Cousin Stizz – ‘Suffolk County’

Almost every song on 'Suffolk County' has a half-sung, insanely catchy hook.
By    June 11, 2015


Will Hagle’s droppin’ tabs with some lemurs 

If you can’t place Suffolk County on a map, Wikipedia is more helpful than the album that bears its name. Cousin Stizz claims Suffolk County was inspired by his hometown, but he never drops the metaphorical pin through his lyrics. He doesn’t need to talk about how wicked awesome Dunkin Donuts is to explain that he’s from Boston, but the album title sets listeners up for more geographic specificity than it delivers. There’s not really much to do anywhere but get money, try to stay high and out of trouble.

Genericism isn’t bad if it’s relatable, and “Shoutout to the money love the drugs” sounds good in every language.* You can also get a good enough sense of Cousin Stizz’s life and history by listening to Suffolk County. The detailed personality explored on songs like “I Got It” contrasts with the broadness of the album’s name. Cousin Stizz only needs to say he and his friends grew up with a drug spot they called ‘Amsterdam’ for the sentiment to be conveyed on “Real Life,” he doesn’t need to give the exact mailing address.

Almost every song on Suffolk County has a half-sung, insanely catchy hook. Like “Shoutout,” none of them are big or overproduced. Somehow, they’re still memorable. “Fresh Prince” is the best example of Cousin Stizz’s ability to sneakily burn words into your brain. He raps in a slow and deliberate cadence for the song’s first two and a half minutes, repeating phrases but not changing tone or flow to distinguish between hook and verse. When he stops pausing for breath and starts rapping twice as often, it’s a near perfect execution of everything Weezy taught about letting the beat build. By the last hook, you should know the words to sing along. The song could’ve at least been renamed “Sam Malone” to hammer that Boston point home, though. “Diane Chambers to all the haters” rhymes better with “top shelf weed flavors” than “Carlton with all the hate” does, anyways.

The greatest moment of Cousin Stizz’s career thus far came when another former TV star was spotted in an Instagram video listening to “Shoutout” at Dave & Busters. Suffolk County provides 12 more songs make you feel like you can afford anything in the prize room if you blast them loud enough. It doesn’t paint a vivid portrait of a specific place the way good kid maad city or My Krazy Life did recently, but it doesn’t matter. Wikipedia put Suffolk County on the map; Cousin Stizz just happens to be from there.

*Here it is in Romanian, Icelandic and Japanese:

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