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Name: Adam Bernard
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About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Dizzy Wright Finds The Right ‘State Of Mind’
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

One of an artist’s favorite cliches is telling people that if they want to get to know them, they can listen to their work. In the case of Funk Volume emcee Dizzy Wright, however, he’s literally putting his State of Mind on display with his latest EP.

The State of Mind EP, and subsequent tour, gives listeners a glimpse into the world of the Las Vegas native who is coming into his own as an artist, and is ready to make an impact on a larger scale.

I caught up with Dizzy while he was killing time at an airport waiting for a flight, and found out more about the project, and what it was like growing up in a place known more for its vices than its music scene. Dizzy also revealed what changed the most after XXL named him as part of their Freshman Class last year, and how wild some of his concerts have been.

Adam Bernard: Before we get to your life and your music, I’m hoping you can clarify something for me. The other day, on your social media pages, you posted something where you said half the bloggers out there are “lame af (as fuck),” adding, “they support bullshit.” What inspired this negativity towards some of my peers?

Dizzy Wright: A lot of these bloggers that I talk to don’t even know about hip-hop. They don’t try to relate to an artist, they’re just looking for bullshit, to me. So you can’t try to impress the motherfuckers behind the blogs because most of the time they’re not trying to relate to you. As an artist you have to tell your story, and when you put that story out into the world, of course it’s for the people that can relate to it, so if somebody behind a blog can’t relate to it that doesn’t mean it’s not dope, they just can’t feel it. Ya feel me? Bloggers don’t even know how to grasp that concept.

Adam Bernard: Getting into your story, you’re a Las Vegas native. What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome growing up in a place known as Sin City?

Dizzy Wright: It all seems like a hurdle. The city doesn’t really support hip-hop, or really want anything to do with hip-hop. Everything about hip-hop in Vegas is kind of based off what somebody just kind of creates, and (when) it turns out to not be what it’s supposed to be, the hip-hop community looks bad, the hip-hop community looks like it shouldn't be a community because niggas don’t even know how to act. We never got the proper support out here for the hip-hop community, so it’s all a hurdle. It’s like you gotta get out (of) the city, or you gotta come up with one of them techno songs to get poppin on the strip. It’s all about the route. It’s just all a hurdle.

Adam Bernard: You were kicked out of the house at 17. How does a 17 year old survive on his own in Las Vegas?

Dizzy Wright: I started throwing parties at this club called Club Frozen. I had two weekends (per month), and I pretty much cashed out on them weekends. I was staying in a little studio that was $499 including utilities.

Adam Bernard: Not bad at all.

Dizzy Wright: Yeah. It was little as hell, though. I’m telling you, the kitchen, and the bedroom, and the living room were all in the same room.

Adam Bernard: Sounds like a lot of apartments in NYC.

Dizzy Wright: It’s funny because my first music video I ever shot, it’s called “Tha Truth,” starts off with me in my old apartment. You see the shit I had hanging up on the walls. This little ass spot, but I just made it work, just grindin.

Adam Bernard: You were throwing events, and you were part of the nightlife scene, so I’m guessing you had some women around you. Was it tough to bring them back to the place where the kitchen, bedroom, and living room were all one room?

Dizzy Wright: Hell no. It was player as fuck to have my own little place. It was like going over to a nigga’s house and he having his own room and y’all could shut the door and lock the door and his mom didn’t trip. It was a studio, I was 17, I flexed with that shit. {laughs} It was easy.

Adam Bernard: I guess having a studio at 17 has to be a lot more fun than having one at, say, 33.

Dizzy Wright: Yeah, oh hell yeah. Even right now, if I was living in that... It’s about progressing. I was willing to start little because I knew where I wanted to be.

Adam Bernard: I read you met your father for the first time while you were on a tour. Were it not for music, if you weren’t a hip-hop artist, do you think you’d know your father today?

Dizzy Wright: Yeah, I think I would know him, but I don’t know where I would have met him, because I ain’t have no money to get to him, and he didn’t have no money to get to me. He was out there just trying to make it happen, living day by day. I don’t know. Even my daddy right now, we’re still trying to get it right. It’s hard because people don’t be having money, but yeah, I’m thankful for this music stuff, it gets me to travel and go to these different places, these cool places. I got to go meet my pops, and yeah, it just all worked out.

Adam Bernard: I know your mixtape, SmokeOut Conversations, was inspired by your first encounter with your dad. With that in mind, what were the inspirations for your recently released State of Mind EP?

Dizzy Wright: State of Mind is a story, and it might not be what's going on exactly right now, but over the process of like the last couple months, or whatever, it’s a story. It’s just like my state of mind about certain things. It's not my full, overall, state of mind, because I’ve learned you can’t give em too much, so I’m just trying to balance it all out so the shock factor is still always there, but I just wanted to give people good music to jam to.

Adam Bernard: The first video from it is for the song “Everywhere I Go.” I have to ask, did you always have a love of car washes?

Dizzy Wright: {laughs} I didn’t, but I do now. You know what’s crazy, that video, we rushed that video so bad because, I don’t want to speak no bad blood onto Scion (who are sponsoring the State of Mind Tour), but they put us in an awkward position because in order for me to get everything out when I wanted it to be out we ended up having to rush everything. So for it to be rushed, it’s like (if) people knew how fast we had to put that shit together, and how fast we had to come up with the artwork, simply because we were dependent on somebody else, they will really respect how things came out. We worked really hard, and really fast, on that shit to make it what it was.

Adam Bernard: The women in that video are doing an OK job of cleaning the car, and an even better job of looking good while doing it. As the father of a daughter, however, and working in an industry that is known for not necessarily valuing women for more than their looks, how are you going about telling your daughter about your work life versus real life?

Dizzy Wright: Well, we haven’t gotten there yet. My daughter’s three years old, but it’s a reality. I’m not afraid for my daughter to know reality. I’ma teach my daughter everything about the hard things, the things that people don’t want their kids to know, just because I’d rather my child learn it from me than go out and let the world teach her. So I’m not really afraid of anything that’s thrown in my daughter's face because I’ma teach her about it, and prepare her for it, instead of trying to hide things from her and one day somebody else teaching her about, and it becoming something different. That’s why I am who I am, cuz my mom was never afraid to tell me things. I was able to soak up game very young. I knew a lot of shit at a young age that a lot of other kids didn’t know, and I used that to my advantage, because I didn’t have a daddy around. You gotta be able to teach your kids reality, and make sure you’re confident and know that they’re gonna come and talk to you about things, whatever it is.

Adam Bernard: Can you remember a moment from your youth when you were like, “Mom’s telling me exactly how it is.”

Dizzy Wright: Most of the time it was about speaking up, and standing up for something, because I’ve always had my opinions on certain things, and I’d go toe to toe with teachers, or the pastor, or my Bible study teacher. I did become like the knucklehead after a while, but my mom started realizing what kind of person that I was, and was trying to become, and when you don’t got a father around to really stand behind those little man qualities that you’re trying to build when you’re growing up, it becomes shallow, especially with a lot of anger, so I didn’t always get my point across the way I wanted to, but my mom, my brothers, and everything, everybody around me, was never afraid to put anything in my face. Just because of that I got to learn about it, and without having to experience everything, I kind of became an observer.

Adam Bernard: Back up for a moment, you argued with a pastor!?! How did those arguments go, and what were they about?

Dizzy Wright: I didn’t really argue, I just had some disagreements on the service, because it was just talking a lot about money, and I felt like, you talk a lot about the things we talk about outside of church, so what makes you any different than us?

Adam Bernard: Going back to your career, is there a singular moment you can point to and say, “That’s when I realized I was making it?”

Dizzy Wright: Nah. I don’t even like to say that, making it, or made it, any of that stuff, because there’s always going to be something that I’m chasing, something that I want to do, something more that I want.

Adam Bernard: You were on last year’s Freshman Class cover of XXL. How did that affect your life?

Dizzy Wright: I don’t know. It didn’t affect me, it affected everybody else.

Adam Bernard: When you say that, do you mean it changed the way people acted around you?

Dizzy Wright: Yeah.

Adam Bernard: Did you meet a lot of old friends you never knew were old friends?

Dizzy Wright: {laughs} Well, you hear about a lot of it. You know, everybody’s your friend, (and) everybody used to be your friend, when you get on the XXL cover. Just being on that type of shit makes you look like you got more than what you really got. It makes people want more from you. It’s just the reality of things.

Adam Bernard: Finally, you are in an airport right now, and you have toured quite a bit. What’s been the wildest, or most interesting, thing you’ve seen, or experienced, while on the road?

Dizzy Wright: I’ve seen a girl get completely butt naked, for whatever reason. I don’t know what was going on with her, but she got completely butt naked and just was turnin up.

Adam Bernard: This was during a show?

Dizzy Wright: During a show.

Adam Bernard: Just in the audience, she said this place has decent enough air conditioning, or heating, I can take off all my clothes and just turn up?

Dizzy Wright: {laughs} Yup.

Adam Bernard: Did you get her name afterwards?

Dizzy Wright: {laughs} I did not. The security might have got it.

Adam Bernard: I’m not sure security was concerned about her name at that point. How long did she get to enjoy the show in her birthday suit?

Dizzy Wright: Not very long.

Adam Bernard: Is there anything else you’d like to add before you have to catch your flight?

Dizzy Wright: You pretty much sealed the deal, but if people enjoy the EP it would be cool if they came out to the tour. I made a great show. We’re gonna be turnin up.

Interview originally ran on Arena.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 2:21 PM  
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