Cuz Lightyear

Based out of Little Rock, Arkansas, this rapper/singer worked for years with Killer Mike and other bigger names before switching up his sound and taking on a different moniker. Debuting with 2015 mixtape CUZ, he moved from the gruff street raps of his early career to a versatile web of styles that bounded from Autotuned melodies to syncopated flows over floating, narcotic beats. Rapper Bryan Jones was born in Flint, Michigan but grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He first took the name SL Jones and was part of Killer Mike's pre-Run the Jewels group Grind Time Rap Gang in addition to releasing multiple solo mixtapes and albums between 2009 and 2014. In 2015 he changed his name to Cuz Lightyear (a play on the Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear) and released the CUZ mixtape. This multifaceted project gained the rapper more attention and the next year he signed to Mass Appeal, which released his 2017 mixtape What Up Cuz. The nine-song release featured production on one track from Metro Boomin' as well as guest appearances from Maxo Kream, Killer Mike, and G Perico. He followed up the next year with the more melodic Blue Slime, another collection of songs that again included a guest spot from Killer Mike as well as features from Yung Bans and Lil Baby. ~ Fred Thomas

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