Cousin Stizz Finds More than his Next Thrill with New Album
Evan Dale // Aug 14, 2019
Cousin Stizz has been the most overdue come-up in hip-hop since the release of his 2015 debut project, Suffolk County, but with his new album, Trying to Find my Next Thrill, recognition is finally catching up with the still young Boston tastemaker. Unendingly consistent with his charismatic smile and a signature spoon-fed flow, nothing else about Cousin Stizz is predictable. He’s a wildcard of energetic vibes hidden beneath an impossibly effortless cadence. He’s a master of translating that effortlessness into the vision of a bold but comfortable modern fashion icon. He’s creatively entrancing in music videos. And now, everyone from his fellow artists to the mainstream audience is well aware of just how important his music is to the greater hip-hop scene.
Somewhere between cosigns from Drake, Smino, City Girls, Freddie Gibbs, and Leven Kali exists not only his current star power, but also his range. And though range may not be the first adjective to come to mind when discussing Cousin Stizz’s meditative delivery, his ability to successfully collaborate with such a wide range of hip-hop, R&B, and transcendental artists proves that sometimes range is about more than stylistic expectation.
He’s different. He always has been. In an era of increasing stylistic experimentation and genre coalescence, that difference - and the consistency he brings with it - is paying off.
In fact, in a lot of ways his collaborative effort with Smino, Anonymous, is the kind of meant-to-be banger proving the necessity for those difficult to define and effortless in their absurdity. Both artists – though existing on opposite ends of the one-of-a-kind spectrum – are everywhere across hip-hop right now because of just how unique their sounds and their personalities are. Together, between Stizz’s hard-hitting one-liners, Smino’s silky flow, and both of their effortlessly attractive personas, Anonymous is the definition of the perfect 2019 collaboration. And that’s the reason it’s off to such a quick start as Trying to Find My Next Thrill’s most streamed track not released as a leading single.
But speaking on leading singles and speaking on perfection, Anonymous or any other new track in Stizz’s catalogue will have a hard time ever catching up to his City Girls collaboration. Perfect is on pace to become Stizz’s biggest hit to date. One listen and it’s not hard to hear why the addicting heater is receiving more notoriety than Stizz’s equally heavy predecessors – No Bells, Shoutout, 500 Horses, Down Like That, Headlock, and Neimans Barneys. Stizz’s confidence has been on display for the world to see since day one, but something about his newfound braggadocio is entirely next level. Hand-in-hand with City Girls, Perfect is peak hip-hop arrogance and the Summer’s hottest party anthem.
Stizz’s unrelenting pace leading up to Trying to Find My Next Thrill’s release was highlighted by music videos that became major component in the explosion surrounding it all. Weaving into the fold a couple of talented directors – Glassface and JMP respectively – Stizz’s visuals for Perfect and STP helped in putting on display the vibrance and creativity to be seen on the forthcoming project. One sees Stizz telekinetically tossing cop cars to the wind; another sees him parading around a cherry red Lancia Stratos; both see a ridiculous amount of cash and Stizz flashing his trademark gold bottom grill.
And really, the same money and gold-laced lyricism are exactly what drive the majority of Trying To Find My Next Thrill’s thematic discourse and auditory aesthetic. Mix in some of the heaviest basslines and most hard-hitting production possible, and the album’s bangers of which make up nearly the entire collection whether they be in the form of ignorant party anthems (Perfect, Anonymous, STP, Off With Ya Head, Toast 2 That and What U Bout), or the more serious-toned, but still absurdly high-energy (Meds, RR, Soso, and Two Face) blend in well with Stizz’s ability to explore meaningfulness at a deeper level. Jump Out The Phone – Stizz’s sole effort in romanticism on the project – balances well with Trying To Find My Next Thrill’s heartfelt closing trio of tracks – Beamin’, Traumatized, and The Message.
Cousin Stizz has always had balance, but it’s never been so blatantly displayed. To the untrained ear, his spoon-fed delivery has a tendency to disguise his penmanship as something less than it is. It’s a hyphy cadence, and unless a listener is truly listening, they’re not getting the story. Trying To Find My Next Thrill is more than an exhibition that Stizz has come to refine further his signature turnt-up lane; it’s a statement that his long-earned limelight notoriety is equally due to his knack at penning meaningful songs and weaving emotion-evoking storylines.