Last month I got the chance to go up to my hometown of New York City and interview an up-and-coming artist from Brooklyn who goes by LIVEFREERIZE, or Rize for short. Rize’s music is a smooth blend of traditional rap lyrics with modern production provided mostly by his producer Chvlly. If you’re tired of the same old trap rapping played on commercial radio and the underwhelming resurgence of backpack rap, LIVEFREERIZE is definitely someone to give a listen to. His music exists somewhere between the multiple sub-genres that populate modern hip hop. And because it doesn’t adhere to a certain label, it comes across as organic and relatable. You’ll never hear two Rize songs that sound the same, which is a breath of fresh air in this transitional period in hip hop culture, where artists are either only rapping about selling drugs they’ve never seen, spending money they don’t have, or waxing poetic about ex-girlfriends. It’s music made for real people. Think J. Cole, but not nearly as polite.
On top of being a creative and talented rapper, Rize is a cool dude in general. He’s a man’s man who’s been around the block a few times in a few different cities. Brooklyn is what he considers his home base, but he’s spent time in Newark, Chicago, Oakland, and even Durham where he has family. This exploration of different areas of the country has exposed him to music scenes outside of New York’s, which is uncommon for many rising rappers. A lot of up-and-coming rappers (especially NY-based ones), stick to their hometown sound, and in today’s genre bending environment, that mentality limits hip hop hopefuls. Rize has seen this, and acknowledges that the only way for New York hip hop to reclaim its throne in the rap kingdom is by approaching the art from a different angle.
Rize’s wise beyond his years mentality shines through in his music. It’s well balanced and fun, and he has a passion for performing live, which is the key to success. I’m very confident that with Rize’s sound, he will be an artist that you’ll see breaking into the mainstream a year from now. Stay tuned to WKNC where we’ll be playing some of his tracks during our Underground segments, Saturday to Monday nights from 8PM to 5AM. Also stay tuned to our Podcast, where we will have our interview posted soon. You can find Rize on Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud with LIVEFREERIZE.