“Detroit’s Courtney Bell reflects on his own journey, offering seeds of wisdom sprinkled throughout his skillfully composed recollections.” – Billboard
“Courtney Bell is an up-and-coming rapper from Detroit whose gift for witty wordsmithing in singles like “Say You Wanna” and “Ice” has put him on the radars of traditional rap fans” – UPROXX
“There is much to admire about Courtney Bell, but perhaps the most incredible feat is how real Courtney appears on and off wax.” – Audiomack
“Detroit rapper Courtney Bell has been making noise with his lyrics throughout the past few years.” – Hot 97
For nearly a decade, Courtney Bell has toed the line between consciousness, spirituality, and the streets across two self-released albums (2018’s 10 Commandments and 2020’s Poverty Stricken), including the million-plus streamer “ICE” and collaborations with mentor Royce 5’9”. During the early 2020s, the 29-year-old lyricist from Detroit’s West Side slowed his output after exiting a major label deal, grieving the loss of multiple family members, and rediscovering his passion for music. With an elevated skillset and the fire within, March 22nd’s Microdose is a fitting catch-up for one of the most talented emerging voices in Hip Hop. The Royce-assisted “West Side” shares Courtney’s concrete roots with the world, while “Issues” reveals the inner turmoil of a relatable artist who draws from within. The potent reintroduction project features Royce, Black Thought, Symba, Conway The Machine, Skilla Baby, and more.
“I’m able to toe the line between consciousness, spirituality, and the streets,” touts Detroit Hip Hop artist Courtney Bell. “Instead of glorifying any side, I speak about reality.” For nearly a decade, Bell has revealed his depth and range across two self-released albums, including the million-plus streamer “ICE” and collaborations with mentor Royce 5’9”. In recent years, Courtney slowed his output after leaving a major label deal, grieving the loss of multiple family members, and regaining his passion for music. “I’ve grown so much as a man,” he shares. “Everything has become heightened.” With an elevated skillset, March 22nd’s Microdose is a fitting catch-up for one of the most talented emerging voices in Hip Hop. The potent reintroduction project features Royce, Black Thought, Symba, Conway The Machine, Skilla Baby, and more.
Courtney Bell is a proud product of Detroit’s Westside. Although he grew up on Joy Street, the 29-year-old recalls an upbringing with gang-banging and legal challenges. Inside the home, he remembers learning from a mother, father, and aunt who dabbled and hustled, as well as a pious grandmother. Outside, Courtney not only survived the cutthroat streets—he thrived. “I experienced the duality that I’m rapping about now,” he reflects. Although Bell earned his stripes on the block, he always was a man of thought and principle. “I always had a voice and something to say. I always had my own perspective on life.” First, through poetry, Courtney advanced to rapping. He later performed in Motor City clubs and began uploading songs online.
At the end of his teens, Courtney describes a spiritual awakening. “It made me hold myself more accountable for everything I was saying. I had reached a higher level,” he shares. “I’d always been one foot in music, one foot in the street, and I knew what I was doing was not right.” Courtney went all in with music—a bumpy road for a Detroit DIY artist. In the following years, the young artist earned the respect and support from a who’s who of Detroit Hip Hop—including Royce. Bell delivered 2018’s Ten Commandments. The debut reflected Bell’s spiritual and conscious side. It earned him a righteous following. In 2020, he followed with Poverty Stricken, a sophomore showcasing Bell’s street element. As the artist gained traction, his fan bases clashed. As the catchy “ICE” snowballed past 2 million streams across platforms, its creator was conflicted. “I had to be okay with stepping to my truth and losing fans.” Success from the two indie releases led to a half-million dollar RCA Records deal during the pandemic. However, Bell found himself unhappy at a label unsure of their new artist. After losing his grandmother and several key people in his life, Courtney halted the momentum he had built and nearly gave up. “My biggest downfall has been being a perfectionist.” Courtney Bell ultimately returned thanks to a network of like-minded men, including his friend/manager Ray and close cohort PT.
Microdose recaptures Courtney Bell’s high for music and prepares a growing fan base for what’s to come. Courtney is spiritual without being preachy and street without being exploitative. “Westside,” a Royce 5’9” collaboration, celebrates the intricacies of where Bell was raised in a way that applies to everyone’s neighborhood. “Issues” boldly confronts the things that nearly cost Courtney his career, especially in recent years. “Walk With Me” brings the listener on Bell’s unique spiritual journey, while “Feeling You” sheds light on another aspect of his private life. The MNRK-distributed Microdose reflects a unique yet resonant voice. “These are records that didn’t make an album, but I still love them.” Now, with the courage to share his music and many sides, Microdose is merely a gateway. The artist pledges, “Once I start pressing, it’s gonna be over.”