As soon as Izza Kizza joined the roster of Timbaland's Mosley Music Group, he and his eccentric Southern rap style generated a buzz among rap listeners long before the release of his debut album.
Born Terry Davis in the rural town of Valdosta, GA, he began performing music at the age of 12 with his brother and friend. Inspired by Run-D.M.C., he was increasingly drawn into the hip-hop scene and eventually developed an eccentric Southern rap style in the tradition of OutKast, Missy Elliott, and Ludacris. His name, Izza Kizza, is rooted in Malcolm McLaren's 1981 funk favorite "Double Dutch Bus," memorably sampled by Missy Elliott on her 2003 hit "Gossip Folks." After garnering a sizable local following, Izza Kizza drew interest from farther afield, in particular the New Jersey-based production team Soul Diggaz (i.e., K-Mack, Bless, and Corte Ellis), which signed and began producing music for him. The Soul Diggaz had strong ties with many top artists in the pop-rap field, including Missy Elliott, whom they'd worked with on a Gap commercial; plus, one of the Soul Diggaz, Corte Ellis, was particularly close with the Timbaland camp, having co-written songs with Mosley Music Group producer Nathaniel "Danjahandz" Hills. These relationships brought together Izza Kizza, the Soul Diggaz, Missy Elliott, and Timbaland for "Walk the Dawg." Featuring a guest performance by Missy Elliott and featured in the film Step Up 2: The Streets, the song was released as Izza Kizza's debut single and spread quickly across the Internet as a promotional MP3. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi