Artist: Too Bizzy MC
Album: Tragic Phenomena
Label: 2-BZ Media
Rating: 7 / 10
The temple of hip hop is swamped with trashy gimmicks, negativity and ignorance. As most of the East Coast descends completely into stereotyped generic irrelevance, their brothers on the West Coast half-heartedly attempt to inflict their lifestyle on suburban kids the world over, and the outlook looks increasingly poor. But however, that outlook is peppered very lightly with artists who try to influence the world in a positive way, artists who shine brightly for the true creative spirit of hip hop – artists like Spooks, Black Star and Dead Prez. And there is a healthy crop of artists in the underground with the same attitude, one of which is Too Bizzy MC.
Although the Too Bizzy name sparks off visions of those dodgy “MCs” you see at trashy nightclubs, the ones who fire their overused slogans at their inanimate audience, you have to look much further than Biz Barrett’s hip hop moniker to get the full picture. Too Bizzy doesn’t bless his unpolished production with a smooth, extraordinary flow or livewire delivery(his flow in places is actually quite clumsy), but for once, this is a cat whose lyrics can carry an album. It is what he is saying that grabs you rather than how he says it, although his presence is effective – this isn’t Chuck D we’ve got here, this isn’t the guy who’ll bring down the government by force and start revolutions, this is the guy who’ll simply sit on the park bench handing out his well-founded knowledge to whoever requires it, hoping that his words will do their bit to make the world a better place.
However, we can relate Too Bizzy to Chuck D when it comes to choice of topics to rap about. Positivity in the ghetto, police brutality, black self empowerment, it’s the same kind of material Chuck so powerfully shouted about back in the late eighties. Throughout the album, Too Bizzy rails against these unsavoury aspects of society in his own unique, compelling way.
Hope build success, and love and faith will build hope. The root of Too Bizzy’s love and faith is his Christianity – “I’m down wit He that calms the lion and tames the sea, my relation is secure my foundation is sure, the battle fo’ my soul too real to ignore” he preaches on ‘Faithful Style’, a sermon encouraging you to put down those pornos and pick up the Good Book. The moral particulars of the socio-political theme practiced throughout do fluctuate, from attacks on pornography and promiscuity (the rather sluggishly produced ‘What I See’) to simply using God as your guide (‘Real As You Want Him’). For someone to make a hip hop album with such definite, clear cut intentions is very welcome indeed, landing amongst the comparative moral and political ambiguity of most of today’s socially aware MCs.
Too Bizzy is a little ghetto boy at heart, and he encourages his bruthas in the projects to get out of there, and rise above the squalor and deprivation through faith and willpower. He summons the slums to ‘Break The Cycle’ of poverty, and vividly paints the picture of his area through several compelling project tales – to reveal the story, and to a greater extent the point, of ‘Descending Caskets’, ‘Get Away’ and ‘Splash’ would be taking away from the effect of the tracks on the listener. Too Bizzy even creates his own ‘Fuck The Police’, titled ‘Wall Of Blue’ which intelligently rails against crooked cops, calling on the civil and fair lawmen to oust their corrupt rogue counterparts. This track is also the production highlight of the album – most of the beats here are unimpressive, simple tracks which fail to aid the vocals at all and sometimes verge on the opposite. However a crisp backdrop is created for the sharp lyrics of ‘Wall Of Blue’ – there’s some hard drums, a piano and I get a faint whiff of a ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ horn lurking in the shadows. The substandard production on the album can be overlooked in light of the lyrics and this album’s deep underground status.
Too Bizzy MC is not by any means a lyrical genius, he doesn’t flip 6-syllable rhymes or confuse the audience with his vocabulary or concepts. He’s just your average Joe Old School, and what he’s doing is getting his message to the people that need to hear it, with no bullshit involved. A course of action somewhat neglected in today’s hip hop world, what with the demise of the great acts of the eighties. ‘Pos-Hop’, as well as being the name of a track on this album, is Too Bizzy’s own form of hip Hop with a Pos-itive message. For flow, production, and presence on the mic, Biz is no better than your average underground MC act. But, this is important music, important hip hop, this is music which delivers sentiments and wisdom that you SHOULD listen to, no matter who you are. So get to www.2bzmedia.com and pick this up. Do the right thing.