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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016