Monday to Monday: The Rise of Cousin Stizz & Tim Larew

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Musicians don’t exist in a vacuum. Between producers, managers, entourages and whoever else might be a part of their team, the artists we know and love have a devoted squad around them working to build their brand and create the best possible representation of their work. 

These relationships—and how they inform the musicians’ processes of writing, recording, and releasing their music—are ultimately at the heart of our new podcast, Monday to Monday. From the mind of Mike Boyd, artist relations manager for Gary Vaynerchuk, the new series (named after the playlist Mike curates with Gary) is all about the lives of artists, producers and managers and how they work together to make something special. 

Named after the mindset of hustling every single day, Monday to Monday explores the early grind as well as major success stories. Every artist has a story, and Mike Boyd wants to help tell it.

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The first episode is a chat with Boston rapper Cousin Stizz and his manager, Tim Larew. It’s an amazing kickoff to the series, highlighting Stizz and Larew’s relationship and how they’ve grown as a duo. 

The episode starts with a discussion of Boston. Stizz and Larew have different relationships with the city; Stizz was born and raised in Dorchester, and Larew migrated for college. They both now call the city home. They met when Jefe Replay, another Boston rapper, had Larew shooting a vlog-style video of him introducing characters at the park. Stizz, upon being introduced by Jefe, said to Larew, “Yo dap me up cameraman.” And the rest is history.

Everybody loves music and food, I feel like that’s the one thing in the world we can all agree on.

- Cousin Stizz

The rapper-manager duo goes on to discuss the differences between producing a project independently versus with a label. Larew tells a funny story about the independent release of Suffolk County, Stizz’s first project. “I finished my chicken sandwich, put the paper plate in the garbage, and I pressed publish,” he says.

Larew has some advice for perfectionists who have a hard time knowing when their project is done: “You gotta do the best you can and package what you have and look at it as a stepping stone.” Both Stizz and Larew emphasize the importance of the journey; no project is the end. Stizz’s advice about promotion is about passion. He tells Mike, “When you’re proud of something bro, it doesn’t even feel like [promotion], you’re just doing it because you liked it. You love it.” And his best promotion advice is ultimately the simplest: “To be a human is so easy, and people skip that step every time. Just go outside bro. Go outside, meet somebody.”  

The episode concludes with a discussion of their production process, which is always evolving. “You gotta shake it up,” notes Stizz on the importance of varying his recording technique. Larew’s advice for getting your music out there is a good distillation of the ethos of Monday to Monday:

“Good things happen when you have conversations.”

And if you haven’t yet, make sure to listen to Cousin Stizz’s latest project, Trying to Find My Next Thrill, available now on all major streaming platforms. 

Episode 1: Cousin Stizz & Tim Larew
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