Some music has the power to transport you to another country introducing you to cultures and movements that are foreign to your own. Some can transport you to another time serving up retro feels and knowing nods to the genres and artists that came before. Some can take you into another world completely using lyrics and atmosphere to paint you into realms you never dreamed you would visit.
When we talk about being transported to another world, it can be confused with the fantastical because it’s such a unique skill. It takes an incredible storyteller with the bard-like skill to reach into the heart and mind of the listener and bring them along for the journey. Blacc Cuzz is one of those artists and “Stretch It” is one of those albums, with “Intro” the first single being the perfect introductory piece.
Blacc Cuzz has actually lived the life that far too many often associate with rap. Whilst most of the artists bragging about how thug they are have never truly had to hustle a day in their life, Blacc Cuzz has lived through a decidedly chequered past on the streets of Pittsburgh. But “Stretch It” isn’t about glorifying that, or selling it as a product to be lapped up by the next generation. Blacc Cuzz would rather be a role model and paints a much more truthful picture of blood, tears, sweat, and scars.
The world of Blacc Cuzz is a gritty one, but it isn’t without light. Focusing on the future and his Dream Big Empire tracks like “Intro” celebrate how far Blacc Cuzz has come and all the accomplishments he’s made by stepping to the side of what the streets might have wanted for him. What this creates is a narrative and a voice that we haven’t heard before and it comes together to provide a much-needed breath of fresh air for the genre.
After the introduction via a phone call from a penal institute, we are well aware that Blacc Cuzz isn’t messing around when he says he used to live that life and that even those who lived it alongside him respect his move towards a more entrepreneurial life. “Intro” begins with a trappy little beat that it’s impossible not to nod along with. Whilst most other rappers in this particular sub-genre of rap employ a mumbling affection with low energy delivery, Blacc Cuzz proves his difference once again and serves up high energy bars with unique twists in scheme, delivery, and melody.
The world of Blacc Cuzz is an interesting one with a shining bright future. He is a genuine role model who has lived through a life that would have broken most others, yet he has come out the other side standing tall and is willing to share the experience with all of us. Looking back with a mixture of pride, respect, and regret, this is a story of a man who is not afraid to show the light with the dark to provide tracks with enough blood to be true art.