Going fishing with D12's Bizarre -- The ''Hannicap Circus'' rapper talks about his solo debut

By Evan Serpick
Updated June 17, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
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”I’m really a laid-back guy named Rufus that likes to pop Vicodin and go fishin’.” — D12’s Rufus ”Bizarre” Johnson, in a recent interview

The chance to head to sea with a pill-popping rapper in a shower cap doesn’t come along often, so we jumped at the opportunity to join D12 crazy man Bizarre in a boat off Brooklyn and ask him about his solo debut, Hannicap Circus, out June 28.

The Eminem sidekick doesn’t disappoint. He arrives at the dock, a giant diamond-encrusted ”Biz” around his neck, and rolls up to our captain-for-hire, Brendan McCarthy, of New York’s Urban Fly-Guides. ”Got any pills?” he asks. Despite his stated penchant for painkillers, he’s actually looking for motion-sickness tabs. Unfortunately, McCarthy’s not holding. Bizarre’s handlers speak in hushed tones about ”an incident” on a fishing trip in Australia, and we begin to worry about our expedition. (Bizarre learned to fish from his grandfather, who took little Rufus to the banks of the Detroit River. No boats, no ”incidents.”)

Despite his jitters, the rapper — known to rhyme about eating fetuses and having sex with handicapped women — gingerly climbs aboard the 18-foot cruiser. He sits, gripping the fiberglass seat, leaving himself vulnerable to questions. ”We recorded the album in just 21 days,” he says. With artists ranging from flashy OutKast MC Big Boi on ”Porno Bitches” to Dead Prez politico sticman on ”Hip-Hop,” the disc has one of the most diverse guest lists of the year. ”Music’s all about emotion and vibe,” says Bizarre. ”Whatever vibe I was feeling, I wanted to run with that.”

Of course, Biz owes his career to hometown crew member Eminem, who raps on ”Hip-Hop” and produced the first single, ”Rock Star.” After two D12 CDs, Bizarre is the first post-Eminem D12 MC to venture a solo disc. ”I’m trying to get out from under Eminem’s shadow,” he says. ”It’s been a long time coming.”

Slim Shady may be a big fish in the rap world, but as an angler, he’s got nothing on Biz, who reels in bluefish after bluefish — eight in all. ”Eminem would never do this. Too messy,” he says of the notoriously germophobic star. Like Hemingway in a shower cap, he states iconically, ”I’m the fisherman.”

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