by Mike Scarfo
Anyone who has followed the Massachusetts music scene over the past decade recognizes Cousin Stizz as one of the biggest names to come out of the area in recent memory. At this point in his career, the Dorchester-native is certainly no stranger to hip-hop stardom, working with the likes of Doja Cat, Offset of Migos, and Freddie Gibbs to name a few. Stizz continues to add to his impeccable resume early in 2021, as he links up with rising Canadian rapper Jazz Cartier for a dark, trap-infused single “Nothin’ 2 Me”.
“Nothin’ 2 Me” features a dark, gloomy instrumental with heavy trap drums, stark piano chords, and haunting vocal samples, an aesthetic that fits both artists perfectly. Jazz Cartier is an artist that I personally have been on for a number of years, dating back to his Hotel Paranoia record in 2016, which featured a sonic palette liken to early-era Travis Scott. What impresses me most about Cartier is his ability to blend his charismatic delivery with trippy, psychedelic production, two elements that are difficult to execute in tandem. Yet, “Nothin’ 2 Me” actually shows off Cartier’s ability to adapt to the smoother approach of Cousin Stizz. In his hook and opening verse, Cartier describes his nonchalant attitude towards toxic materialism in an attempt to block out the unnecessary outside noise that can accompany fame.
However, Stizz steals the show in the back half of the track, as his verse reflects a cohesiveness between him and Cartier in terms of subject matter and energy. Stizz provides clever and witty lyricism, emphasizing his desire to focus on his own version of success while monetarily taking care of those around him. Stizz delivers his bars with grit and confidence, adding a welcomed dimension to the track that would simply fall flat without his efforts. I find myself captivated by Stizz’s ability to command the production and make it compliment him, rather than the other way around. The way in which he galvanizes his audience highlights how far he has come as an artist.
Cousin Stizz continues to prove his relevance in hip-hop through yet another successful big-time collaboration, as “Nothin’ 2 Me” is an early favorite of mine in 2021.
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