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Willie D: Gangsta of Love

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When keeping it real goes right, there was Willie D. The most outspoken Geto Boy, Willie spoke bluntly about race, class, sex, and money. The Houston rapper suffered for this. His “loved by few, hated by many” attitude spent years in the shadows of GB brother, Scarface. But 20 years later, Willie has never bit his tongue.

In a Midtown Manhattan hotel room, Willie D returns to New York armed with a passionate mission to rebuild his career. In between meetings with distribution companies and record labels, Willie plays new material, reveals his plans, and reflects on the state of Hip-Hop and America. Though Willie D laughs far more than he raises his voice, he shoots from the hip, and frequently criticizes from the phonies. In age of saturated carbon-copy characters in Hip-Hop, Willie D is one-of-a-kind, with music that still packs the punch that his enemies have come to fear.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve got a new group of White rappers, Huntzville. They’ve made some songs, including “Uncle Sam”, about The War in Iraq. How do you think opinions on the war vary over the color lines in the South?

Willie D: There’s a major f**kin’ difference. When I presented the idea to the group, my stance is I’m against the war. Each [member of the group] was like, “Why? I just think it’s the right thing to do.” Typically, that’s how White people feel. I feel like they’ll defend [this country] at any cost. Black people, they are less eager to go f**k with somebody that ain’t did s**t to ‘em. Black people are more willing to give people the benefit of the doubt because we have been abused and oppressed for so long. We can relate to somebody to bein’ f**ked with, without justification. That’s the major difference right there.

Having said that, you really have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. The reason I can’t get mad at [pro-war] White people, because, let me tell y’all something, if I had the motherf**kin’ privileges y’all had around this mothaf**ka, I’d say, “F**k that s**t, let’s defend this motherf**ka; I don’t give a good god damn what happens. If you don’t like it you Anti-American, go the f**k back to Africa!” That’s honestly speaking. It’s like Chris Rock said, “There ain’t a White person in this mothaf**kin’ room who’d trade places with me. I’m rich.” I like to do the role-reversal thing, as long as it’s distinctly heterosexual. [laughs]

AllHipHop.com: A few years ago, you felt differently though, right?

Willie D: I was. I was pro-war in terms of goin’ after Afghanistan. Those mothaf**kas deserved everything they got. But now, the Iraqi situation was different. I still feel like something should’ve been done to remove Saddam Hussein out of office from the injustices he’s done. I feel like the U.N. should’ve handled that. [Because] the United States put the future of my children at risk – and their children at risk, ‘cause these are some retaliating motherf**kas. We went over there under false pretenses. We’re still over there. Motherf**kas are getting killed. It’s cool to kick some ass, but it’s a whole other thing when you f**kin’ with somebody and they sendin’ your kids head home in a box. Had we just went over there, kicked some ass, laid mothaf**kas out, and come on back, everything would’ve been cool. Now, people are, “I want to go home.” I got friends in Iraq that work and are in the military, and just the s**t they say, man, it ain’t no joke.

AllHipHop.com: 2005 was a monumental year for Texas rap. Going into a new record on your own the hard way now, how did you react to all that last year? Do you get your respect?

Willie D: Listen, I resent the overt celebration of some of the new acts [when] mothaf**kas act like these mothaf**kas invented rap and all that s**t. However, I’m not bitter. The reason I’m not bitter is ‘cause I understand human nature. It’s human nature to celebrate the times. Although I don’t wish any bad luck on any of the guys that’s got it goin’ on right now, I do know that everything has a season. I know that the time now is not forever. It’s like [Ice] Cube said, “They’ll have a new n***a next year.” My thing though, is that overall, I can appreciate anybody that shines out of Houston. All that does is make people look at Houston more, and it’s bringing attention to the city and the state. When those executives visit Chamillionaire or Paul Wall, and I see ‘em hangin’ out in the clubs or Cheesecake Factory, it ain’t nothin’ for me to run and get my CD and say, “Check it out.” That’s the major advantage. That’s why I’m in New York right now. Y’all have that. Y’all can be walking to the post office and [run into] Clive Davis.

I wish that I got my equal share of the pie, and all that stuff. But the bottom line is people don’t give a f**k. They don’t give a f**k what you did, what you created, all that s**t. You look at people like Oscar Robinson and Wilt Chamberlain – these guys’ names very seldom come up when you talkin’ ‘bout great basketball players. The main reason is they’re Black, and it’s Black peoples’ job to preserve their own history. It’s not White people’s jobs. It’s human nature to look out for your own. White people will never let you forget Babe Ruth, John Wayne, Elvis Presley, because they say, “These are our icons. We’re gonna name a street after ‘em.” Black people traditionally haven’t honored their own. We like to talk that s**t in magazines and on TV, but if you open up a magazine, the only time you’ll see something from a legend is the back page, where it says “Props.” People don’t give a f**k. I’m not bitter, that s**t fuels my fire, ‘cause I’m finna make the biggest comeback in Hip-Hop history.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think Scarface gets more acknowledgment than yourself because he talked more about drug raps?

Willie D: Nahhhh. He get looked at more than myself because he sold more records as a solo artist. He sold the records, and he stuck to the script. You see, I don’t just talk about drugs when I make the music. I talk about a lot of socially conscious s**t. Yeah, I can talk about rollin’ on somebody. We can do that all day. But my music really is a reflection of what goes through my mind everyday. I think about p***y every day, I think about family every day, I think about makin’ money every day, I think about my health every day, I think about the under-privileged every day, I think about world conditions every day. My thoughts run the gambit. When I write, my writing is indicative of my mind on a daily basis. [Scarface] gets a lot more attention ‘cause he stuck to the script, and no matter what he’s thinking, he [shows] he’s thinking of drugs, murder, and s**t. I don’t know what’s goin’ on [inside] his head, but I know he stuck to the script. That’s the script that we wrote back in ’89. Mothaf**kas stuck with him.

AllHipHop.com: I read a recent interview that said he’s done with that…

Willie D: I read the same interview. But actions speak louder than words. I’m the kind of mothaf**ka, if I’m sayin’ some s**t, I’ll act on it. I been hearing a lot of s**t people been talkin’, but actions speak louder than words. I don’t know where dude’s mind is. But I do this: I know that Geto Boys, although we one of the most respected groups in the industry, our compensation ain’t a reflection of that. I do know that the main reason is ‘Face’s lack of cooperation. To me, fans deserve to see you in concert. “We want to make money,” all that is fine. But to me, the fans deserve more than a record. To me, fans deserve to see you award shows. Even the label deserves more than that. He wouldn’t tour. He wouldn’t do interviews. You can’t put yourself in a position to compete [that way]. It defeats the whole purpose of making a record. Even the Rolling Stones tour, to this day, and they one of the biggest groups in history – Public Enemy too.

We’re supposed to start on our new album. This was [several months] ago. ‘Face came to the studio [a total of] one day. It didn’t make sense. [Scarface and I are] the writers. If we don’t get the s**t done, it ain’t gonna get done.

AllHipHop.com: On the Geto Boys DVD that came with Greatest Hits, you were performing solo in Cleveland, Ohio. You welcomed a guy on stage to battle another audience member. He started battling you, and you laid into him. What keeps you sharp like that?

Willie D: [Laughs] You know what, I think the main thing that keeps me sharp is the lack of respect. I don’t getting embarrassed, and I don’t like being disrespected. I’ll find a way to get a motherf**ka back if he embarrasses me. I feel like I been disrespected by the industry. I’ve given a lot to Hip-Hop. I feel like I’ve been disrespected by media personalities. How you gonna let “Let a Hoe Be a Hoe”, “Gangsta of Love”, “My Mind’s Playin’ Tricks on Me”, … how you gonna list that on your [top lists], and then, when it comes to rappers, not mention Willie D? I wrote those mothaf**kas. How can I not be that? I ain’t nowhere on nobody’s paper. No mothaf**kin’ where! Cats said I rapped too loud, or I screamed, and then they turned around and praised Onyx, Ja Rule, Busta Rhymes, and DMX. What is it about Willie D? It’s a mothaf**kin’ double-standard. All that s**t gonna change as soon as I pop off. Mothaf**kas know they can’t out-work me, and they can’t out-think me. All they got on me is that mothaf**kin’ machine. When you got that, it’s hard to lose.

AllHipHop.com: Controversy is worth over a hundred dollars on CD today. How do you approach your early solo stuff?

Willie D: I really don’t put a lot of stock in it, unless I’m at a show and I hear people screaming for a song. Then, I’ll go grab it and I’ll perform it. But peoples’ memories are so short. It’s not me, it’s the fans. Every five years, you got a whole new legion of fans. It’s 2006, and if you perform something from 1992, you gonna lose fans – unless it was something that you couldn’t miss, like “My Mind’s Playin’ Tricks on Me”.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve got a new record, “Nobody Cares About Me”. You’ve always promoted hopeless on records. At this stage, you’re a family man, you’re successful, how often do you still feel alone like that?

Willie D: All the time. It comes and it goes. Right now, I’m alone. I’m in New York City all by myself. My family is in Baku. Sometimes I call my kids, “Hey Daddy, when you comin’ home? I miss you. I love you.” Sometimes I call my son, “Love you, bye.” I might just be callin’ to hear a friendly voice. Sometimes they’d rather be watchin’ TV than f**kin’ with me. I love them so much that I don’t think they’ll ever know how my heart beats for them. I blush when I think about it. I was there when my boy was born, and I was there when my girl was born. Each one was a different set of emotions. I really believe that if I die today, they’ll obviously miss me, but I don’t think they’ll be ripped. I got friends who only call me when they want something. It’s like that. Human beings are so f**kin’ fickle. I just don’t know how to be fickle.

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