If a rapper spends the bulk of his career donning a shower cap—fully clothed—you’d quickly peg him as a goofball. But on his third solo album, Friday Night at St. Andrews, D12’s chubby wisecracker Bizarre is silencing his jokes to make room for a more serious side.
“I feel like it was important to deliver a serious album, because I don’t want to be put into a box. I don’t want to be labeled the Weird Al Yankovich of rap,” he says. “A couple labels [like Koch] were like ‘We don’t want to hear nothing serious from you, where’s your silly stuff at?”
The 33-year-old Detroit native, who recorded his album in Atlanta with features from Redman, Yelawolf, and Royce da 5’9”, credits his newfound earnestness to maturity and unfortunate experiences.
“I got a little bit older and because of all the tragedy D12 experienced in the last couple years, some things needed to be addressed. I wanted to lay down that message real quick,” he says. “That’s what music is about – telling stories. And I have a story to tell.”
As far as the daft side many are used to seeing from Bizarre, the rapper assures that he hasn’t gone permanently somber.
“Silly Bizarre is always going to be there, but if you’re a good artist and you want to make history, you can’t be one-dimensional. People quote me for the crazy stuff I say, [but] I just want them to quote me for something else too. I’m really down with going both ways.”
Alhough his childhood friend and boss, Eminem, doesn’t appear on Friday Night at St. Andrews, the Grammy award-winning MC did have some positive feedback on anti-gimmick Bizarre: “He likes the single [“Believer”], that’s all I can really say. Good music is good music. He sent me a message about it.”
Em however, will be appearing on the D12 reunion album that Bizarre says is now 7 songs deep. “Right now we’re getting back in the groove. Everyone’s still homeboys for life.”
Bizarre’s third solo album, Friday Night at St. Andrews, is in stores now. —Tracy Garraud