Interview: Christian Emcee, Bizzle, The West Coast Man of God & Art
LA native Mark J. Felder, better known as Christian emcee, Bizzle, began writing at the age of 8 years old and now holds over 20 years of experience to his name. A well rounded artist, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, Bizzle released his first set of music between 2004 and 2008 titled, the L.A.V Mixtapes series. He later released the Dirty West Mixtapes 1 and 2 when he was in H-Town, then went back to his hometown to release Certified Mixtape.
He’s headlined shows as well as opened up for rap superstars like Lil’ Wayne, Dipset’s Juelz Santana, and Lil Boosie. In 2010 he decided to take his music in a new direction, which he felt was necessary. He released “You Got Some Explaining to Do”, a track directed towards rap monger Jay-Z, calling him out on his negative references towards Jesus in his music, causing a lot of controversy around Bizzle.
For some time after releasing the song he was referred to as the “Christian Rapper that dissed Jay-Z”. Bizzle used the momentum to took his movement to another level, releasing his first Christian mixtape in 2010, The Messenger. Ever since he has delivered hope and faith through his music while keeping it as real as a rapper possibly could.
Bizzle is set to release his upcoming album, Crowns & Crosses on October 21, 2016 via the record label, God Over Money LLC. The album’s producers include Boi-1da, Dilemma, The Cratez, C-Life, Curtis King, Snaz, Marv Beats, and more. Featured artists on Crowns & Crosses include, Dee-1, Jonathan McReynolds, KB, Willie Moore Jr., Eshon Burgundy, Sevin, Datin, Selah The Corner, Bumps INF, H.U.R.T. & GS.
In anticipation of the project, we caught up with Bizzle to talk about the album and much more. This is my talk with the West Coast’s man of God and art.
Parlé Mag: I see that you’ve opened up for a bunch of artists and have had an extremely interesting chain of events, what is the most memorable?
Bizzle: Honestly it wasn’t even opening up for anybody. I went to the VMI Award Show in Hollywood. I went with a friend and didn’t hear about the show until last minute. It was a small venue and everybody I looked up to was in there. It was around the time ‘Kiss Kiss’ came out, so I’d say 2008. I saw T. Pain, T.I, even Keri Hilson. At the time I’m sleeping in my car, two hours later a phone call put me over there.
Parlé Mag: That’s one of the craziest stories I’ve ever heard. Who was your favorite rapper growing up?
Bizzle: Pac. Pac, by a long shot. First off, he was reppin’ the west, so you know. The passion behind what he did, the interviews, he was just the total package.
Parlé Mag: You’ve been involved in the game for a very long time. How would you describe the changes it’s endured, be it good or bad?
Bizzle: I would say that the change is bad, but I would also argue that it was never good. It was never exactly positive. You could always find rappers who were positive, but those weren’t the ones getting fed to us on the radio. Nowadays they call women “thots”, back then it was hoes and tricks.
Parlé Mag: That said, who are some of your favorite artists to listen to in the game now?
Bizzle: God Over Money… Bumps INF, Datin, Selah The Corner, & Sevin.
Parlé Mag: Your Twitter profile picture is a photo of you and Steph Curry, how’d that come about?
Bizzle: We met via Twitter. He was looking for music, and I know someone who was writing for the Warriors. He said Steph plays your music in the locker room. In 2011 I even linked up with Boi-1da on Twitter. I was on my honeymoon and dropped a song, and saw a bunch of people tweeting me. People were like “Yo! Boi-1da tweeted you”… I didn’t even know who he was, considering the only Hip-Hop music I listen to nowadays is my own. He even produced most of my last album. I give credit to God, I’ve passed out my demo, gone to the awards trying to meet people, I’ve pulled up on David Banner on Hollywood Blvd. and gave him a CD, I gave T-Pain my CD, I gave 50 my CD… it’s been a journey.
Parlé Mag: That’s incredible. What’s the most important value you’ve learned to carry with you as an artist?Bizzle: The most important value as an artist is to keep God before my art. When you call something art, you can justify doing anything with it whether it’s evil or whatever it is, you’re calling it art, so it’s how I express myself. Nowadays it’s all about sex, drugs, murder, sex, drugs, murder, I wanna change that up.
Parlé Mag: I see that you’re going to be going on tour this upcoming Fall with the intentions of spreading your message with the people. What is the message you’re trying to send with it?
Bizzle: My job is to give hope. My job is to take it from sex, drugs, murder to sex, drugs, murder, hope.
Listen to Bizzle’s “All The Way Up” Freestyle here…
Bizzle is currently reparing for a Fall 2016 tour spanning the East Coast and Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas among additional dates. Follow Bizzle for more updates.