Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Willie the Kid makes hip hop that is revered by fans worldwide. Best known as the protegé of an Atlanta legend — DJ Drama. He was featured on the hit project DJ Drama produced called “Gangsta Grillz: The Album Vol.1 & 2″. That was a major mixtape, especially in the south. His buzz was so crazy, he went on to feature in Lil Wayne’s “Dedication2 & 3”. He has put in major work in the industry. And it’s paid off.
Willie comes from a family with a heavy musical background. He is the brother of hip hop great and Wu affiliate — LA the Darkman. However, Willie has created his own path and it’s dripping in gold. His wordplay is sick. His punchlines are witty and colorful. He never fails to drop some of the illest bars with a flawless, yet cool delivery that packs a punch. He released his debut album “Absolute Greatness” (2008) followed by “The Fly2.0”(2011) & “The Fly3”(2015). Willie then went on to create “Deutsche Marks”, which was just recently released in 2017. He has amassed a vast catalogue of Boom Bap over the years of studio albums and mixtapes. Now he is back with another installment titled, “Gold Rush”.
Check out Willie the Kid’s latest single “Golden Moments” featuring Roc Marciano (produced by KleverSkemes) below. And enjoy our exclusive one-on-one interview:
Who are your musical influences and why?
Life is my biggest influence. I draw inspiration from my experiences, I rely on exposure, and then somehow, I always gather a unique perspective on it. The beat does the rest of the work. The production tells me what to say. It’s a blessing to be able to articulate the way I do. It’s truly a gift. God-given flow.
What inspired you to create music?
My dad was a DJ and an avid record collector. Music is in my DNA.
What has been the highlight of your career? Is there anything you wish you would’ve done differently?
Traveling the world, touring with no album out, signing a record deal in Japan and releasing an album out there, being one of the first independent artists to sell digital records, producing and starring in my own film, breaking barriers for artists coming from my hometown, reinventing and establishing myself as an elite, I can go on and on.
Differently? Maybe I could’ve made some GOOD situations in the past into GREAT situations by following my own instincts – even when I wasn’t too sure about what to do. Sometimes following you’re heart is better than following someone’s advice.
Name your top three hip hop albums.
Ah man, that’s a loaded question lol. My top list is more like 15-20. I couldn’t possibly reduce it to just 3. Pete Rock & CL Smooth“The Main Ingredient”, Mobb Deep“The Infamous”, Jay-Z “Reasonable Doubt”, ATCQ “The Low End Theory” and “Midnight Marauders”, La The Darkman “Heist of the Century”, Wu-Tang Clan “36 Chambers” and “Forever”, “OB4CL”, “Ironman“, “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version”, Nas “Illmatic” and “It Was Written”, Snoop “Doggystyle”, 50 Cent “The Massacre”, Spice 1 “Spice-1”, Outkast “Southernplayalistic”, “Atliens” and “Aquemini”, Dilla “Donuts”, NERD “In Search of”, “Fly or Die”. And probably more I forgot. The inspiration is ridiculous.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of hip hop?
It’s dope. Hip Hop is a young genre. Growth (evolution) is inevitable. The culture needs to evolve in order to survive.
Which of your projects is your favorite so far?
“Masterpiece Theatre”, “Somewhere”, “The Crates” or “Deutsche Marks”.
How are you feeling the hip hop scene in ATL?
Shit is LIT! It’s essentially the forefront of urban music. How can you not feel it? I’ve always appreciated being here in Atlanta.
What inspired you to produce and star in the film “The Fly”? Do you have any other upcoming film projects?
I wrote the short film “The Fly”. It was inspired by Prince’s “Purple Rain”. I have a couple of more film projects in the works. I will announce them soon.
Check out Willie the Kid’s short film “The Fly” below:
Is there any advice you would like to share with emerging hip hop artists?
Don’t get in your own way. lol
Tell us about your latest project “Gold Rush”.
“Gold Rush” is incredible, man. It’s a mini-Ep aesthetically inspired by the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush of 1861. My man Klever Skemes did all the beats. Klever’s cousin Manic from Denver invited me to be a part of the collaboration. A lot of old money out there in the mountains. We are just carrying on the legacy. The project is basically saying music is the new form of gold. They lined up the music and I just played my part. It also features Roc Marci,Lil Eto and Manic. Shout out to my peoples in Colorado – we struck gold out there!
If you have a high stakes rap battle, which living or dead MCs are you picking to secure the win?
Battle Rap like the theatrics we know today? Definitely Murda Mook. Mechanically like technician type rap? MF Doom or GZA. Just straight up street corner, you-not-as-dope-as-me rap? Cam’ron and Jay-Z and Big L (RIP)
Weekly Rap Gods went digging for gold and we struck it rich with this new project. It is an exceptional body of work a true hip hop fan can appreciate. Willie the Kid’s album “Gold Rush” drops today. So be sure to go out and get it.
We salute Willie on staying consistent with dope music and unique concepts/lyrics that transcend the norm. And thank him for his contributions to the culture.
Support genuine artists and click HERE to purchase the music.
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