MVRemix: Which artists inspired you when you began and why?
Wille D: Run DMC - basically they was just hot. They was real crafty with the words. They had the women on lock, haha. Then Public Enemy because of the chances they took with discussing political and social issues.
MVRemix: For foreigners like myself that know little about it, tell me about the fifth ward.
Wille D: It's just typical of any other deprived neighborhood or section of town. It's the place where I come from. Drugs, prostitution, police brutality, insufficient living, basically. High dropout rates, murder, typical.
MVRemix: You stated on "Yes Yes Y'all" that you don't watch award shows and such because they're all schemes. Does it disturb you that everybody nowadays is reliant upon an image whereas you (the Geto Boys) exceeded expectations without video or airplay when you began?
Wille D: It's just a sign of the times, man. Ain't nothin' I can do about it. I was just fed up. [I] Stood around and let myself suffocate in the state of Hip Hop and everything that's wrong in the music industry. I couldn't be productive enough to even spit out one lyric.
MVRemix: Tell me about "The Foundation."
Wille D: What do you wanna know?
MVRemix: Guests, maybe some concepts...
Wille D: There's fourteen or fifteen tracks on it. I haven't heard the arrangement. I mean it's Geto Boys, you know the Geto Boys; social, political, hood, money, cars, women, drugs, heh.
MVRemix: hy the name change from "War & Peace" to "The Foundation"?
Wille D: I thought "War & Peace" was too plain. I never did agree on the title "War & Peace," I never did like the title personally. I thought "The Foundation" was more suitable with given the influx of all the new talent that you have out there. All the new blood... People are giving praise to all this new blood and it's like they're skipping over the pioneers. The guys that made the foundation.
MVRemix: If T.I. and Lil' Flip claim that they're the kings of the south, what are the Geto Boys?
Wille D: See, I'ma tell you like this - you can say that you god. That doesn't mean that's who you are. You can get on record and say you're anything you wanna be. You could say you're the devil. Now, if somebody's dumb enough to believe you the devil, that's on them. But if they can get on record and say they the kings of the south and you dumb enough to believe it, that's on you. Shit, I could get on record and say I'm your daddy, you gonna believe me? [chuckling] In the infamous words of Mike Tyson, "It's just ludicrous."
But at the same time, rap has always been about that. Rap has always been about being braggadocios. Its always been about saying you the best at this, you this, you that, you that... That's basically how rap started off at the jump. I'm the king of rock. You a sucka emcee, I'm this, I'm that. Its always been about that. I think it's taken more personally now because of the volatile climate we're in - where the words that you use can actually come back and cause you physical harm. Art imitates life. It's taken more seriously.
So to get on a record and say that you're the king of the south, you have to then prove it, you have to then test it. You don't have a body of work to substantiate that and you have countless people who disagree with that. Even your own fans. [chuckles] Can you just imagine the Geto Boys comin' out, the first time out of the box and sayin' "We're the kings of rap! The greatest of all time." A lot of the fans would've probably been so pissed off that they wouldn't even listen to us. They'd be like, "These dudes is retarded." They don't even make sense. At the same time, that was a time when the industry had a little bit more integrity and you couldn't just say a name and get away with it, without being challenged.
MVRemix: There has been a lot of controversy with your label mate Yukmouth and G-Unit's Game. What are your thoughts on G-Unit's domination of the airwaves these days?
Wille D: Every dog has its day. It's their time right now. It's their time to shine and basically they gonna continue to shine until the lord say different. It's just their time. I'm personally not offended by it. Dudes make good music, fuck it, I'll say it. They make a lot of good music. When it come to beef... Who they are as individuals, I don't know. But they make good music. So you can't take that away from them. The shit that they do is a whole lot better than a lot of people that put out music. A lot of people that got something to say about it... make a better record. Shit, make better records.
If record labels got something to say, promote your artists better. In music, that's how you level the playing field. You level the playing field by marketing and promoting your artists and making good music. I ain't even gonna say "good" music, I'll say competitive music because there's really a lot of stuff out there that's not up to standard, but it's competitive with whatever else is out there. So, they're able to be successful or to have some level of success.
MVRemix: For the newer generation that are becoming or have become fans of rap through what's successful today, how would you introduce them to the Geto Boys?
Wille D: "Mind Playin' Tricks."
MVRemix: Are you still in contact with Jukebox, Johnny C, Ready Red or Big Mike?
Wille D: I'm in contact with Ready Red. I spoke to him a few weeks ago. I talk to Ready Red.
MVRemix: What are the relationships like nowadays between yourselves?
Wille D: Me and Red are real cool. Never had a problem with Red, ever.
MVRemix: Do you still box?
Wille D: No.
MVRemix: Have fun with this - a la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"
Wille D: I'd fight the one that would draw me the most attention and make me the most money. I mean whoever, it's whoever. Whoever the people want to see me fight, that's who I'd fight. 'Cause I wouldn't do it just for the fun of it, just for the hell of it because boxing is a very dangerous sport. It's a very dangerous sport. It's not to be taken lightly at all. I would probably wanna fight without headgear. I wouldn't wanna have headgear on. I'd wanna fight without the headgear.
MVRemix: What do you think of George W. Bush getting re-elected?
Wille D: I wasn't surprised. He proved that he was very capable of stealing an election. [chuckles] I wouldn't be surprised if they came through and cleaned up house a little bit better this time around with the information and they covered their tracks. Anytime you can still the election from the United States of America and be president, you capable of anything. I wouldn't put nothin' past these guys. I don't have the power to make the odd comment that makes a difference. It's one of those things where it's "Hey, what can you say?"
MVRemix: Do you have any more solo endeavors planned?
Wille D: I plan on releasing a new album. I'm talking to a couple of labels about a label deal and new artists that I'm gonna put out under my label.
MVRemix: Is that Wild Records (Willie D's former label) you're talking about?
Wille D: No. Something brand new.
MVRemix: What was your favorite album of 2004?
Wille D: It's gotta be UTP man, I'm stuck on that UTP. I love it.
MVRemix: Do you have any last words you'd like to say?
Wille D: [ponders] Just look for that new Willie D.
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
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MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and
Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles
MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles