Cody "HiZe" Long prefers rap 8.13

Written 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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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