Coming in strong with what could be UK’s rap song of the year, Croydon’s very own BZ unveils new single ‘Get Paid’ alongside a matching music video directed & shot in Ghana. This is the first single since his surprise hit last year ‘Get Gone’ and BZ’ music appearance on the famous British show Top Boy. Similar to the likes of J Hus and recently detained Coventry rapper Pa Salieu, the ‘2 G’s’ South London lyricist is about business and has no problem in keeping it real on his latest release.
BZ (which is a credential that derives from the childhood nickname of Blitz) first had a foot in spoken word poetry before giving music a proper shot. Growing up in a religious household who frequented church quite often, BZ has managed to gain success through faith and recognition in his Ghanaian roots. Known for taking part in open mic sessions across London, it wasn’t until a close friend broke his arm that it inspired the Croydon rapper to start taking rap seriously and hit the studio regularly. After song ‘2 G’s’, arguably his greatest hit thus far, was featured on the famous series Top Boy, BZ became the talk of the town and ever since, he has proven to be unstoppable.
To start off the season, it seems like Croydon newcomer BZ is taking the approach of celebration for all accomplishments he has obtained throughout the years. What may sound like bragging for some, could be easily interpreted as motivation and self-reflection since BZ’ hardwork has finally paid off for him.
In BZ’ content lyrics, the young man mainly focuses on portraying the life of an artist who’s doing well for himself. To this regard, there’s a lot of dimensions to be thankful for and one achievement that BZ empathises heavily on is the ability of making sufficient money now. As a British born who’s parents immigrated to the UK before he’d hit the stage, one could assume that BZ experienced a lot of hardship. Although we can also presume that the South Londoner grew up humble, he has no shame in flaunting his material gain lyrically, followed by an interesting twist of event through accompanied visuals.
One aspect that BZ has always mentioned is the importance of the African influence across his music and ‘Get Paid’ is no different. On the back of the instrumental, there’s an elderly person’s singing that can be heard throughout BZ’ vocal performance. It is unclear from where this sample was taken; however, it sounds like something you’d come across looking through West-African archives and such. It naturally gives off this African atmosphere.
On the other hand, the drums in use are evidently a nudge to early Hip-Hop anthems and creates this balance that compliments both the melody and BZ’ rapping very well. On many occasions, the British resident of Ghana heritage has praised Compton artist Kendrick Lamar and claimed that he was the greatest rapper of all time. We can suspect that BZ has made his research on the history of Hip-Hop and it only comes naturally for him to then borrow some of the genre’s key elements.
The reason why BZ always tends to implicate his heritage plays an important role throughout the course of his career. One could argue that even as a Croydon resident, during his childhood, BZ was mainly raised as a Ghanaian boy living in a Ghanaian household, who frequented the Ghanaian community in London by going to church, for example. And therefore, takes pride in involving his homeland along the way. From the choice of clothing alone, you feel as though you’re getting a glimpse into his west African culture.
What better way to celebrate one’s victory in the comfort of your home? In the video, one can see several faces that may be important individuals in BZ’ process. This is evident as even in his lyrics, he raps; ”We get paid” referring to BZ’ wins also concerning his family & friends, and his home country as a whole. BZ’ entourage circles him which can be a symbol of togetherness and an effort of collectiveness.
With the combination of a beach-like atmosphere and warm orange colorization, the video is really testimony to BZ’ identity and although it may not have much connection with the lyrics, the ‘No Rules’ rapper could have easily done it big; but instead, chose the cultural route and took us to a trip into his humble beginnings.
BZ’ influence by J Hus is rather clear, but this does not mean that he hasn’t got anything new to bring to the table. The Croydon upcoming artist is filling some of his comrades’ absence whilst staying true to himself and taking his listeners across a wild journey. While only starting to publicise his music since 2019, BZ has reached new heights in such a short amount of time and the Ghana boy is just getting started.
From the layback delivery to the cultural aesthetic, all of these different attributions are an affirmation to the type of artist BZ is aiming to be. Although there’s still much room for improvement, the Croydon vocalist message is clear; celebrating our wins whilst never forgetting where we came from.