A polarizing figure, he is unapologetic when sharing his views on the music industry, homosexuality and other issues. He has criticized the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Macklemore for blasphemous comments they have made in their music.
Bizzle released his latest album, Crowns & Crosses, on Friday.
The California-bred wordsmith talked with HipHopDX about the album’s inspiration, title and content. He also touched on the benefits of being an independent artist, building his God Over Money label, and why he decided to donate $45,000 to build water wells in Africa.
Check out some excerpts from the interview below. Peep it in its entirety here.
Regarding his latest album’s title, Bizzle said it was inspired by the suffering and success every Christian encounters throughout their life..
Crowns & Crosses, the crowns represent moments of triumph, moments where you’re just bold and, you know, ‘Praise God and Hallelujah’ and all those good moments. And then the crosses represent the cross that you have to bear in this life, the struggles, the pain that you have to deal with, while still trying to keep your joy. Then also, while we’re on this earth, we’re guaranteed suffering. The Bible never tells us that we’re gonna have Heaven on Earth like that. It tells us that there’s going to be suffering. So we carry our crosses now and later on we get our crowns.”
It’s been awesome because nobody can tell me what to do or what to say. That right there, that freedom is very important for what I do. Because we’re in a time where to a lot of people, Jesus is a curse word I think. Jesus’ name gets bleeped out or edited out on TV shows. There’s places where you’ll do interviews and they’ll say, ‘Well, we just don’t want you to mention,’ even radio, they say, ‘We don’t want our listeners to be offended, so can you try not to?’ Because I’m independent, I wanna say, ‘say and do whatever I want,’ but it’s not that because I still have guidelines and principles and standards put forth by the Lord. But I’m in a place where I can’t be bought, I can’t be sold and if I have to take a stand, I can take that stand and nobody’s built me, so nobody can destroy me is what I feel, because I’m 100 percent independent.
Initially, the Lord put it on my heart to do a project and give all the profits away, I just didn’t know what it was going to be. So I went out to Africa on tour, I spoke to some people, I got back and I prayed. It’s like one of those for the people, I prayed and I asked God what does He want me to do with the money. What I didn’t want to do is go out there throwing money where they didn’t need it and just throw my American dollars at problems that weren’t their biggest concerns. So I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do. I cracked my Bible open, the first thing I came to was Jacob and Rachel at the well and all of a sudden, it stood out, that’s what I’m supposed to do: water.
So I started looking up companies. I ended up being in contact with someone already that I didn’t know did that. I talked to her and she was telling me about this village, the Gumbane village in Mozambique, one of the things she told me was that the water, the kids die at such a high rate out there from the water that a lot of the mothers don’t even name their children until they turn one years old, so they don’t get attached to them and then have the child die. Just hearing that broke my heart, so I wanted to do something about it and for the first time in my life, I can.
Like I said before, sometimes you have the heart to do something, but you don’t have the resources, so now, after I’ve been rapping for a minute, I’ve dropped a bunch of mixtapes. Those mixtapes, we gave ‘em out for free. So I’m used to dropping projects and not seeing money, so mentally, I prepared myself to drop this project like it was a mixtape, so I could pretend like there’s not money coming in, like it’s free, and put that money aside for them. And God is good. We were able to raise $45,000 to build water towers out there and now that community has clean water. The whole community is good. We’re not finished, but that’s definitely a start.