If you are from Massachusetts and love hip-hop but haven’t heard of Cousin Stizz, you are not paying enough attention to the rap scene in your local area. Boston has never been known as a rap town, primarily producing a lot of rock, jam band, and alternative groups. Cousin Stizz is one of the few to come out of the city and actually make a name for himself. With this evening being the NBA’s opening night, the Celtics released a hype video featuring Stizz doing the voiceover. Not only did it get me hyped for the season, but it also made me go back and listen to my favorite album from the young rapper, Suffolk County. This rookie album went way under the radar outside of New England in my opinion, even with it being Stizz’s attempt to crave out Boston a name in the rap industry.
This isn’t the first time I have discussed this and will definitely not be the last…many of today’s rising artists have the same sound and flow. It seems to inevitable at this point with the rise of “SoundCloud rappers” only focused on getting clout. However, Stizz seems to be creating his own style and sound. He definitely has a bit of that trap vibe but his flows are very vibed out, all while having a distinct gruff voice. On “No Explanation,” he even sounds a bit like 50 Cent. I know that is a very big comparison to make but listen to the entrance of the first chorus and you will understand where I am coming from. Stizz also includes some great lyricism in his repertoire. His flows are much slower but some of the metaphors and one-liners he uses are fantastic. “Real Life” discusses his upbringing as a part of the drug culture, pissing off his mom by smoking in the house, and his opinions on snitches.
“When the screen go up, them grams we
passing ’em out
No business with you cause you look like you
Stizz only uses one feature on the album, on the track “Talk.” Jefe Replay is a fellow rapper out of Boston; Roxbury to be specific. As the hip-hop scene in Boston grows, it wouldn’t surprise me if we start to see more collabs from some of the main talents, such as Michael Christmas, Joyner Lucas (out of Worcester), Latrell James, and of course Stizz and Jefe.
Much of Suffolk County has a trap feel. It isn’t exactly like the beats out of Atlanta but it definitely has similar styles. There is heavy usage of hi-hats, synths, and 808s, all often used in tracks produced by guys like Mike WiLL Made-It, 808s Mafia, and London On Da Track. Stizz’s styles and voice seems to give it the separate “Boston” sound, as many of these beats would fit in on pretty much any trap album. Yet, most notably are the tracks produced by DumDrumz out of Florida. He seems to have a heavy hand in much of Cousin Stizz’s work, being used on some of the most recent projects. His work on “Fed Up,” “No Bells,” and “Fresh Prince” stand out the most though.
For a rookie album, Stizz did a great job back in 2015 making sure that this project flowed. From start to finish, there aren’t many points where you get bored or tune out. He consistently brings heat on the vocals, which all sound beautifully mixed. The transitions are surprisingly smooth as well, not perfect but not awful, which definitely helps with the general vibe of the album.
“Ain’t Really Much,” “Fresh Prince,” and “No Bells”
I am going to be straight up with you…I am biased on this. I am from Massachusetts and I want to see a hip-hop scene flourish out of Boston, therefore, I am going to love Cousin Stizz’s albums and projects. However, there is a reason he had Offset and G-Eazy on his last album, had “Shoutout” played at Drake’s birthday, and has had music featured on the FX show “Atlanta.” He is a seriously good rapper and there is no reason to ignore him anymore. With that said, Suffolk County is fire and you need to give it a listen because it is a:
If you like trap rap, you will love Cousin Stizz…trust me. “I’m the fucking Fresh Prince. Think my name is Ill Smith”