D12's Bizarre is known for his rotund, tattooed stomach, shower-cap-covered head and uncanny wit. However, after fellow D12 rapper Proof was shot and killed last year, he strived to show his serious side. The result is the single "So Hard."
"'So Hard' is basically a tribute to Proof and the struggles that I went through as a rapper in trying to get a record deal in the music business," Bizarre said during an interview with LiveDaily. "There were a lot of trials and tribulations that I had to withstand. I wanted people to see a more serious side of Bizarre."
Bizarre, whose real name is Rufus Johnson, said it was cathartic to write the song.
"Music is all about your experiences in life. I wouldn't say it was hard to write the song. I actually needed that. I've been through a lot of situations in the last couple years that you have to be strong to deal with. I wanted to bring that through my music."
The song appears on Bizarre's sophomore album "Blue Cheese and Coney Island," which is named after the two places he now calls home: Atlanta and Detroit.
"It's partially an ode to Detroit, with the Coney dogs. Coney Islands, that's what Detroit's known for, as far as 24-hour restaurants. Everybody in Atlanta eats blue cheese with their wings. I'm basically paying homage to Atlanta and Detroit. I go back and forth from both of them," Bizarre said.
Bizarre may be serving up his songs on tour this winter. He said his management has been working to schedule a tour, perhaps with the likes of TechN9ne, Twisted, Kottonmouth Kings or Redman.
"I'm ready to hit the road," he said.
The timing of "Blue Cheese and Coney Island" is impeccable. With Eminem working on a new album, he said, D12 has a bit of a break.
"I had the opportunity to release a record so I took advantage of it," Bizarre said. "We've got this down time. People ain't really heard anything from D12 in awhile. We had a little slot. I have downtown from here to January, so I said I was going to put my album out; sneak it out real quick.
"I was going to wait until the next D12 album, but then that album kept getting pushed back," Bizarre added. "I definitely got to come out with something to keep the name alive. D12, we are currently in the studio working on our third album, our junior album. We're about halfway finished. We should probably be finished the first of next year. It'll probably be in stores in April. There's talk of a tour, but it's just talk."
He also kept the name in the news as a member of VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club," an offer he turned down several times before jumping on board.
"But they were persistent. You only live once, man. You gotta take the challenges of life. Finally I was like, 'Whoa, let me try this.' It wasn't easy. There were a lot of obstacles. I've been working hard but my team won. I'm still on the treadmill. I maintained the weight that I lost. I feel a lot better. It was a good experience."