Da’Zuanay McJimpson, better known as rapper Glizzy, proved to be one of the hardest working people in local music when she released her mixtapes Glizzel da Don and Welcome to West Carolina back to back in 2018 and 2019. Not only did she pour all of herself into those two projects, she is also a mother and was working six days a week as a bartender at the time. Like a lot of artists on a local level, burnout will settle in when you have to make a living for yourself and loved ones.
“Since the last mixtape I made I did not want to make music,” McJimpson said. “Any bit of artistry that I had in me was on the backburner.” That was until “about a month ago” when she was up late writing.
“My sister texted me saying, ‘Make sure that you write, you need to put out there what it is that you’re going through because so many other people are dealing with the same things,’ she recalled. “That encouraged me to write and then, literally, the new mixtape was done in about two weeks.”
Not long after her burst of writing, she went into Twin D1st Century Entertainment’s studio with local producers Qualos and Big Hoove. After two three-hour recording sessions, her new mixtape, Overdrive, came to life.
It’s a perfect title for this project. She chose to creatively kick herself into gear to lasso the whirlwind of work and motherhood, harmonizing her personal and creative lives.
“It’s me talking to myself and reminding myself, ‘You went through that stuff and you fell sometimes but get up, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you’ve got this; you’re a mom, a bartender, a rapper, a friend, an aunt, a cousin and you’re going to stay positive even in a trying time,” she said.
For Glizzy fans, Overdrive has everything that made her last two tapes so strong. Her rapping exudes the same clever, grown up confidence and rolling steam engine rhythm that stays tightly fused with Qualos and Big Hoove’s beats. The tracks where she raps are where the fun is, but don’t sleep on the slower numbers where she opts to sing. The move into the sensual R&B tracks is almost jarring, but Glizzy proves she can do both with the same conviction. That self-assurance takes on different shades.
“My style is always going to be tough,” she said. “I rap, but I definitely don’t consider myself a rapper, because that’s not all that I do. There’s a lot of singing on this, like I wrote my first song for my son on this mixtape. But I do like hard rapping too because I always see myself as an underdog.”
That love present in the song about her son is what drives Overdrive — and Glizzy as an artist. For some, the idea of her unapologetic, high-speed rapping about her own sexual confidence may not seem like an example of that, but she says everything comes out of compassion for other working-class people.
“There’s a lot of people like me. I’m no different from your everyday mom, from the girl down your street that does your hair, or the bartender at that other restaurant you went to,” she said. “We glamorize and glorify the rich and things that shine. I’m not trying to turn dust into diamonds, I’m just trying to put it out there so that people respect what we go through, our hustle, our wit.”
Overdrive debuted on streaming services Aug. 20, which is also Glizzy’s late grandmother’s birthday. “I always wanted to dedicate something to her. That made me want to go all out with this one.” Listeners have every reason to believe that she has done just that.