Editors Note: This is more of an editorial music review vs a traditional music review.
“. . .We doing everything that they never wanted us to, I took a chance, you ain’t a fan nigga FU*K you I’m giving my people someone to look up to”-Pizzle, Ever Know
Pizzle’s long awaited Grand De$ign is finally here, but as I write this we are 8 days away from the official release date of April 11th which also lands one day before his Birthday. I’ve been sitting here the last couple of days digesting this advanced copy Pizzle got me for my review and this has been my soundtrack as I navigate through my day.
As the intro song Need More Time comes through the speakers, the Milwaukee-bred Pizzle delivers a line that explains the anticipation building up after the announcement of Grand De$ign. Pizzle is a more seasoned artist this time around with this release, he’s built a cult-like following after announcing the follow up to Insomnia II.
“I’ve been obsessing over this body of work.” –Pizzle, Need More Time
Pizzle stayed close to home with his team of producers on Grand De$ign, with most notably Yung Dev, Deonte Hayes, and Derrelle Rideout, these are names we should recognize from his previous offerings. Wouldn’t be in Grand De$ign fashion without some big name production on the album by Cardo, Honorable C.N.O.T.E and DJ Pain 1. Pizzle’s successful emergence into the industry is not only important for him but for his team. By default when he pops, his success will also shed light on a team of great producers who have had some major placements in their own right but none more important than what they’ve done with Pizzle. The Production on this album is immaculate, Pizzle is known for his rapid fire flow and being able to flat out spit but what adds to his greatness is his ability to pick the RIGHT beat.
We’ve heard rappers who can really flow but they never make it next level because their beats don’t match their rhyming potential; being able to pick a beat is a skill in itself and Pizzle should be applauded for being able to pick the right ones.
“Take a trip outta town for the exposure, then come back to the Mil like leftovers.” –Pizzle, Ever Know
Sitting right next door to Chicago, Milwaukee has always been overlooked. The last couple of years Milwaukee has birthed some of Hip Hop’s emerging talent who have garnered their own national attention. Pizzle’s name has been growing at a steady pace and has broken through to the forefront of the Milwaukee scene, becoming the artist with the most industry ready potential.
Grand De$ign is what we’ve been waiting for all year, we knew what to expect in terms of delivery but the content was unexpected, the storytelling was well thought out and the content throughout was probably his most personal yet. On his introduction Need More Time featuring Christine Hoberg he gives us his rap timeline in one song and pays homage to Milwaukee legends Coo Coo Cal (My Projects) and Baby Drew (Disco Lady) who Pizzle credits on showing him how to write a verse at 8 years old. Prior to the official release, Pizzle dropped off a few singles, the Honorable C. N.O.T.E produced Lena Horne finds Pizzle in his most introspective form. On this record Pizzle also made mention to Wale describing his lyrical ability as J.Cole-esque. Grand De$ign’s most streamed single to date, Tokyo Love produced by Derrelle Rideout and his most recent single Bad World featuring fellow Milwaukee rapper Klassik with additional vocals by Milwaukee natives AshleYYY and B-Free. Bad World is a deep record where Pizzle makes mention of being talked out of killing his Mother’s boyfriend and having to move in with his dad, realizing his pops wasn’t who he thought he was.
There’s so many great records on this album and it was well worth the wait, Pizzle describing these songs as “the best songs I recorded in the last year.” There’s a good amount of standout tracks on this album, one of them being Sweet Jones produced by Deonte Hayes. Pizzle’s flow lands in every pocket in this Houston-style beat; on this record, Pizzle in is in rare form, arguably delivering his most personal moments on this song:
“You don’t know what I been through, living in a house with no lights, and my momma and my brother there too. Coming home afterschool with no food in the fridge, asking my Mom what the fu*k we gone do? … Nigga I aint got no family, the ones that I did have died, I’m in need of support, told my auntie I needed a place to sleep and she left my ass on that porch, what if I woulda died that night? What if I didn’t have God that night, on my side that night…”
Another standout record is Welfare Check Pt.1 that features his longtime collaborator Jae Ace which gives the record the Circle Music Group feel that we grew to appreciate. Welfare Check Pt.2 featuring Bankhead may be the only production (Yung Dev) that truly has that Milwaukee feel to it that I can see everybody dancing to at the family Barbecues this summer.
Meanwhile, 1×1 features Ray Nitti and Meraki and reveals a candid look inside of the Milwaukee streets, the violence that named Brew City one of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities of 2015.
“The City don’t even realize, the Devil came and parked his car right in the center of the intersection, got out and just having fun. He picked Milwaukee to come have fun in,” describing the violence going on in the city.
“Watch your back today, police killing all the youth. Lay us down, don’t do the time they must be more important to you…” – Pizzle, 1×1
Myself is the perfect close to Grand De$ign, all of the hurt, emotional roller coasters and the testimony that Pizzle shared, with this song brings everything full circle. With one verse he gives us a glimpse of the love he has for his sons. Myself is more of a dedication, more of a conversation that we were invited to witness between a father and his sons. The amount of effort and passion shown in delivering Grand De$ign, Sharrod Sloans brings in a human element and he shows us why he does it all. The lyrics are heartfelt and straightforward, and Pizzle sounds in awe at the whole thing:
“I promise to give you and your brother the world…teach em never to feel entitled, never treat nobody different just because they got a title…” –Pizzle, Myself
Pizzle created a springboard with Grand De$ign that should propel him from the Northside of Milwaukee into the game, into a lane of his own. His obsession over this body of work has paid off and it should guarantee the emergence of Pizzle with not only Milwaukee, but the state of Wisconsin on his back.
“I swear it ain’t no solace in my fate, I’m like the hottest in my state.” –Pizzle, Need More Time
Songs Recommended by HHUCIT: Need More Time, Sweet Jones, Very Small Town, Ever Know, Tokyo Love, Lena Horne, Bad World and Myself.
Purchase Here: Grand De$ign
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