Hize is winning: Morenci rapper is conquering local sceneWritten by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy … ”
You can not call yourself a rapper if you don’t recognize the lyrics from Eminem’s Oscar-award winning song “Lose Yourself.” Every artist has had that gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of his/her stomach; that feeling that urges them to just walk the opposite direction of the stage, that feeling telling them that tomorrow night would be better, that feeling pressuring them to give up.
That feeling must be drastically multiplied when the audience is comprised of people from a town of 3,000 whose knowledge of Hip-Hop stopped at N.W.A. and Gangsta Rap’s other elite. Imagine how they feel about a white guy spitting heartfelt lyrics on top of a bass-pounding instrumental.
Morenci, Mich., native Cody Hize isn’t your typical rapper. In an industry where “keeping it real” is a way of life, Hize’s reality is so undeniably true that one has no choice but to respect it. He’s the first to tell anyone, “I never sold drugs. I don’t gangbang. I just make music that is real to me, and people can relate to it.”
Priding himself on “bringing Hip-Hop to Morenci,” Hize had his work cut out for him. DJ Phenomenon told Hize he would have to work three times as hard as other rappers because the odds were stacked heavily against him: he lived in a small town where rap was nonexistent, meaning he would have to do a lot of traveling to network with other artists and promoters.
Hize supported many gas stations and made enormous financial sacrifices in support of his dream. He remembers every negative slur (some too vulgar to repeat), every misguided stereotype and every rejection. He embraced it. After all, Hize is the underdog; he’s rapping for the kids whose teachers told them that rap was stupid, for the kids who were made fun of in the hallways, for the aspiring rapper who needs a little push.
Today, attend an event in Morenci and mention Hize’s name and everyone has a positive response. They love him! His biggest marketing tool, coincidentally, is word of mouth. Hize has learned what a lot of artists are still trying to grasp: simply talking to people will get you a long way. He wasn’t afraid to approach anyone, chat them up and hand them his CD.
On March 26, Hize played a show in Detroit. The crowd was thrown off by the difference in the amount of melanin in his skin. Instead of letting it discourage him, he rocked the show. By the time he was done, the crowd was on his side. And he wasn’t even surprised, because he knows, “you don’t know my name now, but you will after you hear me.”
Hize’s name is definitely becoming known. Other than conquering Morenci, he is a constant in the Toledo Hip-Hop scene, and is expanding his brand all over Ohio. On March 31, he’ll be at Club Liberty in Toledo, and April is filling up quickly with shows as far as Columbus and ending at the Maumee Indoor Theatre for a dance competition, “Who Told You You Could Dance?” which I am hosting.
You can follow him on Twitter@Hize for the rest of the dates.
Hize describes his music as “versatile and unique.” But after checking his background (enrolled in college; plans for a promotional firm or entertainment marketing business; savvy business mind), you begin to realize that everything about Hize is unique. He stands out because he knows what he wants, and has a plan to get there. That’s why I certainly believe him when he says “you can’t stop at the ceiling; you can’t stop at the sky.”
The last line of Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” describes Hize best: “Feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got.”