A Bizarre Road Traveled

Rufus Arthur Johnson a.k.a. Bizarre is still grindin in 2010. The 15-year industry veteran’s work with Eminem, Proof and D12 over the past 10 or so years is considered notable. “I got in the game in glee club practice. I was rapping when I was 8 years old,” Johnson explains. But he introduced himself to the world with his 1998 independent effort, Attack of the Weirdos. He then followed with his first taste of mainstream success on the song, “Amnityville” off of the Marshall Mathers LP (2000), followed by D12’s major label debut Devil’s Night (2001) and the sophomore effort D12 World (2004). Hits included “Purple Pills”, “Fight Music”, “My Band”, and “How Come.” Bizarre has since worked on all of D12’s albums, and released two solo efforts. He’s set to drop Friday Night At St. Andrews, May 18, 2010 and BE Magazine was able to sit down with D-town’s finest to see where the eccentric rapper’s head is at.

Bizarre carefully explains the title, “St. Andrews is the venue all the Hip Hop heads went to on Fridays for music. There were other clubs around it, but it stood out like a sore thumb. The people who went there used to look so different. People used to laugh at you for going there.” Now, St. Andrews has a reputation as one of Detroit’s mainstays for live music in general. Bizarre’s on a mission to undergo a similar transformation, and has emphasized live music on this release. “Every song on this album, I can picture performing,” he explains. Known for being more comedic, one might ask how that transition took place. “I have a lot of history as a comedian rapper. But I wanted to show my more serious side. I went back to the St. Andrews days for this album.”

It’s clear Bizarre is showing the focus that years of trial and error in the hip-hop brings. He’s making a conscious effort to showcase exactly who and what he can offer today’s music scene. His instincts have him focused on “taking it back to being more lyrical and hardcore. That’s what hip hop’s missing right now.”

Outside of music, we asked Bizarre spefically if there was any acting in his future. He and the rest of D12 acted in 2005’s, The Longest Yard — alongside Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler, and Chris Rock — and the rap collective previously stated they would be producing and starring in two movies, one titled Devil’s Night — a horror film, and another titled Runyon Cash — about growing up in the streets of Detroit. Right now, Bizarre is taking it one step at a time. “I want to take some acting classes. [Like my music], I want it to be taken seriously. But we are looking at a couple of projects in the near future.”

For more on Bizarre, visit BizarresWorld.com

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