It’s late 2016, and to look at Hip Hop from Outer Space it might seem we are a bunch of weirdos, agenda puppets, cross dressers and straight up confused as a whole. Thank goodness we still have youth who still hold onto the fundamentals of Hip Hop and Life reflected through it. 1 World Magazine proudly shines the spotlight on Willie Waze.
Tell us about your ‘Lexiconz’ mixtape. What does it represent for Willie Waze and North Virginia (Alexandria)?
‘Lexiconz’ represents my official re-introduction to the world. This is my first project with strictly original production. I wasn’t on a quest to make a classic tape as much as I was trying to capture a classic feeling. That’s one of the reasons that I got DJ J Scrilla to do some ill scratches on it. I wanted to bring some attention back to the DJ and the art of mixing and scratching. The tape also serves as the warm up to my debut album coming in the winter. My other goal was to give a voice to the young brothas in my city because I am all about putting Alexandria and Northern Virginia on the map.
Tell us the meaning of ‘Lexiconz’ and why your Music is something we all should be paying attention to?
Well, in the dictionary a “Lexicon” is a person’s vocab, language or personal knowledge. So the title of my tape is basically the Hip Hop interpretation of that. I’m showing the people how we talk, think and live around my way. Helping to introduce a new city to the Hip Hop atlas is definitely one of the reasons why I feel like folks should be paying attention. I am showcasing a previously unidentified culture to listeners all over the globe. The main reason that I feel like people should be paying attention is because I am actually coming with a message that directly resonates with my generation AKA the “90’s Babies”. I also believe that there is no one in my age range that is coming with my level of lyricism, diversity and spiritual insight. I’m just an old soul in a young vessel here to open eyes and give the young bucks some jewels to help them along their journey. It’s hard to be a young minority in America right now and I just want them to know that I am in the fight with them and sharing the same struggles.
‘Fried Chicken’, what’s this single all about?
‘Fried Chicken’ is basically me showing off my fun side. Even though my music is usually pretty serious, when you get to know me you will realize that I am just a goofy and lighthearted dude with a lot of deep shit on his mind. I also wanted to make the hook ironic and catchy because it seems like all of the silly and random shit is what gets the most love nowadays. However, just so people don’t take me for a joke I had to make sure the verses showcased a high level of emMCing. If you listen closely you can hear jewels scattered all over that muthafucka. I wanted to show these other rappers that I can play their game too. Nothing is safe when I get on that mic. Shouts out to my man Casito Del Fresco who hooked the beat up for me. He is from Maryland and the kid is a PROBLEM.
Is this mixtape the teaser to prepare us for the ‘Da Lexicon Of A Nova Soulja’ double album? Tell us about your upcoming album.
Yes, that’s exactly what it is. The mixtape is basically a condensed version of the album. I took a nice balance of B-Sides from both discs and made it a mixtape. I am fully aware that a double disc is a bit much for an introduction, but for what the album means to me I just couldn’t bring myself to cut any of the songs. It’s really that good. So the tape is just a taste of what to expect. If you liked the mixtape you will without a doubt LOVE the album. I recorded it most of it while I was in college so when you listen to it you will hear the journey of a young man who was coming of age. I was motivated to record it after my man Julian Dawkins was murdered by an off-duty Sheriff around my way in 2013. When Ju passed it really fucked me up and reminded me that nothing is promised and that I am still a target out here. When he died it was like a part of me died because he was me. He was all of us. A young brother trying to make it in this crazy world. After finally coming to grips with everything, I became obsessed with my mortality and death. I began to really focus in on what I would want my legacy to be if I ever left this world before my time. Once I was able to identify what I wanted my mark on the world to be, I personified it so every single song on the album is a reflection of that. With such a devastating blow to my hood, I wanted to give them something to be proud of and make them smile again. The album represents everything I have ever felt, thought, seen or done from my early teen years all the way up to now. Fuck bringing you into my world, the album will bring you into my universe.
What’s the perspective from Willie Waze about Hip Hop in Virginia, East Coast, West Coast, in general?
In my opinion, Hip Hop in Virginia is alive and well. Everybody from Virginia that ever makes it out actually ends up changing the game for the better in some shape, form or fashion. When you really look at it though, Northern Virginia has never really had their shot. There is amazing talent out here, but we are so close to DC we might be getting overshadowed. All of that changes with me. East Coast Hip Hop is on the rise again if you ask me. Being that my mother is from Harlem and I fell in love with Hip Hop in NY I want to see them be viable contenders once more. I think they are finding their sound again, plus there are a lot of artists on the come up. The South is still holding it down, but there is nothing different or special coming from them right now that I can see. The West Coast is probably 2nd in command in the game right now due to their resurgence a couple of years back. People love to focus on LA and Southern Cali, but I’m fucking with that Northern Cali Bay Shit. I got my music hustle from watching the Bay niggas for years. I like that almost all of them niggas are prolific and drop mad new shit all the time. It keeps me satisfied as a listener, plus you can always hear the realness in what they are saying. The Bay always played by their own rules so their authenticity hasn’t ever really been compromised. With all of that being said, I believe Virginia as a whole has a little bit of everything to offer. We’re a one stop shop.
What do you want people/listeners/fans to get out of your music?
I want the listeners to feel refreshed and relieved when they hear my music. Refreshed because there is so much stale and dry shit coming out now that I know my shit will stand out because I am original and I have my own sound. Relieved because I know exactly what it takes to bring the realness back. Knowing that there is a young brotha in the game who knows his history and can spit should definitely give folks a sigh of relief. I look at Hip Hop as a spiritual science and a means to change the lives of people where I’m from. I love my city and my people, that will be evident when you hear the album.
Amazing interview Willie Waze. I learned a lot about you these past few conversations, you are truly a bright star emerging amongst fading but continuously energized dying sparks that are being fronted as “Freshmen” or any other “Class of” to follow. 1 World Magazine supports your music, your movement. Thanks to all Artists who remain to be themselves in these tempting and controlling times.