4-IZE Is Dropping Daily Freestyles Better Than Most MCs Have Rapped In Years
Going on 20 years ago, more than 3 million people purchased an album with 4-IZE on it. He joined UGK, Foxy Brown, and Shawnna as a guest on Ludacris’ triple-platinum debut, Back For The First Time. Following the path of his early 1990s Loudmouth Hooligans band-mate Luda’, 4-IZE had relocated from his hometown of Chicago, Illinois to Atlanta, Georgia with Hip-Hop talent and a dream. The song on the album, “Mouthin’ Off,” was a carryover from Luda’s independently-released Incognegro. After Scarface signed the radio host to Def Jam South Records, the summertime ’99 LP was re-presented with some polish and enhancements and introduced a star MC who would quickly become a household name.
For some of that journey, 4-IZE was with Chris Bridges. The two had history of more than a decade. 4-IZE appeared on 2001’s Word Of Mouf’. However, as Disturbing Tha Peace Records expanded into an enterprise, 4-IZE seemingly faded from the picture. “I always consider myself the red-headed step-child of Disturbing Tha Peace,” the MC told This Is 50‘s Jack Thriller in 2013. “Me and Chris [have] always [been] cool. Like, right now, we are great. We are cool. But when it comes down to the label and the business, that’s a whole ‘nother monster. Sometimes you might not want to expose people you’re close to to the monster…so I have the privilege to go in the house, but not stay in the house.” While DTP provided major pushes for Chingy, Playaz Circle, I-20, and fellow Chicago-to-ATL transplant Shawnna, 4-IZE occupied his own lane outside of the label system. Throughout the years, the freestyle specialist worked with the late Sean Price, Sunz Of Man’s Hell Razah, and UGK affiliate Cory Mo.
In 2019, the representative of Chi’s Englewood neighborhood delivers one of the most animated freestyles seen thus far. What’s more, it is the 132nd verse in a #VerseADay series that has been brewing for quite some time. The accomplished MC is giving fans daily doses of his lyricism, not unlike his introduction on Back For The First Time. To make these social media bites stand out, the artist born Tony Hayes III often dons quirky outfits.
Wearing a Marvin The Martian rubber hat, 4-IZE’s bars command attention over DJ Premier’s punching track for JAY-Z and Memphis Bleek on Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. “One monkey don’t stop no show, they shot Caesar / Planet Of The Apes liftin’ weights, cock-diesel / With evil up in my veins I might learn / How to not do wrong while making a right-turn / The bright burn, like bad action figures / I get money like Curtis Jackson wit’ us / Scarier than three packs of ni**as with one goal / Rappin’ my ass off, now you see my bunghole / Mount Mutumbo, I had the block on smash / But f*ck it, my budget, it need a lot more cash,” begins the artist.
He also weaves in some topical commentary into a verse that conjures visions of Stretch & Bobbito freestyles. “Now you catch a murder charge if you scramble an egg? / That’s premeditated layin’ in bed / When I’m f*ckin’ up they covers / Rougher than gay lovers / Pause. I’m so raw that they think that I hate rubbers / Never debate others, especially late-comers / Don’t be a menace while drinkin’ juice with the Wayans brothers / You want Shawn and Marlon, Damon and Keenen / I show you how to train your dragon, my fire-breathin’ / Is Godzilla-like in a fight, spit a gigabyte / Get a ni**a hype, run the jewels, when I kill a mic.”
In the closing stretch of the two-minute Rap clinic, 4-IZE finishes strong: “Violation, don’t sell him weed / For the game, I shed tears like Joel Embiid / And now the people want to laugh at me / They was pickin’ on me, these ni**as makin’ fun of me / When I be beautiful, on the inside, muh’f*cka, ’cause a caterpillar knows what he’s gonna be.” 4-IZE helps Heads see why he is clearly talented with nearly 30 years of putting in work and pursuing his passion.
#BonusBeat: In case one of these #VerseADay freestyles is not enough, here is another quote-worthy effort (#44) from last November: