Cody "HiZe" Long prefers rap 8.13

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Cody Long knows what he’s up against in his quest to become an accepted rap artist.

1. Small town.

2. White boy.

“Ha, ha. Let’s make fun of the white boy,” Long said. “I get discriminated against.”

Long, who calls himself HiZe when he’s rhyming, often gets mocked by his classmates since rap is associated with a much different culture. He can’t fault them when he thinks back on his earlier work.cody.long.jpg

“I had a low quality mic and the output was really bad quality,” Long said. “They made fun of me. I’ve had a lot of criticism over the past two years.”

He sees that changing. When he performed at Adrian’s L.A. Café in April—the Spring Jump-Off event for Runnin’ Records—he was the opening act and it turned out to be a much longer act than he originally planned.

“I totally rocked the place,” he said. “They knew this kid’s serious.”

In a small town where country and rock rule, Long ventured out into strange territory.

“I started something that nobody else was doing,” he said, “but I have more fans now. A lot of kids from Morenci are starting to listen to me.”

His development in the field has been aided by connections made through Tom Phipps, owner of Runnin’ Records. He’s helped Long connect with several rap artists from other parts of the country. Through his MySpace page, Long works with DJ Ant from Ft. Lauderdale, Young Money from North Carolina and others.

A recent song drew more than 2,000 hits in a month on MySpace. Long thinks that’s impressive for a Morenci kid, and his latest song is doing even better.

Rap songs are known for violent lyrics, often filled with sexually suggestive phrases. Long figures most rap artists don’t actually live the life they’re talking about.

“In real life I’m shy,” he said. “I don’t encourage kids to go out and do what I say. It’s entertainment. It’s something for fun, something to listen to. It doesn’t really relate to my life.”

Long faced a hurdle convincing his parents of that, but “I’ve got them into it now,” he said.

He sees rap as a means of self-expression.

“You write what’s on your mind down on paper,” the 16-year-old said. “Not everybody goes through drugs and lives in the ghetto. But everybody has troubles. That’s just part of life.”

But he tires of people telling him, “You’re not hood. You’re not black.”

“It doesn’t mean I’m trying to be something I’m not,” he said. “I’m just myself.”

Small-town white-boy rap isn’t a genre he’s developed, but maybe that will come later.

“I have 20 or 30 songs on the back burner,” he said. “I spend hours every day networking and writing and revising.”

Long has been a fan of rap for about four years and he’s been rhyming for more than two years. He didn’t get really serious about it until last year.

He comes up with the lyrics and performs them with free beats available on websites. He paid money for his last one—the better ones generally cost—and he’s considered buying software such as Fruity Loops to create his own.

Long has earned the respect of Dustin “RitZ” McLaughlin, a rapper from Adrian who helped Long get started.

“Cody is doing great,” McLaughlin said. “He’s talking with some big artists and he’s really doing good. I’m really proud of him.”

Long wants to bring in a couple other rappers to get a show together in Morenci, and if this whole rap thing doesn’t go anywhere, he’ll fall back on his other plans—to work as a radio host.

For now, he’ll keep on rapping.

“I want to be one of those white boys who makes it,” he said.

  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017