"I'm like everyone's favorite cousin," Boston rapper Cousin Stizz told REVOLT TV. From being the cool kid on the block of Dorchester to headlining his own tour, Stizz has been making moves that have shed a new light on his city's hip-hop scene. But being a lyricist wasn't always the plan for Stizz, let alone becoming the new leading rap voice of his hometown.
Stizz has admitted that at the time he began to rap, he had no plans for his future. He gained a reputation of being an extremely talented freestyler among his close friends and, upon them seeing his potential, they convinced him to take music more seriously. In 2012, he met his manager Tim Larew, videographer Goodwin, as well as rapper Michael Christmas at a local event called the "12 For 12" cypher series. He later explained, during a 2015 interview with Noisey, that the group came together pretty quickly after the aforementioned cypher, and soon built a bond beyond music, a brotherly bond. From there, with them on his team, he would make music his future.
"It's crazy, it's really indescribable, you know what I'm saying," Stizz said about his upcoming tour. "Like, this kind of happened out of nowhere. I wasn't really planning on being a rapper growing up, so obviously this is just a blessing and I'm truly grateful for it and I can't [not] take advantage of it."
In a phone interview with Cousin Stizz, REVOLT asked him where he thinks he'd if his friends hadn't have encouraged him. "I don't know," he said. "I thank God that I'm here, because I didn't have qualifications anywhere else. So who the fuck knows. For this to just kind of fall into my lap, it was the perfect storm of everything. The perfect people meeting at the right time with the right mindset."
In 2015, Stizz released his debut mixtape Sulfolk County that featured his breakout single "No Bells," along with cuts "Fresh Prince" and "Shoutout." From day one, he received an overwhelming amount of support from his city, and because of that he didn't have to do much to gain recognition for his music. In an interview with Ebro of Hot 97, Stizz shared how his first song ever garnered 10,000 plays on SoundCloud in the first week, his second song nabbed 20,000 in a week, and his third song gained national attention after being blasted in a video by Drake on his 27th birthday. In a town where people aren't use to seeing things like that happen, they happened for Stizz.
When it comes to actually making the music, Stizz said that he tries not to have too much of a process but just lets the music flow. "I don't even really be knowing where the lyrics be coming from half the time; songs write themselves. I'm a big believer in if inspiration comes out, it comes out of your body; it's just not even something that I can control."
Stizz draws his inspiration from his real life experiences, from his drug-dealing past to his rough upbringing in Dorchester. In 2016, he dropped his second and most personal mixtape of the three, MONDA. He named it after his close friend Damone Clark who sadly passed away that year from cancer. Before Clark died, Stizz made sure to share with him that he was dedicating that project to him. It's a special piece of work that Stizz says helped get the real classic hip-hop heads on his side.
To no surprise, hip-hop heads weren't the only ones who this Boston rapper got on his side. This year, Cousin Stizz signed a major deal with RCA records and dropped his third project One Night Only, which includes features from artist like G-Eazy and Offset. In the midst of his growing accomplishments, Stizz continues to uphold his simple guy stature, explaining that his main goals are to just make amazing music, take care of his mom, and make sure his people around him are good. His preference of being low-key is what Stizz says makes him stand out, and describes himself as being the exact opposite of the modern day rapper.
"I don't try to be in the way. I don't try to be in the spotlight," Stizz told REVOLT. "I just let my music speak for itself. I just let me speak for myself and just about being me. I don't want to do all this other shit that all these other people are doing. I don't move how niggas move. I never have and never will. I think that's what probably makes me stand out, is just do what Stizz does."
Clearly doing what Stizz does, so far, has been working out for him. He just recently toured as a supporting act on Super Duper Kyle's 'Super Tour' and on October 11, he'll hit the road for his 'One Night Only' Tour. Kicking it off in Philadelphia, Stizz (along with Big Leano and Swoosh) will go on for 25 more cities around the country.
Stizz described where he is in his career as an amazing place, one he's blessed to be in while surrounded around a group of great people. And so, in return, being a great person is something that he wants to constantly embody and instill throughout his career. He said, "Great things come to people who are great and when I say great, I mean by being great to others. Being a good person. Things usually pan out the right way if you're just a good person."
There isn't any doubt that Stizz still has major things coming his way. This is only the beginning for him. With merely 50,000 followers on Twitter, about 60,000 on Instagram, but over 1 million listeners on Spotify, it's evident that this kid has something special and people want to hear what he has to say. All he wants in return is be to embraced like family.
"Everybody's favorite cousin, treat me like family when you see me on the road, because I'ma treat you like family."