MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Some of the best memories from Michael Green Jr.’s childhood involve riding around in the car with his step-father, Corie.
The progressive hip-hop artist from Minneapolis now known as Prizzy Icky credits his step-father for introducing him to music and rap and for encouraging his pursuit of music over the years. And it was during those car rides that his appreciation for different genres of music first took hold on his life.
“Back in the day we had a radio station called Beat 96,” Prizzy Icky said. “And we would sit in the car and listen to the radio all day. He would tell me to rap over the tracks we heard on the radio. It was kind of a test … a way for me to practice. He told me to block out their raps and focus on the beat. Then he’d give me a subject and I’d rap to it. And I would just practice and practice until I got good.”
That early practice has paid off, as today Prizzy is one of the fastest-rising young talents in Minneapolis, and is already well on his way toward making a name for himself in the hip-hop world nationally. His EP “Needle in a Haystack,” which was released last year, has received some positive reviews and helped toward developing an ever-increasing fan-base. It’s an EP that he said showcases his unique sound and highlights a variety of hip-hop sub-genres.
“There are some old-school tracks on there and some dirty south tracks in there,” he said. “It’s one of those projects where I get my toe in different genres. It was my statement to people saying I got my own sound, and if you want to hear it then here it is.”
Prizzy is ready to follow that up with a second EP that’s he’s planning to drop on April 12. It’s a six-song project called “Minnezuela,” and he said he created it with the intention of putting Minneapolis on the map in the world of hip-hop.
‘I’m from Minneapolis and I’m a huge Prince fan,” Prizzy said. “I can’t sing like him – nobody can – but I’m a hip-hop artist and my dedication to my city is on the same level as Prince. I want people to understand that just because you weren’t born in the Big Apple or on the sandy beaches of Los Angeles or Miami – just because you’re not from those big music market areas – it doesn’t mean you have to give up. A lot of musicians feel that way, especially if they’re from the Midwest. But I want people to understand and to show them that it’s time for our city to put a mark on the hip-hop map. We may not take it over, but we can put our two cents into that market. And we can show that we are a threat and a force to be reckoned with.”
Prizzy said he likens his mission as a hip-hop artist from the Midwest to that of the heroics of a comic book superhero. As a child, he said he loved comic books – another thing that was inspired by his stepfather. Corie was a guy who saved all of his comic books in plastic sleeves, and when Prizzy was old enough he passed them along. It gave him a deep love for superheroes, and he said he hopes to embody some of their characteristics as part of his reputation as an artist.
“Kids today only know about the superheroes from the cinematic universe,” he said. “People like me from the 90s used to love what we read on the page and would wait in line for the special edition version. That’s the kind of feel I want to capture with my music – that special edition. That’s why I try to be as animated as possible in my music and not be regular or copy what you hear today.”
Fans who want to sample some of his music can check out his Soundcloud (therealprizzyicky) and Reverb Nation (therealprizzyicky) pages. He also performs live on the first Thursday of every month at the Fifth Element in downtown Minneapolis. Fans who want to find out more about upcoming music releases or other live performances can follow him on Twitter @Icky_Music or Facebook @TheofficalIckyg.