new rappers his beat choices range from synthy experimentation to classic boom-bap. Something that I personally find really interesting. About half of this tape is proper mixtape form where he rhymes over other artist’s beats but instead of the latest hot tracks he chooses to go in over J Dilla and 9th Wonder tracks. Again, I can’t be mad at that!
At times Tizzy can come off a little stiff or sounds like he might be reading his lyrics from the notepad but there are times when you can definitely hear his potential. One of those times is on the track “Let Me” when he leads off with a Pac-like cadence and his confidence seeps through making you believe his boasts. He drops lines like “You’re not McLovin’ so stop trynna act Super Bad” which will definitely get at the very least a chuckle. I-Ron actually rounds out the track with a verse spitting “When this boy meets world, Hip Hop is my Topanga.” (LOL!) Oddly, the track that Tizzy sounds most comfortable on “The Entrance,” is a song where he wraps almost the whole thing in double time, something I can appreciate as an emcee for it’s difficulty.
Overall, Tizzy has created a nice first effort and as I just stated, he has great potential. There are slight missteps that many artists of the greener variety make, but given his obvious interest in nonconformity and his introspective approach to lyricism, it’s easy to see that Sir Tizzy is someone to start checking for now.
Be on the lookout for a remix to the track “Let Me” featuring new vocals from I-Ron, myself and more; coming soon.