Published on January 31st, 2019 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Dizzy Wright: Still Movin’ Baby
Dizzy Wright, known as one of the most chill rappers in the industry, is Still Movin and preparing for his next release in March entitled Nobody Cares, Work Harder” which follows his 2018 smash hit project “Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done.” Dizzy burst on the scene in 2010 with the announcement of his signing to Hopsin’s Funk Volume label just before his 21st birthday which in fact, he basically celebrated onstage during his first official outing with the label in Denver, Colorado. A benchmark in his career, Dizzy tells us that night continues to hold a special place for him and he’ll return to Colorado this April sharing the stage with Method Man on 4/20 Eve!!!
A serial entrepreneur as well as an entertainer, Dizzy is one of the industry’s prime examples of what CAN be done, if one takes the time to step back from the madness and collect one’s thoughts. Combining an amazingly active music career with his overwhelming drive to create an ever-expanding business base, provides an example to the next generation of what they can achieve. Working outside of the box, has taken Dizzy through a maze which he’s successfully navigating in spite of detractors and rocky starts. Currently, Dizzy’s growing empire includes a premiere clothing line and outlet “Still Movin” based in Las Vegas, as well as multiple exclusive cannabis strains with which he’s personally involved.
If you’re a Dizzy Wright fan, you know the basics so we won’t repeat any of that here, if you’re new to the Dizzy Wright experience, then there’s nobody better to get you tapped in than Dizzy himself. I spent some time with Dizzy by phone to go beyond the music and get some insight into the man and his mission…check it out!
So you’ve had a storied career in a short span. Let’s let ’em get an insight as to how you see Dizzy Wright from the outside looking in. Let’s kick it off there.
Well, I’m just trying to plant my seeds. For me, it’s just always about putting out good positive vibes. Just trying to represent the black man in the best way possible, and just grow into the best version of myself. Everything that I do is pretty much to kind of push people to be the best versions of themselves and it’s been a journey. So I’ve tapped in a lot of different ways.
You’ve done a great job thus far. That’s a great message. I’m a fan of your project “Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done” specifically the song “Introvert.” I like that because you’re talking about being a boss and not avoiding conversations. And I liked the fact that you stepped out and acted on that with the depiction of your real life. You’re not afraid to talk about representing for the black man. And as a young aware black man, you’re fighting the odds on putting things out there, but it can be done and you’re proving that it’s being done. So leveling up man, you parted ways, Funk Volume, but you continue to do sold out shows. Just finished a ride with one of my favorite entertainers Tech N9ne, plus your own 80 city tour. How do you balance all of it?
I don’t know, man, I just do it. I just tell myself its got to be done and you’ve gotta work hard for everything you want. The motto “still moving” is embedded in my mind, embedded in my brain, just like always be moving. Even if I’m sitting still, something needs to be moving. I feel like with that mindset, it’s always kept me planning ahead, which kept me on my P’s and Q’s.
As a young forward-thinking cat, living proof of “Don’t Tell Me it Can’t Be Done” and serial entrepreneur, what sparks you to take on a challenge?
I think it boils down to the way I was raised, life just always seemed like a challenge and I realized that I was working through more mental issues and I was struggling and with the help of my mom and my older brother being in trouble with the law and then kind of stepping up and being an older brother for my two little brothers, it put me in that position to kind of accept the responsibility for things that I probably wouldn’t have had responsibility for if my older brother was around or if we had a pops around or something like that. So, you know, because I was raised in that, it kinda gave me that confidence to feel like I could take on anything. I’m one of those people that I feel like I can do anything even if I know I’m not going to do it because I have all of the confidence in the world. Do you know what I mean? I never met a challenge that made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for something or I couldn’t be good enough. I always knew that if I took my time and if I wanted to be good at something or if I wanted to overcome a challenge, I could, if I just put my mind to whatever my mind was focused on at the time. So it just boils down to the way I was raised and the challenges that I received early.
I liked the way you put that, it reminds me of a scene in the movie “Heat” where a young, cat was just getting out of the joint and he and his lady were sitting across from one another talking and she was asking if he was ok, was he stressed out, being back on the street and he says, “…there hasn’t been a hard time invented that I cannot handle…”
So let’s talk about the business. You’ve got a brand new clothing store and premium clothing brand out in Las Vegas. What sparked that?
Oh man, you know what’s crazy is when I was in high school, I graduated from high school in 2009, but in 2008, I came up with a little crew called “Team Flashy” and it was all my homeboys on the east side of Las Vegas. We were all into fashion and this is back when the “Jerk Movement” kinda got big, you know the kids were wearing colored skinnies and we were a part of all that. But in Vegas, we kind of started it a little bit, I don’t want to just take credit for some sh*t that was worldwide, but let me just say there weren’t a lot of people, a lot of crews running around with colored jeans on, it was new. And from there, I kind of started throwing parties and that kind of became our thing, fashion, and parties and just Vegas lifestyle type of stuff. It’s funny because when I was a senior in high school in 2009, I wanted to level up. I was like, Yo, we should be more than just clothes, we should add photographers and we should add this or we should add that. So I changed the name to Flashy, Inc., and that was kind of like our step up, from just being into fashion and being into clothes and things like that.
And then as, as time went on because I tried to do so much at once, I put more on my plate than I could handle, some relationships fell out and I kind of leaned back off the fashion thing a little bit. It’s always been something I’ve been into, but it’s something that I leaned back off of a little bit. Then as I got older and just trying to solidify something that represents me, that I can continue to push, that kind of also piggybacks off the merchandise from my music and things like that, I felt like I had built a strong fan base that kind of rocks with my fashion, my taste of fashion, I was like why don’t I just try to flip that and turn it into something in Vegas where people can come get fly. And if they really believe in my taste in fashion then they’ll come out and enjoy the Sh*t I put in the store and stuff like that.
It was a long journey to get to the clothing boutique, but it was definitely something that seemed like it could have possibly been in my future when I look back at all the seeds I was planting early. So It really was everything for me to open the store and actually be able to add something else to my name because one of the main things for me wasn’t to just try to push kids to dress fly. I really want to push kids to be business owners, whatever that business is, whatever you’re into. I feel like I have a better chance of getting my point across if I own my own business. It was important for me to make that happen and yeah man, God is good and you know, it’s been dope.
So it’s not a selfish kind of situation with your entrepreneurship. It’s you showing the next generation that really it can be done. This is kind of how you do it and, as long as you have the intestinal fortitude to get in there, learn how to get it done and make some mistakes, fail a little bit, you can still make it happen. You’re putting a visual metaphor out there for success and being a self-starter kind of “A-type” personality situation.
Yeah man, because you know what it is, I always think about the younger version of me and I’m just like yo there were so many things that I didn’t get gamed on because I just had my mom and my mom worked two jobs and when she didn’t work two jobs she was traveling a lot, to make sh*t work and it was always a journey. And with my brother being in trouble with the law, if I’d had somebody in my corner to be like, “Yo, you should be thinking about being a business owner, you should stop paying rent, think about mortgages buy the house,” I probably wouldn’t even be a rapper. Luckily my journey got me to this point, but now that I’m here, I want to use this sh*t to holla at people the way that I wished I was holla’d at. Without coming off, like I’m trying to be everybody’s principle or I’m trying to be oh, I think I’m better than everybody, just being able to give back to the younger version of me that could have used that advice. Even though I was able to break some of those barriers, there are a lotta people that can’t. They are mentally enslaved within their mind and they never really get to do anything because they’re not telling themselves they can do it enough. They don’t know anybody in their circle and in their family that’s accomplishing the sh*t. So they don’t think that that’s some sh*t that they could do. So I’m just trying to be that good positive force out here the best way I can.
I dig that, you’re talking about the chains and images of psychological slavery, where everybody’s better than you… self-esteem issues. The programming is a systemic kind of situation that means we’ve got to have people with faces that look like the youth doing things and showing them.
So, on to the Cannabis part of your business, in 2015, you kicked it off with the “Dizzy OG” strain and got second place at the High Times Cannabis Cup for the medical hybrid and now you’re jumping into a second strain and expanding the business. Is this going to take you to different cities as you’re expanding and as the licensing and the legalization of this billion dollar industry starts to spread across the United States?
Absolutely. So my Dizzy OG right now is only in California. We’re definitely are trying to brand out to the other states that are now going legal and all that but everywhere has laws about weed from other places. Everybody wants to grow the weed in the city, which means I would have to find a cultivation in the city to grow the Dizzy OG and that’s where I haven’t taken my chances on allowing other states to grow something that’s so precious to me, and something that I don’t want to take the value away from. So I’ve kept it very exclusive but what I did do, as I branched out first to Vegas because I’m here, this is my home, I found cultivation out here that could grow the Dizzy OG. They grew the Dizzy OG and I liked the way that they grew the Dizzy OG, but it wasn’t like the original Dizzy OG.
So what we started to do was grow different flavors and we started the Dizzy flavors out here. So In Vegas, I have about four different flavors of weed strains that we sell throughout the city in all of the dispensaries. It’s Busy Dream and Durban Poison and some other different little flavors that we have in Vegas. And then we have the Dizzy OG in California. So I’m trying to expand the flavors that I have in Vegas and I’m also trying to expand the Dizzy OG that I have in California. I love marijuana, I wasn’t one of those kids that grew up smoking weed at the parties in high school. I didn’t smoke weed until my fiance was pregnant with our first daughter and stressing me out. I started smoking weed late in the game, and I just fell in love with the culture and the culture has been growing since 2012 and we’ve kind of seen it elevate and go to new heights all the way to these new states being legal and it’s just beautiful man. I have no complaints.
Breaking into the business, what were some of the challenges you had to overcome to get your line excepted and get the licensing and things like that?
You’ve definitely got to be business minded and smart. I would say some of the challenges is being patient and not being greedy and working with the people that are actually growing your bud and having a relationship and building a relationship there instead of it just being a money situation. I built a relationship with the Crown Genetics family and, it’s always been more than money, there have been times where we’ve had to step back and try to find new places to grow the weed because we weren’t growing it at a fast enough pace and things would happen and things would slow down and you’ve just got to have patience. I feel like you’ve got to be able to find people that you really fu*k with and that you really want to work with to have long-term business or sh*t just gets rocky. So everything is always just more than the money to me.
Do you feel being a hands-on kind of guy, is your secret to success for both your music and your businesses?
Yeah. And I wasn’t always this hands-on, and sometimes being so hands-on is also my downfall [laughs] it’s a learning process, man, it’s a growing process. But, you should definitely be as hands-on as possible, and remember that it’s your life that’s being steered and you’ve got to steer it the way that you want it to go. Hopefully you keep people around you to help it be a clean steer but if you just allow people to just come in and just do everything for you and they take it away and you don’t have anything, you can’t be mad at anybody but yourself for not being hands-on because now you don’t know anything. It’s just better to be smart about it.
With that, what is the most fun for you right now though, being Dizzy Wright?
The most fun for me, aww man it’s crazy because I have like sections. It’s hard to choose. When I’m on stage I’m always in my own, I love to broadcast the talent and I’m always trying to be a better performer so I love being on stage. But, you know, my kids are at that beautiful age, they’re seven and three so Christmas and the holidays are just fun and awesome. So, being a parent, being at home just being able to work so hard and provide a life that we can just kick it and go out and do fun different things, it makes it all worth it. But then walking into my “Still Moving” store out here in Vegas, I grew up out here, I’ve been buying clothes out of here forever, all my school shopping and everything has been in Vegas and now I’ve got my own store where kids are coming in. So I go and I’m always having fun there dancing and you know to me man, I’m trying to have the most fun in life right now. I’m just trying to live life to the fullest. I feel like I’m always having fun. But if I had to choose one, if you’re making me chose one, it would probably be when I’m with my kids and we’re just all having fun you know what I’m saying, just being kids, goofy,
Coming up in 2019, you’ve got a new project. Are you excited?
Man, I’m so excited. I’m so excited.
State of Mind 2 and The Golden Age 2, those brought us something completely different than your newest release “Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done” where you kind of explore some different sonics and use of timbre, intonation and things like that. And the messages, like I, said “Introvert” is my favorite from the project just because it compares to really how you’re living the way you talk about it. So what can we expect, will it be more the same or are you coming in with something a little bit different for 2019?
Yeah, I’m coming up with something a little bit different. I’ve always worked with different producers that just make awesome beats, you know what I mean? I just got dope production to me that I’m just feeling, it just hits me and I write to it, it’s a song, I love it, package it up. Now what I’m trying to do is, sit down with the producer and create the sounds that I actually grew up on and bringing and allowing people to tap into the sounds that keep me going, but I really want to get people moving. So I’mma do a lot of different things on this new project which is called “Nobody Cares, Work Harder.” I’m just going to really tap into that self mentality of empowering yourself and reminding yourself to keep going hard. I’m going to do that and also allow people to have fun with it and be able to play it in all kinds of different places where it’s jammin’. We’re going to bring back the funk. We’re going to mix it up and we’re going to have some fun, so it’s going to be nice. Definitely going to take people on a cool little journey.
Nice to see young people enjoying the funk! That was a different time that did help create the party though! That’s a whole different scene.
And you can get your point across and still get people to jam, and party and have fun with the funk. That’s why I love the funk the most because you can still talk your shi*t, but you can still jam the fu*k out. Instead of having to slow it all the way and talk your sh*t and when you speed it up you’re on some different shi*t. I’ve found a nice pocket and I think the world is gonna really enjoy it. I’m excited to get it out there
Being at the level that you are within the industry with the ability to earn for yourself and help other people earn a living for their families as well, what’s your take on the thought that artists and entertainers should just perform and shut up?
Well, it’s just the perspective man. You’ve got some artists out here you can barely understand ’em, they’re not pronouncing anything and now they’re looking at it as slang but you can’t fu*king understand them, but they’ve got good music and it’s respected. If somebody sees that person and they’re just like, oh, I don’t understand anything he’s saying, he should just shut and perform that type of sh*t just don’t even bother me. But I will say this, for the artists that can articulate themselves and want to make a stamp in the game, like stamp their name in the game, they’re gonna realize day one that it’s more than that. You’ve got to use your voice. It’s just like artists who get on stage and perform with their lyrics in their verse, we can’t feel you. I can’t feel you, I need to hear your voice to be able to know if I could believe anything you’re saying, you know what I mean? And then after that, when they ask you about some sh*t your response gotta represent your stage performance or I’m going to think it was all a lie. You’ve gotta have the full package when you moving forward in the game. Shutting up and performing ain’t going to do nothing but have you somewhere talking about man, I used to be dope as fu*k, people used to fu*k with me.
What about 2019 tour dates, you’re going to be in Colorado in April, getting ready for 4/20, actually 4/20 eve, you and Method Man, and a bunch of cats. Is Colorado one of your spots man that people really turn out for you and your music?
Yeah, when I signed with Funk Volume, Denver, Colorado was the first place that they brought me out and they announced me to be on the label in Denver. And then at midnight, I turned 21, so I turned 21 in Denver too. It was a special night, I had just signed with Funk Volume, I just turned 21 and I had never really done a bunch of shows like concerts outside of Vegas. it was dope to be able to perform in front of everybody in Denver, but from that moment, and I’ll never forget because like I said, I turned 21 at midnight so it was November 25th, 2011 because on the 26th I turned 21 and ever since then Denver’s always embraced me and showed me love and supported all my projects and music and they’ve always just been tapped in. I always feel like if I can keep people tapped in then they’ll really enjoy the music and everything will move so dope. But that’s the challenge, keeping people tapped in and staying in front of the people, without acting an ass.
Do you have a bucket list of artists that you feel you would like to rock with?
Yeah, I kinda do, Jigga is at my very top number one. Everything that Jigga has been rapping about, it’s just been everything for me. At my age right now and like the sh*t that I’m trying to accomplish, he’s saying everything so player to me, he’s at the top of my list. And then, of course, Swizz Beatz, Damien Marley, Nas, Kendrick, Cole, those are obvious, they’re killin the game. There are some dope females out there that I would like to work, with too, I would like to work with Nicki Minaj one a day, jump on there and kick some fly sh*t with her.
I feel like I could literally work with every artist and that’s the kind of career that I wanted to build for myself. And from me having records with Wyclef, Bone Thugs and Tech N9ne to having Tory Lanez and Kid Ink, I try to, spin that thang on up and do as much as possible so I can put as much different content out in the earth while I’m here as possible. I don’t ever get boxed in to just like, “I don’t think he would sound good with that artist…”; Dizzy Wright is going to sound good with everybody! With the right production, I know how to get on there and do my sh*t with everybody. That’s my thinking.
What makes a forever song to you, something that’s eternal?
Substance, if it has substance, it’s easy to go back and to relate to something that everybody’s got to typically go through or eventually go through. The substance is everything. Not everybody’s at a level of maturity, so if you kickin’ some sh*t out of a level of maturity, everybody’s got to get there and as soon as they get there they’ll get it, that song will live forever. Because everybody’s not there yet, so they’ve got to get there. Then when they get there, they understand it and then once you’re at a certain level of maturity, you don’t even have to like a song that much, but you’re mature enough to understand where that person’s coming from because the substance was so dope. You know, it’s like Pac “Keep Ya Head Up” or “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” if you were a fan of the Beastie Boys that didn’t have to be your favorite song, but you know that’s a classic because of the substance.
Anything, in particular, you want people to know about Dizzy Wright?
I just want people to know that I’m f**king coming and that I’m here and I’mma always be here and I’m always going to be providing dope ass music and dope ass sounds sonically. I’m not one of these weird kids that’s going to be trying to get attention off of the weird sh*t. I’m only going to be planting solid f**king player seeds, putting out dope music and I’m coming. I’m coming for the top, I’m going to be bossing up and doing everything that I can to be the best version of me until the whole world knows. We’re just going to keep it rocking and long as I got solid guys like you that talk to me and remind the world that I’m still here that’s all I can ask for.
Let’s talk about the making of “Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done” and what motivated you to make some changes in your sound and how you developed it.
It’s funny because after “State of Mind 2” and “Golden Age 2” and 2017, I started to think, if I was a fan of Dizzy Wright, how would I feel right now? Would I feel like yo, this has been around for a while, is he going to just keep hitting us with the same sound over and over? Can he just rap, can he do anything else? Because now you’ve got all these new artists that are coming out and they’re utilizing their tools differently, and some people might call it hip hop; hip hop to me is still the original hip hop because you know, the auto-tune and the kind of singing has flipped the day. People are more into melodies now. And it’s seeing how the game is shifting and making it your own without trying to be anybody. So I had to say to myself well I took them on “The Golden Age 2” and “State of Mind 2″, I took them back, so what kind of music can Dizzy Wright make in these times with the music shifting. How can I get a message across and still give them the frequencies that we’re in right now, but not try to be anybody, who can Dizzy Wright be within all of this?
I feel like making that change, I’m thinking to myself like, Yo, people are going to want Dizzy Wright to be a certain type of way because there’s a certain type of Dizzy Wright that they liked…”I liked the Dizzy Wright that does the slower sh*t and this sh*t. No, I liked the Dizzy Wright that be turning up and doing this.” Everybody has their perception of what they liked so it’s stepping away from that and doing what I want, and just being like, don’t tell me it can’t be done. You gonna like this sh*t regardless, you might need to come around to it but you’re going to like this sh*t regardless because at the end of the day people just need to know that you’re not changing. You’re just doing what you want. People don’t want somebody that’s trying to change and be everything that’s current. They like people that are doing what the fu*k they want and following their heart. So my fans fu*k with it and sometimes fans back off and then I drop the next project and the last project before that sounds fu*king amazing because you realize that the rapper, the artists didn’t change, he was just doing what he wanted and I feel like that has worked for me literally since day one.
Every time I drop some new sh*t it always gets this amazing response a year later or whatever because people realized that the artists didn’t change, people just scared to see their artists change and turn into fu*king weirdos because we’ve seen it so many times. They get their butter, their cheese, their bread and then get weird on their fans and say “…this is just me, I’m doing what I want”, but you know, it’s changing. Sometimes you see an artist changing and fans know this.
Every time I drop a project, I always know that the project’s going to do amazing and it’s going to sit with the people that can understand what I’m saying. Like “Introvert”, I knew that the older generation would respect “Introvert” more than the younger generation because they’ve got to go look the fu*king word up you dig what I’m saying? There’s a difference in how music is perceived and “Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done” was just me really just like, “Yo, I’m going to do whatever fu*king current music I want to do whatever kind of way I want to do it and don’t tell me it can’t be done because I’m Dizzy Wright and I can get the sh*t done”, that’s just my mindset.
Tell me if I’m off base or whatever, but the deeper you go, the more the audience opinion kind of means to you, the more your fan opinion means to you and can affect how you project, or how you move forward?
I wouldn’t say it will project how I move forward, but I grew with the fans. All of the Dizzy Wright projects are the mentality of the age that I’m in. So you can listen to all the projects and people will be like “…this is my favorite project…” It’s probably since you’re that age, or some people just relate to the songs that were ahead of their time. Even for me, just being a young Ni**a, being able to talk about some of the sh*t that I’m talking about and they respect that. But because I’ve grown with my fans and because, I dropped my first project in 2010 and now it’s 2019 and I listened to the fans, and I’m listening to how they’re growing, I’m paying attention. So I definitely pay attention to the fans and I definitely pay attention to what they’re into, what they like and I’ve been able to decipher, how people look at Dizzy Wright, not all people, because I guess worrying about how all the people look at you would be exhausting. But when you’re putting art out there, how people are perceiving it you get so many different opinions on this sh*t, you start to listen to certain things.
Without putting anybody on blast or whatever, what’s been your craziest “Where they do that at?” moment, or WTF moment thus far in your career?
The craziest I guess it would be the Funk Volume breakup, simply because the owners walked away from their label, the cats who started it, walked away from their label so that was probably like the moment “where they do that at?” like who walks away from their own label. That’s probably the most shocking experience that I’ve ever been through in having to walk away from something that I believed in so much or that I had put so much time and faith in. That was probably THE craziest moment for me and then it just going to social media extremely fast was the craziest moment. But luckily, all that is in the past now and everybody’s back to doing what they’re supposed to be doing and it’s all love in the air. I was like, hold on so we not doing this label thing no more? I was like SO IT’S OVER? Just like that man. I’m like, man, you gotta keep it moving. It’s still moving baby!Tweet