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Interview with 4-IZE – Getting It Done Right

1 January 2006 No Comment

What follows is an interview with a rapper called 4-IZE in the U.S, who was previously in a group with Ludacris. In this interview he talks about his beginnings, the album, his contribution to the online publication The Soulution, the issues of rap music today and the role of the rapper in society plus a range of other interesting topics.  This interview is published exclusively on AG courtesy of Tribal Fusion.  Read on to check out the entire interview…

Tell us a little about yourself and your beginnings.

I was born on the west side of Chicago but I was raised in a west suburb of Oak Park.  I started rappin in 1991 and I moved to Atl in April of 1999. I then founded my music company S.S.P . (Soular Sausage Productions LLC) in 2001.

Tell us about your album, and the man we call 4-IZE – what differentiates you from others already in the field?

Well, I’m not gonna bring my album out until I’m good and ready. I’m a virgo, symbolically seen as a virgin in astrology. So I’m not doing nothing until I feel right. I just keep making music and doing songs keeping my buzz hot in the street.  The difference between Me and anybody rappin is my purpose. I put so much time and thought conciousness into my music that you can see it as an art form, a true vessle for self-expression. The lyrics, the flow, the delivery it’s all ridiculous! I was inspired by the best and influenced by the best. It all comes out in the music. If you can identify with it, you will hear it.

We understand that you were a contributor to the online publication The Soulution, a powerful sort of paper that does not censor thought or ideas. Is this kind of freedom something that is currently missing in the mainstream media?

Hell yeah! But I overstand there is a level of control that has to be maintained within the system. If you control the major levels of human relation (entertainment, labor, law, politics, sports, economics ect), you can dictate the masses into the society of "YOUR" choice. Not my choice or the choice of the people as a conscious collective. As today where they don’t advertise "FREE PEOPLES" freedom, they’re advertising "ENSLAVED PEOPLES" freedom.  They sell you the idea of freedom so you can buy into it as a consumor. If its free, how do you sell it? It’s very good merchandising actually.

What are some of the issues that concern you about rap music today?

Its mainly the lack of originality or the fear of being different and creative that has the music today so lack luster, bland, repetative, unimpressive and BULLSH!T!!! Everyone has been taught to care about things we can’t take with us when we die, and now we’re all scared to lose things we don’t need. We comform to subjugation and assimilate in order to avoid public ridicule. And when there is someone worthy of recognition, they have to conform with some type of parent entity just to have access to a commercial medium.

How important is the underground music, film and literature scene today?

It is very important for all artists to celebrate their independence and be responsible for releasing their own materials and product. When you are underground you have to do your own marketing, management, promotions, networking on a grass roots level to build your fanbase. Showing major labels that you can opperate independently and move units is how you gain notoriety and crossover into the mainsteam. We live in the age of the "indi boom" and everyone can benifit from it.

What is the role of rap music and the rapper in society?

Rap music is the voice of the oppressed people and Has always been street music full of street slang and hood stories that depict our culture through the eyes of someone submerged in it. It’s like the ghetto bulletin board, or the announcements for the hood where we get the messages out. It’s how you find out what’s going on in the neighborhood. My job, is to be the on the scene reporter and do blow by blow commentary.

Considering that most youth will never listen to a Presidential speech, but will have memorized every word to a rap song, do you feel that rappers have a social responsibility to the public, particularly the youth.

Hell Yes!!! As an artist, a business man and a black man, you gotta know that there has been a system set up to mislead the youth and misedjucate the people. If the CEO of the label is in the KKK, he might only wanna sign rappers that promote black on black crime, heavy drug usage, sexism and straight ignorance. Then he will pipeline that message into the black community, where 2 parent families are in numbers too miniscule to recognize this type of thing as a threat. Now there’s nothing wrong with N.W.A, 2 Live Crew, Dr. Dre Chronic album, or any music by 50 Cents. But if that’s the only type of rap you get "delivered" to your house everyday, then it’s easy to see how someone could become a habitual weed smoking massogonist who will "Fuck the Police" to "Get Rich or Die Trying".

In a recent interview with the NAACP, we discuss a particular lyric of yours concerning the state of rap music, the world and the future. Where do you see democracy in America going with the current leadership?

I think they gave us democracy just so they could take it away. We got so use to having it that we fight for it but we don’t appreciate it. So when people get scared, they will give up the same rights and liberties they fought for, just for the illusion of safety or protection. In the end people will give up a free country to preserve the idea of a free country. That’s dumb!!

Are there adequate rights, ie: job opportunities, academic prospects, ect for African-Americans in the U.S today?

It’s only adequate from the perspective that it’s better than it was 500 years ago. We as a people are not paid our weight in what we’re worth. And the edjuction systems mainly encourages people to become a dependent as opposed to independent and self-sufficiant.

Do you feel that the media misrepresented the African-American community during the Hurricanes that recently hit America?

Hell Yeah!!! The media only told America what they were told to tell America. It’s their job to weave webs, twist stories and put a spin on something to fit the agenda. The news is always edited. So something that might’ve been said, that needs to be heard, won’t be heard, because the head of that media is connected with someone who does not want that message amongst the public. So all in all, they’re consistant. THEY DIDN’T REPRESENT US ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY NORMALLY DO!

Kwame Kilpatrick, the youngest mayour in U.S history — had to remove his earring during his election campaign, because he said it obliterated the publics belief in his vision for the future. Does hip-hop represent a negative image in the U.S?

THE UNITED STATES WAS FOUNDED ON NEGATIVITY!! Everybody knows this. From the extermination of the Indians, to the triangle trade and slavery, to the bombing of Hiroshima, the sencelessness of Vietnam, treatment of blacks during the civil rights movment, assassination of J.F.K, M.L.K, Malcom X, Watergate scandal, CIA involvement with crack, U.S funding of the Tali Ban and Al Quida, stolen presidential elections, and Grand Theft Auto video games. Hip-Hop is just the musical reflection of our society and culture. The U.S had negative images way before Hip-Hop got here.

The N.B.A recently introduced a dress code for their basketball players – Dennis Rodman rejected it outright while Charles Barkley applauded the move. What are your thoughts on it?

Its the NBAs poor attempt to control black men that they’ve given too much money.  Lebron James will be the next Micheal Jordan – by that I mean that he will be the face of the basketball for the next 20 years. By "cleaning" up the image of these rich niggaz, maybe they can generate more money through endoursement and sponsorships. And furthermore, Charles Barkley works for T.N.T. He has to agree if he likes his job. Anyone connected with the Matrix can and will be used by the Matrix, Morpheous told us that.

Arabic rappers in the Middle East such as Dam, Mahmoud and PR, 2nd generation rappers such as Majid in Europe ect have taken rap music to a new and universal level.  What is your view on the international rap scene?

I love it!!! International Hip-Hop heads have a true love and are real fans of the culture.  The globalization of Hip-Hop might be we we need, because a bullet sounds the same in every language. Oppressed and poverty stricken people always have that in common.

The world view on the U.S right now is not a pleasent one – is this fair to the people?

Hell Yeah!!! Why? Because life ain’t fair. But if you think about it, life is fair. Why?  Because what goes up, must come down. What goes around, comes around. You reap what you sow. You get out what you put in. It is said "that the sons will bear the sins of the father." — I don’t know why people think we can resist the laws of Nature. If I slap you in the face everyday that I see you, and you don’t like being slapped in the face, and you told me a million times already that you don’t like being slapped in the face, but I’m still gonna slap you in the face everytime I see you, at some point in time WE’RE GONNA HAVE A PROBLEM!

Finally, we’d like to say that you’re one of the more unique and conscientious rappers to come from the U.S. What are your hopes and dreams for the future, both personally and universally?

Personally, I hope to better myself as an artist, a businessman, and a humanist.  Universally, I hope that my music reaches the masses so that my words might provoke deep thought and insight on how to be more self-conscious. More knowledge of self and more self-awareness. THANK YOU.

Interview conducted by Meshak, Tribal Fusions.

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