If you’re a sucker for trashy reality TV, then you’re probably looking forward to season 28 of “The Real World,” which kicks off tomorrow night on MTV and takes place in Portland. Judging by the trailers, it’s shaping up to be a good one. Looks like we’ve got an all star cast on our hands that include a guy missing fingers, a former Playboy model, a chick named Nia who swings on just about every single person in the house and a dog. There’s also Marlon Williams aka Jay Dillinger, who caught our attention when we learned the 25-year-old former military brat was pursuing a career in hip hop. We hopped on the line with Marlon just days before the season premiere of “The Real World: Portland” to get the scoop on his rap career, his Real World experience, and life after reality TV.
XXL: Marlon, how are you?
Marlon Williams: I’m good, man. I’m Gucci.
How did you like living in Portland during the show? I’ve never been, so my only reference point is the TV show “Portlandia.” Is it like that?
[Laughs] It’s definitely weird, bro. It’s definitely weird. Dudes come up and do some crazy stuff. Like people are just out there doing wild, against the grain stuff. But it’s just a real chill city and people are laid back and just go with the flow. It’s dope. It’s a great city for outdoors stuff, for food, for nightlife. It’s really a hidden gem. It should be up there with a lot of the big cities, it’s dope.
So you rap…Did you audition for “The Real World” with the idea that it’d be a good platform for your music career?
It was really separate from the music actually. I’ve wanted to get into TV shows and just the entertainment business as a whole, so I thought it would be a good jump off for that. I really wasn’t going to do music, but it just kind of fell in my lap. I was doing some freestyles, and then someone had me hit this guy up, I went to the studio, etc.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
Dude, I’m a military kid, so I bounced around every three to five. I was in Italy when Sade’s “Smooth Operator” was popping off, so my background in music is just so diverse. Obviously Tupac. Tupac all day. My pops had me on some of the old school stuff, Digable Planets, Erykah Badu, Snoop of course, Dre of course. My musical background is crazy.
What are you working on now?
I’m in the studio a lot. I just performed at SXSW. I’ve opened up for Slim Thug, Z-Ro, Mike Jones, Ying Yang Twins. I’ve been doing it, bro. I’ve got two mixtapes out, you can check them out at www.wavysquad.com. Go get those jams. Actually while we were in Portland recording the show, me and Anastasia, another girl from the show, we did music there. We recorded stuff based on what we were going through out there and our life experiences during “The Real World.” We’re gonna put that out this summer.
How would you describe your sound?
If you could mix an old school knowledgable person with the new kid energy, that’s me, man. It’s different. I don’t really sound like anybody. People tell me they don’t even know what I sound like. I think I bring that old school flavor with the new swag energy. It just rides man. My tempos, the cadences on my flows are just different. People are starting to hear it and people are starting to like it.
Are there any things that happened in Portland that you’re dreading to see on TV?
[Laughs] I wouldn’t say dreading. There are definitely situations I wish I had handled better. It’s like, when I went on the show I had a whole plan of how I wanted to be, but after two weeks all that just goes out the window, because you’re just dealing with real life and real people.
Who is the craziest member of the cast and who is the least crazy?
Least crazy is obviously ya boy. And craziest, uh Nia and Jordan.
Are you at all nervous for the whole world to see you?
I’m nervous. I’m excited. It’s both man. A lot of people aren’t willing to put themselves out there, so when you do, you gotta take the good with the bad. Everybody’s not gonna like me. Some people are gonna love me. I’m just waiting to see what group of people I can connect with and vibe with.