Even if you aren't a fan of rap music, it's possible that you have heard of Pizzle before.
The young rapper was one half of the wildly popular song "Green and Yellow," with collaborator Prophetic being the other half. While there were many "Green and Yellow" songs, with one even being done by Lil Wayne, Pizzle and Proph's version and music video took the entire state by storm, gaining over half of a million views on YouTube and spins on radio stations from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.
Recently the rapper released a new project to the public for free called "Fame In Vain." On the album, Pizzle applies a more pop-rap style over industry-quality beats, creating a record that could not only work in his locale but in the country on the whole.
Pizzle is a talented rapper who can spit rapid-fire rhymes and complex bars, but he pulls back a little on this album to give things a more pop/R&B feel at times, leading to the stand-out track "Lost This Game."
Looking to show that his recent "fame" was not in vain, Pizzle and I discussed the new album – available for free download here – and his desire for turning music into a larger part of his life.
OnMilwaukee.com: What led you to naming your album "Fame In Vain"?
Pizzle: It's a lot of people pursuing a music career now. When I first started there were only a select few and a lot of the rappers now claim to not really be "rappers" or "artists," they just do it because they want the money or the notoriety. To me it's offensive because I actually do it because I love it. It's been instilled in me and I don't want fame in vain. I just want the world to hear what I have to offer.
OMC: Has your remix version of "Black and Yellow," the appropriately named "Green and Yellow," provided any obstacles for you or has it had a negative effect in any way?
P: Well, I wouldn't consider it to be negative but others may. There's always the "Oh, people only know them because of 'Green and Yellow,'" or it may have been looked at as a gimmick. The thing that's always funny to me though is people act like we controlled the success. The state made it as big as it was so I look at it as all benefit. Hopefully more ears will hear what I have to offer.
OMC: When you set out to make this new album, what were the most important things to you to have on this record?
P: The production. I wanted to make sure my beats would be industry standard and that when people heard the production they would wanna hear what I have to say. My album is more content than me displaying my lyrical ability because I want to evoke emotion on this project.
OMC: Where do you fit in within the Milwaukee hip-hop scene?
P: That's what I've been trying to figure out. I'd say I made my own lane by using multiple lanes. I never go too far over the edge to the point where people will think I forced a song. So, with that flexibility I have supporters that would be considered club, street, backpack, etc. I guess it's really up to the public to decide what they want to classify me as.
OMC: The album has a much more mainstream sound to it than some of your earlier works. What led you to want to go in that direction?
P: You know, I actually didn't notice until the project was complete. I guess it's because I have a new love for great R&B/pop/rap records. I have songs with a pop feel on my album where I talk about something someone from the streets can relate to. I just try new things in music so I guess this album just kind of ended up with that feel.
OMC: Where does your love for music and hip-hop stem from?
P: My childhood. I remember being really young saving up pennies to go buy cassettes from Mainstream music store. Even then I was listening to New Kids On the Block and Da Brat. I've just always loved music.
OMC: What do you hope this record achieves for you?
P: I hope to gain new fans once they hear the quality of the music I produce. I'm also hoping to build some relationships that can potentially take me to a higher level in my career.
OMC: If you weren't making music and rapping, what would you want to do with your free time?
P: I'd probably be building computers.
OMC: You have only one sentence to describe yourself to the world. Go.
P: An artist you can always count on for good, quality music from the heart!
Born in Milwaukee and raised in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, Concordia University Wisconsin alumnus Poppe has spent the majority of his life in or around the city and county of Milwaukee.
As an advocate of Milwaukee's hip-hop community Poppe began popular local music blog Milwaukee UP in March 2010. Check out the archived entries here.
Though heavy on the hip-hop, Poppe writes about other genres of music and occasionally about food, culture or sports, and is always ready to show his pride in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.