Pizzy: “I don’t think we’re gonna go to Greatest Day Ever. Brooklyn’s too far from the Bronx to be drunk.”
Will: “Greatest Day Ever? We can get a limo and have it take us there and then-“
Pizzy: *scoffs and interupts* “We’re not taking a f*ckin limo. Who are you?! You always wanna be so extra!”
Sitting face to face in a watering hole on the lower east side of Manhattan, I surveyed the incredibly interesting man sitting in front of me. My eyes met on the artist sipping on his cranberry vodka, while texting on a visibly cracked iPhone, covered head to toe in tattoos, gauged ears and donning a reddish orange mohawk. After making the inevitable small talk about the weather and the upcoming events, he opens his mouth to speak and the most subdued voice escapes his lips. “Can I offer you something to drink? No? You sure? Go ahead and order something!” he says through an incredulous smile. The charmer sent for the waiter and we ordered; he another round of cranberry juice and vodka and I, a patron and sour mix. Admittedly, I’m a bit nervous; this is after all, an artist that is basically running the underground music market, with a growing number of fans in unusual places — including hipster Brooklyn dwellers, complete with obtaining perks such as free drinks and admittance to any number of venues across the Tri-State area.
I start off with the cliche. “Tell me a little bit about yourself”. He chuckles and takes another sip of the reddish colored drink. “Where do I begin?” I buckle my metaphorical seat belt and prepare to take a ride through the feature film that is his life. The incredibly chilled artist then began describing his life to me; from comparing serving in the military to a “fun video game”, to feeling the need to test and push himself at all times, to having his childhood friend pass away in his arms and how that left him disenchanted with music and life in general.
Most people find the need to compare in today’s musical age, but Tray Pizzy finds every way to erase that. The Bronx bred and raised creative has seemed to accomplish just about everything under the sun and few actually know just what that is. There are quite the amount of layers to the complex artist, and with the release of his critically acclaimed project The Truman Show, I wanted to peel back as many layers as possible to find out just what got him here.
Despite not having the simplest life; growing up in the rough streets of the East 180th St. section of The Bronx, incarcerated at the age of 12, and serving our nation on the frontline at the tender age of 18, Pizzy doesn’t let the hardships show. “You can ask anyone, we’re not supposed to be here right now,” he says, while Will, manager and long time friend, shakes his head vigorously in agreement. “This is why I remain humble. We’re really not supposed to be here right now.”
Like most artists, it took him a while to realize that music is the path that he was destined to travel. “I tried to escape rap for years,” says Pizzy. “I studied communications, hotel restaurant management, nursing, all of that. And I did well. But just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”
Following his 4 1/2 year stint in the U.S. Army, Pizzy came back with a newfound thirst for creativity. He released his debut mixtape, Green Eggs and Spam, only a few months post his release from the service. He then immediately followed up with the release of his sophomore tape Life II Trill, admitting that it was necessary for him to put in overtime to make that mixtape a success. “I felt the need to play catch up [with Life II Trill], which is why it was so aggressive” says Pizzy. “Green Eggs and Spam…we was just high when we made that. Just really high,” he says laughing, adding that “I have three projects, and they are all totally different.”
Blending outstanding lyrical capabilities and innovative cerebral creativity seamlessly, Tray Pizzy is morphing into one of the best the Bronx and New York have seen in a while. The growth displayed with the release of The Truman Show is truly a sight to see, and raises the bar of expectations for all independent artists on the circuit. Qualifying the need for less “yes men” and more substance, Pizzy’s latest project proves that you can do things unconventionally and still be on top. Attributing his artistic influences to the likes of Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes, and Michael Jackson, Pizzy has come into his own with The Truman Show, adopting the title of trendsetter in this sea of never ending rap monotony. “Watching him create is truly an awesome sight to see,” says Will. “It’s like his mind is taking off to a different place. It’s crazy.” with Pizzy adding, “I made twelve tracks, and twelve tracks were put on [The Truman Show]. I give everything. I have no archives.” It’s interesting to note that while Tray Pizzy, who actively promotes the “Trippy” aspect of “Broke&&Trippy” and displays drug use in his daily life, he doesn’t use substances while recording. “I don’t get high while recording,” he says “It’s business when I go to the studio and produce.”
Though the Broke&&Trippy family are quite comical bunch, boasting several interesting glimpses into their lives for the public eye (including this hilarious behind the scenes video), there is nothing funny about the way the conglomerate is run. “It’s the MOB, La Familia! We run this like a business,” says Pizzy, “We fight all the time, but at the end of the day we all have one goal.” The Broke&&Trippy label is more of a brotherhood rather than a company, and embodies the definition of “no new friends”.
So, what’s next for the trendsetting artist? “I’ll be releasing more videos within the next few months, as well as working with more artists. You know, do the political thing I guess,” he says with a slight smile and a shrug. “I’m not really one for features.” As far as joining the music industry and pursuing a record deal, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for that in the immediate future. “You can’t sign Tray Pizzy.” he says, half jokingly, half seriously. “At this point, I’m looking for a business partnership to produce funds. But I have 100% creative control” adding that he “doesn’t like outside opinions” when it comes to his craft. After a dust up with a certain Hot 97 executive, he says that there’s really no need for the music industry. “I’m doing 90% better than most of the people on the radio anyway.” And he couldn’t be more correct.
We begin to rap our session; chatting about the next video and how we’re all excited to sky dive and perform ridiculous Project X like stunts. As we’re rounding up our belongings, Pizzy walks back with four shot glasses filled to the brim with Fireball whiskey. We look at him with complete amazement.“I don’t know it was free!” he says while passing out the libations.
“See I told you. Rapper shit.”
The Truman Show is now available for stream and download! Be sure to listen below and check out the video for My Borough! Join the #MyBorough campaign by tweeting us pictures from the NYC borough you represent and YOU can be featured exclusively on our Instagram page and on the site!