Dizzy Wright, for those of you not acquainted, has been doing this rap thing for 5 years, but his latest offering, The Growing Process, is only the second official album release during that time. SmokeOut Conversations, which came out in April of 2012, received some very favourable reviews, even, though I’m not sure it really matters, if numbers weren’t quite as stellar.
The Flint, Michigan born rapper’s early life involved moving between different states when he was younger (Nevada, Georgia, and California) but Dizzy credits his origins to Las Vegas, where his concert promoter mother moved him at 4 years old.
Rapping since 8, Dizzy went on to present Hip Hop events for the likes of BET, interviewing groups such as Boys II Men and the St. Lunatics at award shows. He was schooled in the ways of major labels from his experiences here, from the influence of his mother, and an uncle who was already in the music bizz as one fifth of the 90’s Hip Hop group, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
Upon reaching adulthood, Dizzy decided that as far as he was concerned, going the independent route was the best way forward. He signed with Hopsin’s label, Funk Volume, in 2012. Since then it’s been only good things and now Dizzy’s back for more. The solemn, stark design of The Growing Proccess’s cover perfectly frames Dizzy Wright’s glum pose, a fitting tribute to an album laced with gloomy beats and isolated, stoner verses. The album is thick with ambient noises and crackling vinyl warmth that allows us a breath of 90’s Hip Hop air.
Jump off single, Train Your Mind, gives you a flavour of the album. The first line hints at what you can expect from the rest of The Growing Process’s vibe, “It’s been 20 years since 1995”.
No Time Is Better loops soulful piano over a cool, shuffling boom bap beat, allowing Dizzy to strut his best moves in well-laid out and thoughtful bars. “Strong and the meek/Can come together and meet, at the next Thanksgiving feast”. The song finds Dizzy lamenting on public holidays, and considering their modern-day meaning to people.
Keeping pace with Growing’s feel, Floyd Money Mayweather (not entirely sure what the title of the song has to do with it’s theme here, but, nonetheless…) employs piano loops between the ambiance of fuzzy, crackling vinyl pops. This backdrop allows Dizzy to drop some lazily-strung-together verses of his sexual exploits. One from the album that can be quickly skipped over, I think it’s safe to say.
Revisiting Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s T.R.O.Y (which in turn samples Tom Scott and The California Dreamers Today) Good Vibes acts as a nod to the album’s 90’s Golden Era influences. It’s more upbeat than most of The Growing Process, but drops off into obscurity with wild lines such as “This is Atilla/I’m after your buns”.
Explain Myself, featuring Dizzy’s label owner, Hopsin, and label mates SwizZz and Jarren & Benton, starts life with a droopy, melancholy feel; “Life is not nice/Bend the rules in paradise”. The hi-hat rattles in typical Trap form, punctuated by the crackling vinyl ambiance prevalent throughout the song’s low end.
Featuring Layzie Bone, of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony fame (Dizzy’s uncle) Regardless, finds the elder Hip Hop statesman trading bars with his young nephew. The song, verbally dense, like most of the album, speaks to the ills of Dizzy’s mindset: “I’m wasting my time doing these rhymes”. Another Bone Thugs member, Krayzie Bone, can be found on the album’s next song, Don’t Ever Forget.
While no new topics are covered within Dizzy’s latest offering, The Growing Process is a solid attempt on the Las Vegas rappers part to give props to the lyrical aesthetic of the genre. An aesthetic, he suggests, that was more prevalent in rap 20 years ago. It also provides a soundscape rich enough to keep even the average Hip Hop listener’s interest piqued.