Willie the Kid: 7th Boro Interview
A few years back I was checking out Lattisaw Tapes (Official Blog…check them out) when I heard some audio from an MC named Willie the Kid. At the time I’d never heard of him but that would quickly change. I did a search online and came across, “The Fly 2”. The first track I clicked on was a track called “Dragon Fly”. That track put me on to WTK real quick. The beat was mesmerizing and Willie’s wordplay was on point. Once I heard the rest of the tape I was really impressed. I started downloading other mixtapes and kept up with his music ever since. There are many MCs who can rhyme but there are few who can truly create music. The beats and the rhymes come together as one. Willie has shown this on his previous releases especially “Aquamarine”, “The Fly 2”, “Masterpiece Theatre”, and “The Living Daylights”. If you haven’t checked out any of Willie’s music, make sure you check out his catalog (after you read this of course). You won’t be disappointed.
Willie, first off let me thank you for taking time out to make this happen.
Stroy: What are some of your earliest hip hop influences? Was there a monumental moment when you were like, “This is what I’m going to do!”
WTK: Indeed. My father was the most hip hop dude I knew when I was a kid. He collected tons of vinyl – and would convert the albums to cassette tapes for people in the neighborhood. I remember being very young and he would play like LL, EPMD, Public Enemy, NWA artists like that in the crib or in the car or wherever. And I always memorized and recited every song, man. Those were my early memories of hip hop.
As far as inspiration to actually do it myself, that came later. The Rap City/Yo MTV Raps era – Nas, Jay-Z, Puff and Big, Mase, Snoop and Dre, ATCQ, Wu-Tang, those were some of my early influences. I remember running up to my father one day, way before being a rapper was a ‘cool thing to do’ telling him this is something I’ma do one day.
Stroy: Ahh…ATCQ & Wu! That was a great day for Hip Hop when Midnight Marauders and 36 Chambers dropped. You recently dropped the “Living Daylights” album with Bronze Nazareth; How did that come about?
WTK: Word. The Living Daylights came together through the longstanding connection between Bronze and myself. We are actually from the same town, Grand Rapids, Michigan – even went to the same high school. I left Grand Rapids and went on to pursue music as did he. Around the same time I signed my first deal he signed with The Rza and became an official Wu Tang producer. My older brother La is closely affiliated with Wu Tang as well. Years went by, and surprisingly with all that natural connection me and Bronze had never ever worked together….until now. It was only right man. The Living Daylights project was just, appropriate.
Stroy: You also dropped that “Masterpiece Theatre” EP with the Alchemist, what was that experience like?
WTK: Masterpiece Theatre was an exciting process. Just working closely with Alchemist is a privilege. He’s a wizard. No question. Masterpiece Theatre provided an ideal platform for the energy and the skill I wanted to display at the time. Again, just another appropriate project. It was necessary. Truly elite beats and rhymes and videos, Masterpiece Theatre is eternal – that shit will be banging for ever.
Stroy:Having an older brother myself, I always try to do things better than him. You ever find you and your brother trying to out rhyme each other?
WTK: Nah, I think we’re probably more focused on out-rhyming everybody else. Us against the game, it’s like Contra lol.
Stroy: Ha! Throwback! Up,Up,Down,Down,Left,Right,Left,Right,BA,BA, Start!
You have a healthy collection of music that you’ve released. Which track are you most proud of and why?
WTK: Word tuff call bro. There’s Flying Over Ya Hood, Conjuring The Cure, Die Free, Moment In Time, How Lovely, Great Outdoors, Halal Tuna, Sea Foam, The Guilt…man, hard to say.
I take a lot of pride in creating a well rounded scope of music. For me, it takes more than one song, even more than one project to fully relay all of the messages and expressions I wanna deliver to the people. I tell people all the time, the sign of a great artist or even a dope project is the inability to determine the best song.
Stroy: If the 2014 Willie The Kid could talk to the 2009 WIllie The Kid…what would you say to him?
WTK: Hahahaha. Man listen…I would simply tell myself to be myself. Trust your talent. Trust your natural artistic instincts. Make your individuality your ‘gimmick’. Don’t listen to other people about what they think works for you.
Stroy: If you could create your own Michigan Fab 5…..who would be in it?
WTK: Myself, Jon Connor, Royce 5’9 – Denaun Porter and JDilla (RIP) on the beats.
Stroy: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Thank y’all man. Thank y’all for supporting my art. The Fly 3/The Fly short film, this spring. I will not disappoint. Peace.
I want to give a major shout out to Willie the Kid for taking time out during his trip to NYC to make this happen. You guys know I don’t cosign shit unless it is official. Trust me when I tell, Willie is representing Hip Hop lovely. Make sure you support this brother by purchasing his music. Stay up. Bless.