<b>ROUND ‘N’ ROUND</b>: Rapper (and Clippers fan) Dizzy Wright is on the move. He plays Velvet Jones on Friday, June 13.

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ROUND ‘N’ ROUND: Rapper (and Clippers fan) Dizzy Wright is on the move. He plays Velvet Jones on Friday, June 13.

Getting to Know Dizzy Wright

Las Vegas Rapper Talks Basketball, Fatherhood

Las Vegas’ Dizzy Wright is busy, and not just because he’s moving. The 23-year-old Wright, who first began rapping professionally in his early teens, released a new song, “Spark Up the Flame,” the morning of our conversation. A day later, record label Funk Volume would share a trio of collaborative tracks between Wright and Brooklyn’s Bishop Nehru (the noted protégé of hip-hop sensei MF Doom). And we haven’t even mentioned the national tour yet — Wright’s first with a live drummer, which kicks off in Fresno on June 11 (and hits Santa Barbara on June 13). It’s all typical of a rapper’s workflow in the 21st century, but in a world of fast fame, Wright’s trajectory seems like a natural one. In spite of his growing fan base, Wright’s signature candidness and positivity remain very much in tact, as evidenced by the release of “Red Balloons,” the rapper’s touching musical response to the tragic death of 3-year-old Ryan Saldana and the kidnapping of 300 girls in Nigeria. In anticipation of this Friday’s show at Velvet Jones, we caught up with Dizzy to talk about fatherhood, the NBA Finals, and industry hype. For show tickets and info, call (805) 965-8676 or visit

What about the upcoming tour are you excited about? Are you performing a lot of new stuff? We’re doing a lot of stuff that no one has seen yet, but actually on this [new] tour, I have a drummer coming out with me. We’re doing “Spark Up the Flame” and some other stuff we haven’t normally done, and we’re really just gonna try to rock out.

Your verses on “Red Balloons” were clearly very personal. Do you think you could have released a song like that before you became a father? I mean, that was just a perspective on what was going on. I couldn’t have written that song without being inspired by the situation, and by being a father.

Has being a father influenced your writing more than touring? Which do you think has impacted your work more profoundly? Everything. Being a father isn’t just being a father; it’s all that comes with being a father. It’s the people you run into at the daycare, or the other fathers that you meet, and then you’re having father conversations …

What kind of “father conversations”? I mean, when you’re a daddy, and you have kids, you always just start talking about your kids …

Like what you’re feeding them? Yeah, or like, how you handle different situations. It’s the “father talks,” you know? [Laughs.]

I know you’re a basketball fan. Who do you think is going to win the title this year? Yeah, man, I got Miami. I got Miami three-peatin’. San Antonio has been playing amazing. But, I mean, King James …

Is there a particular team you like? Or do you just like the league as a whole? I love following the whole NBA, man, but I really love watching the Clippers. I love watching Chris Paul. Them motherfuckers throw alley-oops to each other, and they’re just exciting to me.

You were named one of XXL’s Freshman of the Year last year. Do you feel like it impacted your career? I think it helped me, but I think it mostly helped me in the industry. A lot of fans stray away from that type of stuff, or just pay attention to it for a moment because of the hype. But the industry is always paying attention. It’s always good to know those people, so I think it helped me out a lot.

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