Open Space: Cuz Lightyear

Cuz Lightyear dropped his new EP, WHAT UP CUZ, today on Mass Appeal Records. To formally introduce himself, the Atlanta-based MC appeared on our Open Space interview series.

Lightyear found an early supporter in Dungeon Fam alumnus Killer Mike, who appears on his recent single “Pots N Pans.” The Run the Jewels MC was first introduced to his music accidentally. The pair shared a studio engineer in common and Mike happened to walk into his place as he was playing back one of the freestyles Lightyear recorded within a room of other hungry local MCs.

But before Lightyear’s career could go anywhere, it was almost derailed by a “country boy” parole officer who tried to force him to ditch his music career. “He was just like, ‘You’re not doing no more of that rap music’,” Lightyear recalls.“Whatever you thought you were doing, you ain’t doing no more of that. You need to get you a job, you know, McDonalds or something.’”

Still he was undeterred. “I would just be low-key going around to studios, still recording and shit, but I can’t put music out or nothing,” he says.

To get around his P.O.’s watchful eye and persistent Googling, he changed his MC name from SL Jones to his current Cuz Lightyear moniker. He also decided to go on the road with Run the Jewels even though it was against the conditions of his parole, but he hid his identity by performing in a ski mask covered with gold spikes. It turned out he had some luck on his side, too.“If they would have called me in at any time, I would have been violated,” he says.

Check out the full Open Space interview above to hear Lightyear talk about lessons learned from Killer Mike’s late mother, his views on “glorification” in rap and more above. Stream the WHAT UP CUZ EP below or download a copy here.

Related Posts


Cuz Lightyear Connects with G Perico for “Recognize”


Open Space: Thouxanbanfauni


New Music From Wiz Khalifa, Cuz Lightyear, Diplo and More


Open Space: Nessly


Open Space: Smino


Latest News

Denio Basha Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Danger USA Designer Denio Basha

"I wanted to share my interpretation of what's really going on in this country by making simple designs that have a real meaning"

Pete Rock Drops the Hammer in Instagram Response to Waka Flocka

“I just think y'all can't do what we did”
lavar ball donald trump Sports

LaVar Ball Doesn’t Have a ‘Thank You’ for Trump: “Who?”

LiAngelo took the high road; BBB’s fearless leader isn’t

Meek Mill Has Been Released from Solitary Confinement

A small but important victory
Teslas Music Video

PREMIERE: Tesla’s Ghost “Zero Hour” Video

It's a mob meeting
Gilles Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Gilles

Get familiar with the Atlanta-bred lawyer/rapper: "People think it's a gimmick"
kanye west News

Kanye West is Producing Albums For Every G.O.O.D. Music Artist

Yeezy Season has returned
mike sits on his rooftop in the god's with me music video Music Video

A Higher Power Watches Over MIKE in New “God’s With Me” Video

Church in these streets
body-cameras News

Study: Police Body Cameras Have Problems, But Are Still Necessary

Some things never change
chance the rapper dwayne wade News

Chance the Rapper and Dwayne Wade Are Co-Producing a Film on Chicago Basketball

And you say Chi City!
Evidence Music Video

Evidence and Jason Goldwatch Show You Their Los Angeles in “Jim Dean” Video

"Walkin' in the rain off the Jim Beam / Dreams broken on the boulevard, Jim Dean"

Read This in Auto-Tune: T-Pain’s New Album, ‘Oblivion,’ is Here

Still snappin'
seven1 Music

PREMIERE: SeVen1 ‘Sinners Remorse’ EP

"These shorties is f*cked up / They kill but can't hustle"
moneybagg yo youngboy never broke again Music

Youngboy NBA and Moneybagg Yo Team for Conceptual ‘Fed Baby’s’ Album

Against the law
Willie Music Video

PREMIERE: Willie The Kid x V Don “Blue Notes” Video

"The love kept me afloat, the hate kept me on my toes"
plane News

Pilots Have a New Hobby — Drawing Dicks in the Sky

Excuse me as I f*ck the sky