Bizarre Recalls ‘Friday Nights at St. Andrews’
D-12 member Bizarre is stepping back into his own music lane with the release of his third solo album 'Friday Nights at St. Andrews.' The self-proclaimed "Weird Al Yankovic type" of rapper showcases his lyrical talent by trading in his usually comedic tracks for songs that reflect topics on life in today's music industry and his hometown Detroit. Named after a music venue in the city, where then un-known hip-hop groups like the Fugees, and the Roots graced the stage for hip-hop nights every Friday, Bizarre hopes that 'Friday Nights at St. Andrews' conveys the new direction his music is going in.
"A lot of energy. A lot of crowd participation songs, just a heightened vibe," Bizarre describes his new album to The BoomBox, while taking a break from a D-12 tour stop in Canada. "I wanted it to be an uplifting experience. The album goes back to, like, the old school battle days. That's where I come from -- the 8 mile days. It's more hardcore, more lyrical. [I wanted to] let everybody know that I really got skills and I ain't just a comedian rapper."
Aside from features by Redman, Nipsey Hussle, Tech N9ne, Yelawolf and fellow Detroit native Royce Da 5' 9", Bizarre wanted the album to address some of the battles he's endured throughout his career and inspire others hoping to walk the same path. His lead single 'Believer,' produced by Nate Walka, co-writer of Jamie Foxx's smash 'Blame It,' does just this. "It's basically telling kids, [who] want to be rappers or entertainers, or actors, just believe and don't give up on your dream. Then I got a song called 'If You Believe,' it's just breaking down the music industry in general, from beginning to end -- a blueprint of how to be a starving artist and never give up and just try to hit these executives and record labels up and try to get a record deal out here."
Although he used mostly local producers for 'Friday Nights,' the members of D-12 are teaming with their longtime friend and collaborator, Eminem, who will help produce up their next album. "We're going to start working on our album as soon as we get back from this tour," Bizarre further discloses. The group recently collaborated with their pal on his new 'Relapse 2' cut 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot.'
While his life may have drastically changed for him in the last few years, Bizarre still remains deeply embedded in his Detroit roots, splitting his time between the city and Atlanta. In light of the Detroit's depleting economy continuing to be a fixture on the nightly new, the rapper explained that the social climate of the city and the people's spirits has dropped as several residents continue to move out to look for better job opportunities. 'We're going through a lot,' he explained. 'We're less than a million people right now in the city. Detroit holds like four or five million people. We got 100,000 people leaving a year so it's crazy what's happening to our city right now. There are no more jobs. The car plants are closed up. It's more scary, more grimey, people [are] hungry."
But then again, Detroit has always has its battles, making Bizarre's return to the city's old school battle days on 'Friday Night at St. Andrews' even more appropriate. "When people are more hungry they'll get at you quicker now, they gotta eat," he adds. "It's a hate it or love it city. Sometimes you hate it, sometimes you love it."
'Friday Night at St. Andrews' will be released via his new label home AVJ Records on May 18.