Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Management: Phillip Hodge (404)-425-9230
Sounds Like: THUGGIZZLE MUSIC PAGE
Genre: Hip Hop
Phillip J Hodge
was born with the ability to compose spontaneous poetry.
The 28-year-old lyricist has developed a career in music as the rapper Thuggizzle in San Antonio, Texas. He prides himself on rhyming “off the dome,” also known as free styling. It is the most prized skill in rapping, the ability to think of clever, intricate rhymes on the spot, often in competition with another rapper, and while in front of a crowd.
But despite the wealth of talent Hodge was born with, the home life of his childhood was one of instability and neglect.
Learning How to Channel Stress and Trauma
His mother sold drugs, and he and his three sisters grew up in and out of foster care. They were made wards of the state when Hodge was 9 years old. He said his acting out led to him being placed on a number of medications. He felt pigeonholed and was on the verge of living life on the streets.
After repeatedly getting in trouble, a staff member at the Baptist Children's Home where he was staying sat Hodge down and set his head on straight. That conversation planted a seed in Hodge’s head about channeling his stress and trauma into music.
“I remember an older staff member pulled me to the side and told me, 'Baby, you don’t need these meds, all you have to do is learn to balance your lifestyle and anger. Why don’t you use your music as an outlet?'”
It surprised Hodge that the worker remembered that he had an interest in music and rapped.
“I made up my mind to do something with my God-given life.”
“It was very powerful,” Hodge said later. “That is what opened up the musical outlet. I could say these things and not do them. Because I was doing the stuff I rap about.”
“You have to separate who you are from the artist,” he added, noting that if he actually did the acts he and others rap about; they would be in and out of jail constantly.
“Rapping is therapy,” he said. “You can put these things into an art form, and actually teach others.”
Developing a Career After Aging Out
Hodge first adopted the stage name “Young Thugster,” but later modified that to Thuggizzle, a combination of “thug,” a word he had been called as a young person, and “izzle,” meaning “is him.”
Hodge ultimately aged out of the system without finding a forever family. Aging out was at least partly because of his own resistance to adoption, he said, feeling it would amount to turning his back on his siblings.
“I didn't want to be adopted because I felt that would split us up,” he said of his sisters, two older and one younger. “If I had known we could have stayed together and been adopted, I would have loved it. I always wanted a family.”
Hodge, who entered Job Corps after aging out and became a nursing assistant, finds he has been reaching into his memories more often while rapping. Lately his style has incorporated story-telling elements.
“I'm getting older, and a lot of that pain is behind me now,” he said. “I've been able to open those doors and help others through that.”
As far as Hodge's musical technique goes, he is a freestyle purist. He doesn't write his lyrics down on paper, and invents them as he goes along.
“I am able to run my mouth,” he said, noting that he doesn't practice in the conventional sense. “It is a feeling. I feel what I say. More than practice, it is something I live.”
The first album he ever owned was Dr. Dre's “The Chronic,” which heavily featured the then up-and-coming rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg.
Little did Hodge know that he would one day perform with Snoop Dogg.
“It was kind of shocking,” he said of his first reaction to sharing a bill with the rap legend. “But then you realize they are just like you.”
Giving Back to Those In Need
In addition to his music, Hodge devotes time to three organizations he founded for different causes. After watching an aunt fight breast cancer, Hodge started the organization Thuggizzle Cares to provide support to those going through breast cancer treatment. He said every day he is out selling records, and he donates 10 to 15 percent of profits to help pay for medical bills.
“This is coming from the heart,” he said. “I let God decide who we go out there to help. At the end of the day, I'm no different than the next man, except I have God in my life.”
Hodge also founded the organization No Different Than You , which seeks to help families of children with special needs connect with someone who can relate to some of the same issues. He also founded the organization Reunited By Faith , which helps parents whose children have been removed from their custody get the services they need to work toward reunification with their children.
Advice to Foster and Adoptive Parents
For African American families considering fostering or adoption, Hodge said it is key to understand that the children waiting for forever families need more than just love.
“They should know that these kids are not only waiting to be loved, but they need genuine parents, people who really care.”
And to children living in foster care or in group homes, Hodge wants them to keep their heads up.
“If they don't believe they can make it and become somebody, look at me and listen to my story,” he said. “I'm going to continue to succeed, and I'm going to do it for them.”
To hear more of Hodge’s story, watch the video above. It’s an interview with Great Day SA where Hodge retells his story of his rough past, foster care, and finding his place in the world. For more information on Thuggizzle visit www.Thuggizzle.com www.PhillipJHodge.com www.iamizzle.com www.ThuggizzleCares.org
"Keep posting your music on my page I like what you are doing"
Streetlife Records - Jerry Heller
“Thuggizzle is putting it down for San Antonio Tx check out his track "Cant Leave Rap Alone" he murdered it if that was really off the dome you will be the best one day because that was sick”
terry winfield - allhiphop media
“I wont front I didn't believe that you were rapping everything striaght off the head @ 1st but I seen you in eisenhauer flea market at stoodie studio's when you recorded "here we go" and at the momment I knew you would blow up”
Fan - stephaine greenwood (fan)
“When "Should've Never Slept On Me" Drops That Will Mark Your Spot In Hip Hop I Heard Some Of It I Was Impressed”
Marketing & Artist Managment - Susan Allen
“I am impressed it is amazing how he doesnt write anything down on paper keep doing your thing Thuggizzle very good music”
Ricard Keating/A&R Hits - A&R Hits
“Thuggizzle is gonna be a problem in 2011 I see big thangs coming your way bro just dont give up”
chris cummings - univision internet radio
“WHEN YOU SAY TEXAS SAY THUGGIZZLE THIS DUDE GOES HARD IN THE PAINT”
rockstar media/radio - ROCKSTAR MEDIA
“now thoes are real freestyles I believe it shocked you havent signed a deal yet what are you waiting on thuggizzle?”
steve cable - westcoast radio
“You Have A Bright Future In Hip Hop”
Richard Porter - Underground Magazine
“Hottest artist Ive ever heard to spit right off the head”
Ben Wright - unsigned hype
“Born in San Antonio Texas the middle child of three sisters, Phillip Hodge was raised in an environment comparable to rapper Curtis Jackson (50-cents) upbringing. Like “50”, Phillips mother was a well-known drug dealer who regularly made drug transactions in their apartment. The high traffic caught the eye of neighbors who suspected fowl play and reported her to Child Protective Services. It was at the tender age of nine Phillip and his sister’s were removed from their mothers care after countless failed (CPS) investigations, therefore branding them “wards of the state.” Within that same year, Phillip learned that his father (whom he did not know well, but admired) had passed away. It was then Phillip began to channel his loneliness and pain into rap.”
volia-nile - kens5news