Read the B-House review of The Heart & Brain’s (TzariZM and Vis Major) “Mbodiment” HERE
I’ll admit, when you’ve been listening to Hip-Hop for 25+ years, and been operating a website that focuses on “the underground” for the last 4 years, you tend to become a bit of a “know it all”. So, when I recently conducted this interview with the production half of The Heart & Brain, the immensely talented, TzariZM, I thought I knew all that there was to know about this Doxside producer. Little did I know that “TZ” was an emcee prior to focusing on the beats or that he has licensed music that can be heard on everything from “Jersey Shore” to “Dancing With The Stars”. Also, as big as Dart and I are on IMAKEMADBEATS production, I guarantee you that we never put “2 +2″ together prior to this interview, as IMAKEMADBEATS and TzariZM are actually…BROTHERS!
It goes without saying that TzariZM along with cats like Apollo Brown, Illastrate, 14KT and the aforementioned IMAKEMADBEATS are the “torchbearers” that will push “underground” Hip Hop in the right direction over the next decade and beyond. As hard-working as the man is, “TZ” took a time-out for Bloggerhouse recently and keyed us in on many factoids that we’ve seemingly overlooked. Oh, and if you haven’t copped “Mbodiment” yet, you’re missing out on one of the top three albums to drop this year. It’s a rare find when you have top-notch production paired with fierce lyricism, cop it YESTERDAY!!
B-House: Please, a brief introduction for the massses:
TzariZM: Wattup, I’m TzariZM, Tzarmageddun, Tzarcastic, TZ McFLy and many more. I am one of the Doxside Emcee/Producer extraordinaires repping the OZONE (Orlando, Fl.)
B-House: Why the moniker, TzariZM? It’s a bitch to spell, you know that, right?
TzariZM: Haha, It originated from just ‘tzar’ which is an alternate spelling of the word ‘czar’ meaning emperor, king or man of great power – commonly used to describe a Russian king. My brother Nemo (currently known as IMAKEMADBEATS) and I decided to search the dictionary for a new alias back in 1996. Tzar was found and I liked the meaning. Over the years, one of my homies used to add the “izm” part to my name every time he saw me. It sounded more like an element of some sort. Plus, I heard their was some acts out with TZAR as their name. It was time to differentiate.
B-House: Alright TZ, you’re currently on the Doxside/Domination roster along with the likes of Butta Verses, Midaz The Beast and the insane IMAKEMADBEATS. However, the label is based in FL. and your origins (from what I’ve read thus far) begin in Brooklyn, how did the connection come about?
TzariZM: Actually, I was born in Riverside, Ca, and as a baby, my family moved to Memphis, TN, which is where my father is from. IMAKEMADBEATS and I were predominately raised there, spinning summers in Long Island, NY and the outskirts of D.C. I moved to Orlando after high school for a change in atmosphere and people. Florida became my home easily. I lived there for 9 years and then made the move to NYC. I lived predominantly in Brooklyn for my 3 years there. Eventually I decided to get back to FL this year. So here I am again.
B-House: Along with Vis Major on the emcee tip, you formed like voltron to birth “Mbodiment”. How long did you two actually work on the record? Is it something that been brewing under the surface for a few years or was the making of the album fairly spontaneous?
TzariZM: We started working on the record slowly since 2004. We finished an EP that was released in ’06-07 that gave us some buzz and allowed more time to complete a full LP. The album was finally completed in 2009 and released this past spring. It was a journey for both of us and I am very happy that it is finally out for the people to embrace.
B-House: Tell us whom you collaborated with on some of your past production:
TzariZM: I’ve collaborated with numerous artists from FL and over time, gained a lot of notoriety as a go-to producer for my sound. As far as in the independent industry, I’ve worked Planet Asia, Phil The Agony, Akrobatik, Pumpkinhead, Celph Titled, Supastition, Q-Unique, Wordsworth, UG of the Cella Dwellas, Jise, Butta Verses and more. I also have licensed music on TV programs like The Real World, Jersey Shore, Dancing With The Stars and plenty more.
B-House: Of all the producers I hear on a daily basis, there’s really no way to describe your style (much like labelmate and brother, IMAKEMADBEATS). How would you categorize your production style?
TzariZM: The best way I can describe it is new school/old school. I try to keep the essence of classic boom-bap in the mix with a more updated sound, but always keeping a signature that listeners will be able to tell its a Tzar beat. I am big lover of classic break beats and slamming drums, which are always primary factor of most of my work.
B-House: Are there any other producers (or, even emcees) currently who you check for or gain inspiration from?
TzariZM: First, my brother IMAKEMADBEATS, we trade beats back and forth constantly and its always fresh to hear what he has been working on away from my production. DJ Premier & RZA are my primary influences from the 90′s, as well as DJ Scratch, Muggs and Pete Rock. As of late, I’m a big Madlib fan and always check what he puts out. The emcees I check for commonly are Nas, Common, Busta, DOOM, Mos Def amongst others.
B-House: Tell us what other projects you have up your sleeve for the remainder of 2010 and moving forward into 2011
TzariZM: First, get that Heart & Brain Mbodiment album now!!! Now, I got an album with my homie Critical of Critical Madness called ‘Close 2 Home’ dropping soon. Also, a couple of instrumental projects called “The Heart Beats”, production & rhymes on MidaZ’s debut album “Au” (coming soon), features on IMAKEMADBEATS’ production album. Lastly, my own solo album ‘Ovatyme’ with production from myself, IMAKEMADBEATS, Oddisee, The Beatnuts, J-Zone and more. More to come I’ll keep under the wraps for now.
B-House: Aight, cheesy question time. You’re on a cross country tour, what five albums, cds, etc. are you taking with you. Your own work excluded?
TzariZM: Nas- “Illmatic”, Madvillain- “Madvillainy”, Tribe- “Midnight Marauders”, Roc Marciano- “Marcberg” and Gang Starr- “Hard To Earn”.
B-House: Will we ever hear TzariZM on the mic? Or are you just content being behind the boards?
TzariZM: Yes you will, I actually was an emcee before production, but I fell back for some years to polish and push my beats out to the masses. Now its time to let peeps I know I am just as good on the mic as well.
B-House: With your and IMAKEMADBEATS’ production talents, coupled with the fierce lyricism of budding emcees Vis Major and Midaz The Beast are you pleased with the direction that Doxside is moving in? What does the future hold?
TzariZM: I am very pleased with the talent and drive my crew has and very thankful to be part of this movement. The direction of Doxside is looking really good. We will keep putting out quality dope music for the masses. IMAKEMADBEATS is dropping two real fresh EP’s, “Daylight” with Butta Verses & “Nightlight” with MidaZ The Beast. Synopse is dropping an album called “Magic Box” soon. Also, look out for more music from the Doxside roster: J Freedome, Ponce De Beyond & Rugged. Eventually there will be no overseeing or sleeping on us- we will be a household name.
B-House: Has “Mbodiment” meet your expectations and are you pleased with the feedback that the album has received?
TzariZM: I definitely feel “Mbodiment” has reached my expectations musically to the fullest. I am emotionally attached to it. The feedback received so far has GREAT and I appreciate all of the supporters out there, including Bloggerhouse, for giving it a spotlight and feature. I feel the album will continue to grab listeners over time and keep growing amongst all real Hiphop lovers for hopefully longer than it took to make it.
B-House: Once again, thanks TzariZM
TzariZM: Thank you homie for reaching out- much love and respect!
Stay up with “TZ” below: