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I finally have been able to catch with the homie Will Widdoss. It is funny how things work out I one night I just happened to stumble across Will's music profile on myspace after checking out Dutchmassive's myspace page and have been a fan since. Shouts to Will for taking time out of his studies and work in the lab to find some time to do the interview.
Grain: When did you record your first song?
Will: My first official song was "Earthly Relief" and the beat was a Floyd the Locsmif beat originally released shortly after he did the OutKast remixes. Devine Designz is essential soul music so anyone sleeping on Floyd go check him out.
Grain: Considering the type of music Florida is known for (Trick Daddy, Luke, Plies) how have fans received your music?
Will: I'm not sure. FL emcees I respect like Celph Titled, Dutchmassive, Surreal, Laws, Willie Evans Jr, Dillon, Therapy, Butta Verses, Protoman, Majik Most, (and a few others I may have forgotten) will probably agree that the scene for the type of hip hop we do is not what's "hot" in the sunshine state. Though the scene has grown more recently, but I doubt anyone in FL is listening to Rick Ross and Will Widdoss on their playlist...other than me!
Grain: Which one do you enjoy more emceeing or producing?
Will: Honestly, that all depends on my mood. I can say that when I started making music it was with strict intentions to just produce. Inspiration often flows in many forms so I go where ever that takes me.
Grain: How many albums/mixtapes have you made?
Will: I just got started in this but I've only been featured on various albums/mixtapes and the only project I put out on my own is "Ventilation" in Nov 2008. It's a mixtape of 40 tracks snippets and beats that I've been working on since 2006. It's a rough sketch of who I am, where I've been, and where I hope to be. Originally it started as a solo album but turned into more when I had to deal with the loss of my mother. I vented through this artform because it's what I needed to move on. Instead of trying to wait and package it neatly I decided to just throw everything in there. There's not as many beats as I wanted to put but I may put out a beat cd soon enough. Overall, Ventilation allowed me to grow in many ways through this and I'm hoping others will grow too.
Grain: Thus far in your career who has been your favorite artist to work with?
Will: As of now, anything over a David Luke beat. Be on the lookout for him, the kid is sick.
Grain: What projects are you currently working on?
Will: Many things! But mostly on the new album. I'm planning on dropping an album soon with all David Luke beats. So far we have about 5 cuts. The album will feature a few emcees but so far only Wordsworth has been locked down. It's still a work in progress and may not be ready until late '09, possibly even later. There are other projects though, I just don't know how soon those will be out.
Grain: What differences have you noticed in the hip hop scene on the west coast?
Will: There is much more to do out here. A lot of culture is here mainly because there are so many poeple here period. Also, people actually go to the shows and support! There's so much more talent out here as well. Blu is one of my favorite up and coming emcees, but the most underrated out here as for production goes to the guy they call Dert (the Don) is ridiculous. The world is not ready for Dert so if you're sleeping WAKE THE F*#% UP!
Grain: When you receive a beat how long does it take for you to write your verse(s)?
Will: That all depends on really on two things. How much time I have, and how much I'm feeling it. There are a few producers out there that are probably mad at me right now for not getting on a few beats yet. If I'm really feeling it I will generally get it done the same day or week. But really, if I have time on my hands I will always get something done. Sometimes I choose to make my own beats instead of writing when I know I should write.
Grain: Do you have any plans for touring?
Will: I would love to do a few shows this year but I don't think I'll do any touring until the album drops. But you never know, maybe I'll be around your venue soon.
Grain: What was the first rap album you bought?
Will: When I was 8, I saved up my allowance and I asked my grandma to buy me a tape that had tons of artists on it I was hearing about. I had to get her to buy it because of the whole 2 Live Crew era. Parental Advisory took over but I knew my grandma was unaware of all that! I can't remember the name of the tape but it had 2Pac, Ice Cube, Geto Boys, AMG and a few others. It wasn't until Arrested Development's album dropped that I could buy a rap album myself because it wasn't Parental Advisory. I still have both those tapes somewhere packed away.
Grain: How did you link up with Dutchmassive?
Will: We met a few times on the scene, but never really got close until we were talking online one night and realized we lived right down the road from each other. The first time I met him though, I was with this cat DV and Dutch wanted to play him something in his car and I was loving it. Who knew I would wind up living with that dude and learning so much in such a short time. It was good to pick his brain, Dutch is the type that is more than willing to share with someone who loves good music. Same goes for some other Tampa artists as well (Surreal, Celph Titled, SlopFunkDust) thanks fellas.
Grain: How do you feel about the state of hip hop right now?
Will: Honestly I think it's on it's way back to the real shit! Maybe it's because I stay away from the radio, I don't know. But I honestly think the masses are starting to see through some of the nonsense. If Common can go number 1 then that's gotta be good. I have no problem with street rap or even club rap...if it's good! What I do have a problem with is that auto tune crap. I love that Apathy "Love Lockdown" remix, he kills it! When will it die already? I wish more people would feel how we do about Akon and T-Pain...especially Akon! Why is that fool not in jail!?!?
Grain: Do you have any words of wisdom for new artists?
Will: Yeah, be careful who you mess with. But most importantly, just be you. Don't get sucked up into the industry standard of what they think people wanna hear or what you think they want you to be. JUST BE YOU!
Grain: What do you know about Australian hip hop?
Will: I know that M-Phazes has been killin it continously! There's so much good music all around the globe it's hard to keep up with all of it but I love that hip hop is growing globally. I'd love to come out there and learn more about the scene down under. I'm constantly listening to new stuff and always looking to build with new artists and I've worked with cats from every continent except that one...Australia, get at me!
Will Widdoss-Ventilation mixtape