Forget what you thought you knew about the booming indie scene in Texas. While legends like DJ Screw, Scarface, Fat Pat, Lil KeKe, Paul Wall, Slim Thug and more have left legacies that can’t be recreated, there’s a new generation that has now taken the reigns, setting themselves apart by reinventing Houston’s signature sound.
Enter Roosh Williams.
Creatively combining fast spitting with potent lyrics, it’s easy to see how he gained an entire legion of fans before even signing an official deal, whatever it is he’s got it. On the eve of his new album Unorthodox, he sat down to break it all down for us.
AllHipHop: Your life almost took an entirely different path, you were in college when you got into the game right?
Roosh Williams: I actually started recording my freestyles on a computer when I was in 6th grade and made my first cd in 9th grade. Eventually I went to UT (University of Texas-Austin) to study communication. My original plan was to get a communication degree and then go to law school.
AllHipHop: What turned you from student to artist?
Roosh Williams: I had kept doing music in college and just spread my name. Once I started recording again it just started spreading across campus and then I met the people with Scoremore. I started getting booked. I was opening for Curren$y, Juvenile, Bun B, Chitty Bang…just recording and trying to juggle studying. I was studying to take the LSAT and walked out halfway through.
AllHipHop: That’s a leap of faith. How did your family feel about you dropping out of school?
Roosh Williams: My parents wanted me to pursue law school and still do, but I started making money rapping and I was just running everything myself. It’s definitely different in Austin, out there I was one of the most known on the underground scene. I graduated in 2011 and moved back to Houston but realized that a lot of people didn’t know who I was the way that they did in Austin. I had to start all over again.
AllHipHop: You recently linked up with Scarface again for "Deep End" and have already collaborated with a number of artists including Bubba Sparxxx, Action Bronson, Emilio Rojas and more. Are there any that stick out for you?
Roosh Williams: I’ve got to say Scarface, GT Garza and of course Killa Kyleon. I dropped “No Hard Feelings” with Killa and got booked for three shows that weekend. One of my favorite collabs has been with (fellow Houston emcee) Doughbeezy. I met Dough I think about 4 years ago and he’s showed me love from jump, he's always had my back. Never asked for anything.
AllHipHop: You’ve been credited with being extremely versatile with your flows, how would you describe your individual sound?
Roosh Williams: I’m unorthodox. That’s how I named the album. I’m definitely not a traditional Houston sound, which is why being in Houston is so difficult sometimes. The way I sound here is not the norm. People keep trying to recreate what Houston’s known for but it’s just not like that anymore. It’s just the same old shit. I’m all about cadence and I’m all about content. Someone with southern roots but influenced by all different kinds of sounds, from Detroit to the East and West Coast. I’m just a weird cat, I’m a weird human being.
AllHipHop: What’s a common misconception about Roosh?
Roosh Williams: Man. I feel like people that don’t know me may take my demeanor the wrong way. It doesn’t bother me but I do get a lot of comparisons to white rappers, I’m not even white though. (He’s actually Persian.) It’s like people are just misinformed. If I was the “trust fund hipster” people thought I was, I wouldn’t be here I’d be gone. (laughs.)
AllHipHop: Music is a crazy industry. Have you considered any other paths in the game or do you think about returning to school down the line?
Roosh Williams: It’s a little of both. I feel like it’s going to happen but I’m always open to a Plan B. I wouldn’t count on going back to maybe law school but I feel like I built my name up enough to where I don’t have to do as much running around and can actually focus more on music. When I put something out I’m confident in it.
Check out the Trackksounds produced and GT Garza assisted "Whip It" below: