An Interview with $ean Wire + Gibson

By: Eden Bekele

Neither $ean Wire or Gibson (formerly known as Tropicana Bwoy) are strangers to the Boston music scene, as the pair have spent years cultivating their unique sound alongside numerous talents throughout the Boston area. Some may recognize Gibson for his multiple producer placements or even from his former days as a party thrower in his parents Allston garage, whilst others may recognize $ean from his deep discography and collaborations. No matter how it’s framed, it’s safe to say that the two are heavily involved in the local scene.

It’s already been an incredible year for the pair, with $ean having been nominated in multiple categories for this year’s Boston Music Awards, and for the both of them gaining major exposure with a Cousin Stizz placement. It’s without a doubt that they’re both on the path towards great accomplishments.

Possessing a unique and natural bond, it was only right to capture the duo together. I was lucky enough to sit down with these old friends of mine — huddled intimately in their home studio space — to talk about their process, intention, and outlook towards the future.


Where are you from?

$ean: I was born in Newton, and I moved to Dorchester when I was 2. I’ve been a Dorchester baby ever since. 

Gibson: The hospital was in Stoneham, but I’ve been in Allston all my life. 

How did the two of you meet?

$ean: I met you (Gib) through Najee.

Najee’s like the key to a lot of things. He linked a lot of people together.

Gib: It’s so weird how it all happened. I liked to wear — you know my collared shirts tucked into the khakis — you know that’s just what I did. That’s what I liked to do — with the stripes and the flowers and everything.  I’m in the bathroom at school and while I was p*ssing this guy is like “Hey I like your style” 

I turn around — I didn’t know him and it’s Najee and I’m like “Oh thank you man.” And he’s wearing a snapback and a hoodie. 

Then one whole year later he stops me at the bus stop and he’s like “Listen man can I just hug you. I gotta hug you man you’re great” and I was kinda shy but I was touched. No one told me that before. 

And then one day in the hallway he was like “I bet you make music” and I was like “Yeah I kinda do” and I showed him this really weird beat. I was trying to be like Hudson Mohawk at the time and I showed him this beat in that period and he was like “Yo this was the best beat I’ve ever heard” and I was like, “Okay, you’re crazy — that’s mad dramatic, but thank you.” and he asked me to come to his house and we just started hanging out. 

You know a few months later he went to Seans school. 

$ean: When you dapped me up your hand was mad wet. The dap you gave me was mad off. After that dap I was just like iight..you cool. I remember you had the Dark World hoodie on. That was like Super Saiyan 1 Gibby.

Gib: Yeah, and after that we were just coming here every week to make music. 

$ean: Yup, we would be here everyday. It would be hot as sh*t in here. No fan. We would just be going back to back to back. 

Gib: This is like 10th/11th grade and it really picked up senior year. 

I love how organic that is and it even leads into my next question about the music — how was it creating the DEAR project and how was the process similar to or different than working on HIM$?

$ean: The process with HIM$ was really fun. Like I said before, it was really just us having fun in the room. Making beats, jumping around, and acting a fool. Versus

DEAR was done in like two months. It was really like “let’s bang this out”. At the time I hadn’t released music in a while because I had been in a management situation where it was just like they wanted us to write and build. I spent some time ghostwriting and Gib was producing for some other artists.

DEAR was really a sweet process. I was going through a real dark time from 2017 into 2018. I feel like DEAR was the conclusion of a heavy mindset. I lost my uncle, I got hit by a car, I lost mad memory and was forgetting song lyrics. 

I met my girlfriend — well I knew her for a grip, but I got with her and she inspired a lot of the records too. It was just a lot of life changing moments in DEAR and in that whole process. I found out a lot about myself and I just expressed it as much as I could in the music. 

So the difference between HIM$ and DEAR is that HIM$ was just like me having fun versus DEAR I was having fun but I was also giving a real message of who I am to myself. 

Gib: There was a reason for making it. HIM$ was kind of like “huh we don’t have like an album yet”.

How was it being apart of the Stizz project, Trying To Find My Next Thrill?

$ean: That experience was so stressful but so fun. Let me give you the whole story.

Gib: You got the story?

$ean: I got the story. This is what happened. Sebastian Mikael had a tour date in New York at Baby’s All Right and I had to get to New York. At the time it was snowing like crazy and I had to record a Stizz verse and send it to Tim. 

Gibson: No no no you started too late. 

So I was in Atlanta working for Jeezy — I was hanging out with Jeezy and some of his people & making music. 

$ean: Let em know!

Gibson: I was there for 14 days, and I felt I wasn’t meeting a lot of people. I felt like I could get more — so I took a chance. 

I had heard of this guy Tim, Tim Larew, who manages Stizz and I reached out to him just off the cuff completely.  I was like maybe he can help me out I want to meet people. So I DM’d him like “Yo who do you know in Atlanta that I could f*ck with — I’m here for a little while and I’m tryna make it happen”. And he was like “Yo I love you and Sean’s music so much — Stizz is working on an album, please send anything that has an open verse thats you and Sean. Please send it right now.” That was the end of the DM, nothing to do with Atlanta. I was like word I got you. And then like right then I sent him ($ean) a few beats, I told him what it was and he was like okay let’s go. 

$ean: He sent me like three or four beats. I was kind of stressed out because I was having like the illest writers block and that is the worst thing when it’s crunch time and an opportunity comes. Still, I was in my room and I wrote at least eight verses. 

Gib: What?!

$ean: You know how I be. 

Gib: There was a deleted verse for Soso?

$ean: Plenty. So I did that & Gib came back and we recorded it with Christian Yoon. and the next day I had to go to New York. 

Gib: It happened mad organic. 

$ean: Tim and Stizz are just cool and genuine dudes and they’re about the culture, making good music, having fun with it and being smart with your decisions. 

How does it feel being in Boston — in your hometown, after putting out two full projects and having this Stizz placement?

$ean: It feels good. It’s definitely a boost of confidence. It was so many days we would be in here like what are we doing. We would get frustrated. 

Gibson: I was frustrated,  but I would fake try to hype you up. 

$ean: We’ve had multiple conversations where its just like damn sh*ts not moving cuz Gib was in school at McGill and I don’t blame you because shit wasn’t moving and we weren’t getting exposure like that.

So that’s really the difference now.  It’s a lot of love, people are seeing the growth in the music and me as a person and Gib as a person. It just feels more welcoming — the love is immaculate. 

Gib: Everyone says congratulations. I’m mad humbled. I get emotional. A stranger will be like “Ohh you’re gib I heard you got that shit on Stizz’s album.”

$ean: My cheekbones are hurting. 

It was dope for me to see really. I saw Stizz’s story and there was a billboard in my neighborhood. Me and my boy Nick went to go see it. So being part of that has just been an amazing experience. 

Have y’all been doing music full time or are you planning on it?

$ean: I’ve been doing music full time since 2016. I’ve only had two jobs in my whole life. 

I was really trying to force myself to be great at what I do. I didn’t want to come in second place, I don’t want to ask for handouts — I just wanted my work to speak for itself. If I walk in any door and they ask me to play them three songs, I know I have three songs they could f*ck with. And I never want to be a miss, ever, ever, ever. That’s definitely the mission.

Gib: I’m not in school anymore — I left, but I do some teaching and lecturing at the ICA for music, and some catering. 

The lecturing is fun, and teaching. It’s just like these free classes for the teens who want to learn music, and want to make beats. It’s pretty fun. Teenagers are hard to engage but I think I might’ve got it. You know you can learn sh*t from anybody and I learned sh*t from these kids. 

So whats next? It’s already been disclosed to me that yall are working on a new album is that safe to share?

$ean: I’m so proud of this upcoming project. I’ve never channeled this much energy into a tape before. It’s just great, great music. I’m very confident about this one. Both the delivery and timing are perfect. Now we’re just trying to get some videos out and get shit going. It’s an exciting chapter right now.

What impact are yall looking to leave? If any?

$ean: My whole end goal is to inspire the world — not even just the city but the world. I want to reach as many people as possible and for them to be like “Remember when Sean and Gib did that?”  I just want to inspire because there’s a cycle of love in that. 

Gib: I want to inspire people too.

If I can leave an impact I would say… patience is boring, but if you’re not thinking about it being boring — it’s fun. 


Stream $ean Wire’s music and Gibson’s production below:

Cousin Stizz Becomes First Ever Hip-Hop Artist To Win BMA’s Artist of the Year

By: Seamus Fay

For many years, Boston rap was seen merely as a lower-quality little brother of larger nearby cities such as New York. Without the innovative talents or industry infrastructure to make a legitimate push out of this shadow, Boston soon fell behind, failing to become recognized as a hot spot for hip-hop talents. That is, until just recently. 

Throughout the past 6 years or so, new artists, new styles, and new sounds have brought Boston back into the conversation that the city once dreamed of entering. With numerous local artists now making waves far beyond their hometown, the city is experiencing a hip-hop resurgence, full of refreshing talent and up-trending stocks on the heels of collaboration and local support. Boston is working tirelessly to push itself out of this “crabs in a bucket” mentality, all the while refusing to let the city’s history define the ceilings of future success.

With this in mind, today marks a noteworthy occasion in the history of Boston hip-hop, as Cousin Stizz just became the Boston Music Awards’ first ever hip-hop act to win the committee’s highest honor, “Artist of the Year.”

That said, it’s important to note just how prolific the continuous hope for local support outside of those directly involved with the hip-hop community has been throughout this recent hip-hop resurgence. To see Dorchester’s own bring home cement proof of recognition from a city notorious for its relatively poor history in the hip-hop genre is nothing less than monumental, and deservedly so. If not anything else, this moment should act as a reminder that the only limitations for the success of Boston hip-hop are those that the community imposes on itself.

From narrating Celtics commercials to soundtracking Tom Brady’s Instagram videos and winning the most esteemed BMA, Stizz sees far beyond what’s in the way of his success and chooses to focus on the wins that lie past his obstacles. Let this be a lesson for us all.

Thanks, Stizz. And congratulations on a hard-earned win.

Cousin Stizz – “Did It” [Music Video]

By: Seamus Fay

From his early days in Fields Corner to now, Cousin Stizz is the kind of artist who will never lose his soul, regardless of how far he makes it. The Boston-bred talent is as true to both himself and his city as can be, and today, he’s here to show this with a brand new video for the success-minded song, “Did It”. Appearing on one of Stizz’s two recent, 3-track EPs, All Adds Up, this video arrives at just the right time to follow up the visual accompaniment for “Made” — yet another instance of the budding star bringing it back home to show the world his city.

With this, only adding fuel to the fire, the “Did It” video the internet just weeks after two of Stizz’s biggest cosigns to date: the first, a spot as the voice of the exciting 2018-19 Celtics and the second, a spot as the soundtrack to one of Tom Brady’s Instagram videos. Boston’s own really did it. And even better, he did it on his own terms, following his own rules. Stizz is a hometown hero for Boston and “Did It” is his theme song. I can’t wait to hear this song playing in the Red Sox locker room after game 4.

Watch the new music video for “Did It” at the link provided below:

Tom Brady and the Celtics Are All In On Cousin Stizz

By: Seamus Fay

I originally planned on reposting the newest Cousin Stizz cosigns on the Graduation music Twitter, but looking at the full gravity of the occasion, this calls for a bit more than a tweet.

For those who still don’t know what I’m talking about, over the past week, Tom Brady posted the newest edition of his ever-inspiring hype-up videos, this time ending in a highlight reel with “Headlock” playing the background. Possibly even better than a nod from the GOAT himself, Stizz took home yet another win as the new voice of the Boston Celtics 2018-19 season campaign, #CUSRISE — not to mention that Brockton natives Luke Bars and Ricky Felix were the two masterminds behind the background production for the video.

In past years, Boston hasn’t been a city known for its open and welcome embracement of hip-hop culture. In fact, it’s been known for the opposite. However, seeing two major sports teams (and as we all know, major is no exaggeration) take pride in their city’s talent and put one of the main heads in Boston to work is a beautiful sight. It represents a win for Stizz and his team, sure, but even more so, a win for everyone out there looking to see more representation of Boston’s growing music scene.

The opportunities are rolling in and there are more eyes on our city’s hip-hop community than ever before, so let’s embrace it. Show some love to Stizz for being the soundtrack to the Pats’ workouts and the voice of the beloved Cs by clicking play on both videos. And make sure to hit up Ricky Felix and Luke Bars about their production placements, because looking back, they snapped.

2018 has been wildly successful for Boston music and this instance is an inspirational reminder. Here’s to an even brighter 2019.

Cousin Stizz – “Made” [Music Video]

By: Seamus Fay

Listen to the replay value on All Adds Up. Listen to the hit-making abilities of One Night Only. Listen to the charisma on Cold Times. All of these should prove that Cousin Stizz is making the best music of his life right now, and deep into one of the finest musical hot streaks I’ve ever seen, all signs are pointing up for Fields Corner’s own. Applying the pressure even further, he’s back on Graduation Music today to unveil a new set of visuals for the Cold Times standout, “Made”.

At the heart of this song is the sense of comradery that develops between a soon-to-be star and those that he came up with. “Made” is an ode to future success and ambitions just as much as it acts as a thank you to those stayed down throughout the whole journey, and the only way to honor such a strong sense of duality is to come back to where it all started. That said, the music video for this one finds Stizz right back at home, surrounded by several familiar faces such as REEF, Joe Johnson, OG Swaggerdick, and more. It’s a family affair in every sense of the words, shedding light on a beautiful moment for Stizz as he looks back on just how far he’s made it.

“Made” reminds us all — “you can do it, too”.

Watch the music video for “Made” at the link provided below and if you haven’t already, stream Cold Times here!

Produced by Lil Rich
Directed by Gilad Haas

Cousin Stizz Talks His Sound, Boston, Social Media, & More With Power 106 LA

By: Seamus Fay

Fresh off of the release of the stellar new 3-pack EP, Cold Times, Cousin Stizz is the subject of every headline right now. He’s a star in the making and an undeniably captivating personality, so much so that it’s always a blessing when we receive a new interview with the Fields Corner native. Today, Stizz hits the Graduation Music pages alongside Power 106 Los Angeles, offering a question-and-answer video all about Boston, his influences, daily life, and much, much more.

Stizz has been quite active over the past month or so in terms of dropping music, so be sure to keep an eye out for more possibly on the way. And if you haven’t already, listen to Cold Times here and All Adds Up here!

Cousin Stizz – ‘Cold Times’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Representing Boston with an endless supply of hits, Cousin Stizz has been applying some serious full-court pressure in all of 2018. Just a few weeks back, he blessed us with a three-track EP entitled All Adds Up, and today, he’s here to drop off yet another trio of heaters with Cold Times, housing the songs “Made”, “Butterfly”, and “Brain Freeze”. At the core of the project, Stizz reflects on his rise from the mud to the mountaintops, grateful and energetic as ever. He translates his determination to keep working hard into a collection of anthems that any listener can find inspiration from, and in doing so, reminds us all why he’s starting to realize his full potential as a bona fide star in the world of rap.

That said, sonically, Cold Times represents an important moment for Stizz. As it seems, looking at the last 6 tracks that he has dropped, the Fields Corner native has truly found the sonic direction in which his talents are best applicable. Doused in ethereal, ice-cold melodies and crisp drum patterns, he navigates his way through booming 808s, doing so on his own terms with a diamond-flashing grin to light the way. Stizz really made it, and Cold Times tells listeners that they can do it, too. Especially in rap today, it can feel as though artists are flexing at you rather than doing anything to inspire you, but with our favorite cousin, he always takes listeners right by his side and shows them the way that things can be if we just believe and put in the work.

This is a stellar release to keep the stocks on an insuppressible rise, so show some love to Boston’s own and listen to Cold Times at the link below!

Cam Meekins – “Big Joints”

By: Shamus Hill

Cam Meekins was one of the first artists I grew to love out of the Boston area. Collaborating with the likes of Cousin Stizz, Jefe Replay, and many more throughout his long tenure as an artist, he’s routinely been working his ass off to both develop his sound and bring a spotlight to our music scene. “Big Joints” is one of a handful of releases out of Cam this year, however, I must admit, this one is by far my favorite. Showcasing the fact that Boston possesses artists with immense levels of talent and dedication, “Big Joints” is yet another track that’ll raise the stocks for the rest of the artists in the area.

Off rip, whoever produced this track deserves a Gold Star at the very least. “Big Joints” sounds as if a perfect island day was somehow transformed into an instrumental, serving as the perfect soundtrack for the bit of Summer that we have left. The second the hook is introduced, there’s legitimately zero turning back. Since it’s release last week, I haven’t been able to get “I was smoking big joints / when you called me” out of my head, something that’ll make the late, great Young King Dave (Big Doinks in Amish dude) extremely pleased. Cam speaks on wanting the unnecessary stress to dissipate so that he can focus what truly matters in his life: creating an everlasting legacy through music. Encompassing a powerful message while simultaneously possessing an addictive, fun-fueled sound, “Big Joints” is easily one of my favorite Cam Meekins releases in the last few years.

The visuals for this track are already in the works, with one of the scenes consisting of Cam Meekins and Cousin Stizz naturally smoking a rather large joint. 2018 may be nearing its end, but the likes of Cam are living proof that there’s still work to be put in. I’m extremely pleased with “Big Joints” and I’m looking forward to what’s next to come from the Boston-native.

Listen to Cam Meekins’ “Big Joints” below:

Cousin Stizz – ‘All Adds Up’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

In a week filled with momentous rap releases, one of the standout projects that came out was undoubtedly Cousin Stizz’s latest All Adds Up EP. And sure, I know I’m biased being from Massachusetts, but I truly mean it when I say that this mini release is direct proof that the Fields Corner native is going to be an absolute star. I mentioned it in a tweet earlier this week — the conviction in his voice and overall attitude of the three songs show many facets of Stizz’s skill and mentality at the moment, with the most prevalent being his dead-set vision of success. He’s going to make it, regardless of what may come in the way.

That said, this trio of songs brings to fruition quite possibly Stizz’s most refined artistry to date. The production, handled by the names noted below, is both ominous and determined, hanging onto every bar with futuristic melodies and trap-induced drums. Additionally, Stizz’s charismatic cadences help to supercharge his unforgettable lyricism, and all in all, this EP comes through as a reminder that whatever might be on the way in the future is going to shake things up quite a bit. Stizz is on a mission, and All Adds Up tells us that the direction he’s heading in is straight to the top. Listen at the link below:

Artwork by
Production by ,   &

Michael Christmas – ‘Role Model’ [Album]

Resting right alongside days such as the Boston Tea Party, when the Celtics won the ’08 finals, and when Paul Revere embarked on his midnight ride, June 22nd will go down in Boston history as the day that Michael Christmas finally released his long-awaited third album, Role Model. And quite frankly, it might just take precedence over the other three days I mentioned. Regardless, today is an important day, and for anyone that heard the magic of Christmas’ past 3 singles, “Ball”, “Girlfriend”, and “Not The Only One”, the full scope of anticipation for this album can truly be realized.

In just 15 songs, we hear the musical manifestation of unwavering authenticity and exuberant charisma, complete with the technical skill that makes Michael Christmas an unforgettable artist. His personality shines through each track all the way from the bubbling energy of “These Days” to the potent loyalty of “Everybody Eats”, and in such a way, every song represents an important moment in the Roxbury-bred star’s life. From the hilarious, soul-searching sentiment of Is This Art? all the way up until today, Michael Christmas has never lost track of who he is at heart.

With this, topping Role Model off with the sonic direction to make it such a magnificent offering, the production on this one rings forth as some of the most memorable that I’ve heard from any other release this year. Credits from names such as Teddy Roxpin, Meltycanon, and Thelonious Martin, among others, radiate immense positivity through sound and style, only to be graced with Christmas’ homegrown charm, sparkling character, and effortless flows along the way. The additional feature verses include fellow Boston act Cousin Stizz, Tobi Lou, G Perico, and Domo Genesis, all of which show out in their respective roles and make this album the official soundtrack of the summer.

There’s so much more to be said about the magic of Role Model, but in truth, the music speaks for itself, in this case. That being said, stream the latest LP from Michael Christmas at the link below and stay tuned for a follow-up article/interview on the importance of the project coming soon!

Cousin Stizz – “Records” [Prod. Twayne The Kidd]

By: Seamus Fay

In recent years, movie soundtracks have started to become increasingly popular in the rap world as chances for us all to hear new music and superstar collaborations between some of our favorite artists. Today, blessing the world with a new song from none other than Cousin Stizz, the power of the soundtrack is felt with the triumphant cut, “Records”. Acting as part of the highly-anticipated movie Uncle Drew (starring Boston’s own Kyrie Irving), this track isn’t just a perfect audio companion for any glo-ups going on this summer, but it’s also a huge moment for CT native Twayne The Kidd.

Twayne has become known locally as an incredibly hard-working individual, constantly working in a way that has garnered great respect from artists and fans around the Boston area and beyond. To see him appear on the production credits for a Stizz track is a huge moment in putting local talent on the map, and needless to say, “Records” definitely shows us just how capable he is of crafting an absolute banger whenever needed. The rapidly-moving, confident stature of the instrumental strengthens the memorable lines of, “Imma break the record like Guinness/ Paper keep spinning/ This is big boy business, watch out”, and all in all, this song will stay on repeat for the rest of the summer in my playlist.

Give “Records” a listen at the link below and be sure to watch Uncle Drew when it premieres in theaters!

A Reflection On Cousin Stizz’s ‘Suffolk County’ 3-Year Anniversary Show

By: Seamus Fay

Within the geographically-minded landscape of rap music, the weight behind a homecoming show consists of one central theme: loyalty. This encapsulates loyalty from the crowd, loyalty from the artist, and loyalty to a vision of success and “making it out” of one’s hometown which, amidst other manifestations of hard work, also translates into the ever-important power of pride. On June 6th, just last Sunday, Cousin Stizz crafted his own definition of both loyalty and pride by offering a live performance at the Paradise Rock Club in celebration of the anniversary of his critically-acclaimed debut mixtape, Suffolk County. The show sold out in 6 minutes.

At face value, the function of this performance was to make sure that those who missed Boston Calling would still receive the opportunity to see Stizz live while he was in the city. But looking back on the energy brought into the venue that night, the true function of the show was a reflection on the success that Stizz has seen since 2015 when he first released Suffolk County. The whole city came out, and just like that, the Dorchester native used this family affair to look back on the roots that brought him where he is today.

Personally, the reason that this project has remained a timeless collection of music in my ears is mostly due to the way that it brings Stizz’s lifestyle down to a listener-friendly level, complete with a certain degree of familiarity that only helps Boston fans to embrace its magic even more directly. Whether it be the triumphant, anthemic nature of “Dum Dope”, the unapologetically confident hooks of “Fresh Prince”, or the unfaltering honesty that comes through on “No Explanation”, Stizz tells it how it is on this project, and in doing so, listeners are doused in the emotional roller coaster of life in Fields Corner.

With this, Suffolk County is, in a nutshell, a uniquely comprehensive look of the triumphs and struggles that predated Stizz’s rap success. Life was certainly more simple, but times weren’t easy by any means, and the way that such intense pain and passion are communicated through ringing hooks that still resonate with people today, defines what it means to be a classic piece of music. And now, my Suffolk County importance rant is done, and we can delve into the show.


The first point of importance that surrounds such a legendary night was seen in Big Leano’s spot opening for Stizz. Any fan of Boston music might tell you that Stizz and Leano are close friends, but this brotherhood runs far deeper below the surface than that. In fact, Big Leano’s debut performance within the city’s rap community, after releasing just one song prior to the show (the ever-important “Muddy Sip”), was at Cousin Stizz’s first-ever headlining show in Boston at the Middle East. These two have been working towards the top since before rap was the plan, and to see them together even today, more strengthened in their bond than ever, is an immaculate sight.

From the mud all the way to fame, loyalty doesn’t budge.

tumblr_p9urrap8dp1vd9b90o1_1280.jpg

That being said, Leano’s undying energy and galvanizing set, which, of course, included the insanity of a “Lean For Sale” mosh pit, made way for a perfect transition into an unforgettable performance from Stizz. But before the headlining act graced the stage, he retreated into the dressing room of the Paradise Rock Club, where a number of close friends and acquaintances hung around in pure excitement for what was to come. Luckily enough, I was brought into the room by a friend of Stizz’s (shouts out to Juxi one time), and what I noticed most specifically was the way that the Fields Corner native gets into the zone before shows.

Just a few minutes prior to when the opening notes of “Ain’t Really Much” would play and Stizz would jump on stage, he wasn’t talking to anyone, messing around, or even communicating with the world in front of him. Instead, he slipped his headphones on, stared at the ground, and simply slipped into an isolated zone, marking the calm before the storm that was a sold-out, nearly 1,000-person performance in his hometown.

And then magic happened.

Stizz went through Suffolk County‘s dense tracklist of hits, one by one, garnering the attention and love of the crowd with every successive note of music. The show didn’t need anything extra to make it an incredible performance, but sure enough, when Jefe Replay gets involved, there’s no limit on what insanity might occur. He’s an undeniable rockstar, and rockstars do rockstar things. Like crowd-walking. Not crowd-diving, for those who may be confused. Crowd-walking.

The chilling melodies of “Talk” creeped into the venue’s sound systems, and after Stizz had unleashed his unforgettable verses, Replay took center stage for his monumental role in the song. But just when it looked as if he might dive into the crowd to deliver each line, he positioned his feet on the raised hands and starting to walk out into a sea of feverish fans. Showmanship aside, the fact that the crowd walk even happened was insane in and of itself, and I suppose it only adds to the long list of reasons why Jefe Replay is a star and why this show superseded the concept of what a rap show usually is.

tumblr_p9uskfF5GT1vd9b90o1_1280.jpg

My final point of importance, before this article takes the form of a novel, was seen in the simple barrage of “thank you’s” that Stizz proclaimed throughout the night. He paused his set at least 4 or 5 times after a variety of different songs, and looking out at the physical evidence of how far he has come as an artist, Stizz couldn’t help but show his appreciation for his supporters. And sure, obviously most performers would be saying thank you if they, too, sold out a show in six minutes, but coming from Stizz, with his home city leaning on every new syllable that came out of his mouth, this “thank you” went far below the surface.

The Suffolk County anniversary show was a step back in time to one of Boston’s most iconic mixtapes and the lifestyle that came with it. Time moves quite rapidly with no foreseeable slowing, but by revisiting this classic set of anthems with the same fans who have watched Stizz undergo both musical and personal growth since it’s 2015 release, life slowed down for a moment and all felt right. Stizz is one of Boston’s bonafide stars, and we couldn’t ask for any better artist to help play the role.

tumblr_p9usqenitF1vd9b90o1_1280.jpg

Before I wrap this article up, however, it’s also important to note that the real magic of this night is only achieved when we take a step back and marvel at the inspirational sight of comradery as a city that it brought together. For the few, impactful hours that the show spanned, Suffolk County was suspended in its status as an eminent assemblage of reflective sound and thought, surrounded by an ethereal glow that reminds us, above all things, of one mixtape that united people from all different backgrounds and helped to offer us a common thread of pride in our city’s music scene that before then, had not been achieved in such an authentic, modern light.

Just one night of unwavering authenticity and prideful proclamations towards Boston granted me with an abundance of memories that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life, and for that, only two words capture the moment: thank you.

Thank you to Cousin Stizz, thank you to Tim Larew, thank you to Boston, and thank you to every person that made such a magnificent night possible. Suffolk County remains one of the best bodies of music that I have heard to date, and it set the stage for a bright future that even Stizz didn’t think was possible.

I guess there’s a reason he’s our favorite cousin.


Thank you to @gregisonfire for the photos used in this article.