The Break Presents: WillThaRapper
In the late 2000s, the hip-hop world was exposed to Washington D.C.'s rich culture and treasures. Suddenly, mumbo sauce, go-go music and Nike Foamposites were no longer the city's hidden secrets thanks mainly to the rise of rapper Wale. Now a new generation of hip-hop artists from the Chocolate City are starting to emerge. One rising DMV spitta is WillThaRapper.
Will, a 20-year-old Southeast D.C.-born rapper, began his rise early last year when his video for the song "We Might" gained over 100,000 views on YouTube. However, he became someone to watch after his record "Pull Up Hop Out" became an anthem for the region. The video has over 1 million plays on YouTube and Wale has even jumped on it for the remix.
"It was simple; it wasn’t too much to say," WillThaRapper tells XXL over the phone about making "Pull Up Hop Out." "I just put on the beat and I already had the flow I wanted to use and I just said I’m going to do something I never did before. We did it and we just started seeing shit that I ain’t never seen before [laughs]. It was going crazy. I didn’t expect it to get so big. I expected it to go up the street and back down the street, feel me? It was for the block."
Now, WillThaRapper is signed to Republic Records and is working on his next project, Street Runner 2. He describes his music as the new DMV sound. Read about him here for The Break.
Hometown: Southeast section of Washington D.C.
I grew up listening to: “I grew up listening to Meek Mill, Lil Wayne and go-go music. I traded a pair of Jordans, the 6s, to a cameraman so he can come shoot an interview and music video for me. That was my first music video. I was in southern Maryland, I didn’t know anybody and I had nothing to do so I just started rapping and decided I’m going to do this.
"I used to listen to Lil Wayne and thought It was cool as hell he gets to make all this stuff like that. So he influenced me. I had to do something, I never had I anything I was good at. So once I found out I was good at rapping I was like I'm going to keep doing this.
"I started taking rapping seriously when I got my first feature money. I got like $50; I did a little freestyle verse and thought that was the quickest money I ever made. I didn’t have to split it with nobody and no taxes came out."
My style’s been compared to: “My sound is the new DMV. It’s a wave, it’s that turnt-up party music but I go back into my own personal bag and give them some real street shit. But I don’t really want to describe it because I put myself in the box so I let somebody else describe it."
Most people don’t know: “I was in an earthquake before. It wasn’t too crazy. I was in high school; I was in the ninth grade. I thought someone was fighting upstairs but it was really an earthquake."
My standout records or biggest moment to date have been: “My biggest moment so far was I missed my meet and greet in Fillmore [in Maryland] but we pulled out the back parking lot and everyone surrounded the car. This little Mexican kid was going crazy and about to pass out because he wanted my shirt. I gave it to him and he screamed the loudest I ever heard a man scream. He didn’t even care, he wasn’t trying to look cool, he was just excited. Moments like that is my favorite moments."
My goal in hip-hop is: “My goal in music is to be the biggest artist there ever was no matter what type of conversation people are having. When it’s all said and done I want my name to pop up in the rock and roll conversations. I just want to go to the top with it. Now that we got the ball rolling, we just are trying get bigger. I’m trying to get big; every step forward I want to get bigger and bigger. We’re going to go as far as we can go."
I’m going to be the next: “I would want to be like the next Lil Wayne. You can’t talk bad about Lil Wayne. But if you ask me in real life, all jokes aside, I would say Jay Z. I don’t even listen to Jay Z but I know who he is and he got a lot more money than these other niggas. I’m going to be a businessman, I’ll drop music whenever I like, people will tune in and I can just live my life and worry about anything."
Standouts: "Pull Up Hop Out"
"Pull Up Hop Out (Remix)" Featuring Wale
"How We Livin" Featuring Bandhunta Izzy
Rico Nasty's "Choppa in the Trunk" Featuring WillThaRapper, ChellyTheMC and Tino Loud
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