For D12 member Bizarre, life after the group’s founder Proof was tragically murdered at Detroit’s CCC Club in April 2006 has been taxing. “It’s been like slow motion,” Biz says from his Atlanta, Ga. home. “We just miss him. He was our leader. It’s a struggle everyday.” Thankfully, the corpulent rapper and his D12 brethren are persevering—the Dirty Dozen began recording for their upcoming, still-untitled LP, earlier this year. The album isn’t due out until at least 2008, that hasn’t stopped Bizarre from focusing on his own solo career. In 2005, the self-proclaimed weirdo released his full-length debut LP, Hannicap Circus, on Sanctuary Records. While it featured the Eminem-assisted lead single “Rockstar,” the album received little-to-no commercial fanfare. With a new label and a new outlook, the Detroit MC just dropped his follow up release, Blue Cheese ‘N’ Coney Island, as a joint venture between KOCH Records and his own imprint, Red Head Records. XXLMag.com caught up with the deranged member of D12 to discuss his new LP, D12’s long awaited comeback and his new ventures in reality television.
People have come to expect the unexpected from you. How are you going to surprise them on Blue Cheese ‘N’ Coney Island?
You can expect a solid, well-rounded album. There’s a lot of songs that you won’t really expect from me. There’s a lot of serious songs, some party songs, some laid-back songs. It’s well-rounded and different. A lot of people won’t expect Bizarre to come like this. You gonna have some soulful songs, some typical Bizarre songs, some shit that’s gon’ make you cry. I think people are definitely going to be surprised.
You’ve been criticized in the past for not producing more serious music. Did that play a part going into the new album?
I try to give ‘em what they want to hear. If you a real fan and you got some real stuff to say, I’ll listen. But if you talkin’ some bullshit and just talking to talk — if you’re 35 years old, sitting at home in a wheelchair on the Internet, just saying anything — I’m not gonna listen. I can really weed out who is real and who ain’t real just by how they talking. Like I said, though, they want some serious songs, so I got a couple on the new album.
Is Eminem involved in the album at all?
Nah, I did this album quick, so I really didn’t have time to reach out to him. He’s busy doing his thing too. I wanted to really do this on my own, with no influence. I’m trying to get away from the whole Eminem thing. I just want to be Bizarre and not focus on Marshall at all.
Is your relationship with Em still as strong as it once was?
Yeah man, we still cool. But you got to fly away from the nest. Because, to me, I’m just as much of [a] character as he is. Why should I be standing around in the background, in the shadows of somebody else, when I could get out there? People think I’m funny. People mess with me too. So I got to get out there and explore, do my thing.
Were you happy with how Sanctuary Records handled your debut, Hannicap Circus?
No, I wasn’t really happy with how it was promoted. Sanctuary was a new label and I think they didn’t really know what to do with a guy like me. I think I was an experiment. They definitely could have promoted it better. They really didn’t have a staff either. I was basically doing all the work myself.
Since Proof tragically passed away last year, how have you been coping?
It’s been like slow motion—a lot of drama, a lot of things going on. A lot of people coming out of the woodwork trying to sue and do a lot of different things. D12, we just been maintaining. We been making sure his wife and family are straight. We just miss him, man. He was our leader. It’s a struggle everyday, man. We miss our homeboy and that’s never going to change. I’ll just say we deal with it, but I’m not gonna say it’s not hard.
What’s the status on the new D12 album?
We been working on it for like six months now. But it’s kind of on hold because Interscope wants Marshall to come out with his album first. He’s gonna come out with his thing real quick.
How was your experience on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club?
It was cool. I still keep in contact with Dr. Ian. Matter of fact, he’s in my new video [“Fat Boy”].
Would you encourage other rappers to follow your lead and take part in the show?
It’s up to them. I wouldn’t advise rappers to go on there if they not serious about losing weight because they [are] serious on that show. It’s not a game. If you want to lose weight and be dedicated, then yeah. But they should make a fit club for regular people too, not just celebrities.
Recently, you lent your expertise to MTV’s Celebrity Rap Superstar show. How did that come about?
They just called me up and asked if I wanted to teach some celebrities how to rap. I was with it, because a lot [of] people don’t respect what rappers do. They think we just be having fun and there’s not a lot of work. So I jumped at the opportunity to let people see what we really go through.
Do you see your career going into television even further?
Yeah, I’m getting into it a little more. But if I want to be serious about it, I would have to take time out, get an acting coach and get serious about it. I don’t want people to take me as a joke. If I’m going to do it, I want to be serious about it.
What other projects are you working on?
I got my reality show on YouTube called Bizarre’s World and I been doing these battle DVD’s called Who Wants to Battle? Me and Proof used to host these battles and all the MCs from all round the world came to Detroit — Murda Mook, Iron Solomon, Avalanche. Me and Proof used to do it, so after he passed, I just kept doing it because I knew he wanted to keep it alive.