In an industry deemed absurdly unpredictable, producer, songwriter and entrepreneur Joe Flizzow has never been one who is content with letting grass grow beneath his feet. From his early days as one half of the iconic rap duo Too Phat, he has treaded strategically and has evolved through the years to become Malaysia’s number one rapper.
Today, Joe, whose real name is Johan Ishak, is focused on making the most out of his life with his breezy new track titled “Drop”. Following its release a few months back, it didn’t take long for fans everywhere to fall in love with the talented rapper all over again — especially for those who have been waiting years for his new material.
“Drop” is undeniably a substantial song in my books. It’s mellow, catchy, and is distinctly dissimilar from Joe’s previous tracks. The hit also marks the first time the Subang Jaya native fronted a risqué (for Malaysian standards) music video featuring a stunning female model donning a two-piece bikini, on top of including “a bottle of gin” in the lyrics.
Understandably, critics always have a word or two to say about his work and the track may have garnered mixed reviews from fans everywhere, but you have to admit the release of “Drop” epitomises a fearlessly bold move from the rapper, which marks a turning point in his musical career.
During a recent short chat with Flizzow himself, we learnt that he initially scheduled to release two Malay songs, “Sampai Jadi” and “Dua Lima Dua”, but when he got inspired to create “Drop”, his uncompromising determination led him to complete it within 24 hours, and then into a spat with his label to break his English single “Drop” first.
“I felt like it was the right time to release an English song. It’s the right kind of song,” the rapper revealed. “Looking at the world’s hip hop landscape at the moment, it’s all about drugs, money, talk.. you know, something that I don’t really do. So, for us to come up with a track that is neutral in terms of topic, and if I play it for my friends in the States, they won’t feel like I’m trying to copy their style.”
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Thank you to everybody that came through to @stregiskl yesterday for the #FlizzowDrop press conference. To all members of the press, I truly appreciate your continued support. Big ups to my manager @yanizmerican and my team at @officialkartel and @sonymusicmy for all the hardwork. The good people at @neweramy for coming through with the collabo in time for the launch! Not forgetting @shimylatif @seanjesudasan @joshuafooo for the amazing video and @wan.issara and @sripanwa for allowing us to shoot it at your ballin' resort. Shoutouts to @hublot_kualalumpur too for the 'new watch alert' suprise. Thank you everybody. And last but not least shout outs to my fans for getting me to #1 on @itunes in such a short time. #FlizzowDROP #grenadefilms #stregiskl #HublotKualaLumpur #NewEraMY
Having been a firm believer in his work, I’m positive that Flizzow possesses what it takes to land the international recognition he so very deserves — considering that the 4:20-minute long track immediately went up to the #1 spot on iTunes within a day of its release. Now that’s a mic drop moment.
When pressed about the criticism he’s received over “Drop”, Joe laughed, saying, “Honestly, I just wanted a song that a DJ would play after playing French Montana’s ‘Unforgettable’.” The 38-year-old musician disclosed that he expected those comments, but that the negativity doesn’t faze him as he is now focusing on promoting the song to a wider audience who will appreciate it.
The star, who has recently been named Hublot’s 1st Friend Of The Brand in Malaysia, also shared that if he wasn’t a successful rapper, he would probably end up being a copywriter. “When I was in college, I majored in advertising and I used to work in my uncle’s advertising agency as a copywriter.” Ahh, no wonder he spits bars like a true wordsmith.
Today, a multi-award winning icon, Flizzow often travels with his favourite AKG C414 condenser microphone to record new stuff whenever and wherever he goes. The producer of 16Baris (a Cypher show whereby rappers showcase their lyrical skills by engaging in a freestyle against one another) added that he loves tuning in to Luqman Podolski’s hilarious videos, especially the ones he raps in such as “Wicet“.
Can’t get enough of Flizzow’s hot music? We got word that the rapper will be unveiling a new single very soon, and we’re pretty sure it’s going to be as lit as “Drop”, if not better.
Check out the video above in which Lipstiq asked him a handful of “Would You Rather” questions concerning death, animals and super powers. Alternatively, follow Joe Flizzow on Facebook and Instagram for updates.