Bandhunta Izzy Explains Why Wiz Khalifa’s “Phone Numbers” Inspired Him to Flex
Baltimore rapper Bandhunta Izzy, who's been making waves out of the city by pairing charisma with a penchant for street tales, is set on winning all 2019. Before he made a name for himself, Izzy built his momentum in the game early on by dropping freestyles over popular beats of the time and eventually signed to Republic Records in 2017. After releasing his 2018 mixtape, Code Blue, which was buoyed by the successful single "In Love Wit Da Trap," he expanded his fan base by hitting the road with Ski Mask The Slump God on a nationwide tour, and logged studio time with Chicago's own Z Money. Now Izzy is preparing to release a new project in 2019. Learn more about the B-more native in this week's episode of Who Am I?
Bandhunta Izzy starts things off by explaining what it's like to grow up in Baltimore and how the happenings of the street can get to you. Getting swept up by the streets can happen to anyone, but it's even more difficult to resist if you're young and impoverished.
"You got no choice to be a a part of something," he shares before referring to the crime and other negativity that can happen in the streets. "In Baltimore, it's like, when you go outside, you seeing so much shit... Imagine you being broke and seeing that and you just got so many opportunities, and all the niggas that's doing that, they grew up with you, they your homeboys."
When it comes to rap, Bandhunta Izzy was motivated by some legends and one of his contemporaries. "Big dogs that's doin' the trap shit, like Gucci [Mane], Guwop, you know, [Lil] Wayne, shit like that." Izzy is proudly a fan of a former XXL Freshman too: "My favorite rapper [is] G Herbo. We the same age, but I felt like he was going through everything I was going through." Hopefully, the two will head to the studio together one day.
And let's not forget Wiz Khalifa, who inspired Izzy to partake in an activity his parents were probably not too keen on when he was 13. Plus, without even knowing it, Wiz also encouraged Izzy to flex with the song "Phone Numbers," off the 2011 mixtape Cabin Fever—even if it was only with $20.
Becoming a rapper means your day-to-day interactions change if you're one of the lucky ones. Bandhunta Izzy knows that all to well. "I had went to the mall, every time I go to the mall, people wanna take pictures and shit, I say yes to everybody," he starts. "But when I walked out one store and the store across, a girl seen me and started crying, I'm like, Oh damn, I'm a rapper rapper." True, indeed.
Check out the rest of Bandhunta Izzy's interview up top.
See 33 Hip-Hop Artists' Favorite Lil Wayne Projects