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LIL WILL DALLAS, TX

Words by RANDY ROPER

With an NFL team nicknamed “America’s Team” and a success Mavericks basketball team that reached the NBA Finals in 2006, Dallas, Texas is already on the proverbial map. But aside from sports franchises owned by Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban, respectively, Dallas’ notoriety doesn’t center on much else, especially not rap music. Of course, neighboring city Houston has a long lineage in the rap game, and for the past few years, acts like Big Tuck and Tum Tum were supposed to open the flood gates for Big D. While both artists have had marginal success, it’s newcomer Lil Will that’s bringing the national spotlight to Dallas in the tune of his hit single “My Dougie.” “The Dallas music scene is outrageous, it’s so much talent there,” Will says. “As far as me bustin’ the game open, I feel like honestly, I already did that. It’s time for me to plant my foot in the game and bring the rest of the city with me.” Before throwing the city on his back, Lil Will, who was born in New Orleans and moved to Dallas with his mother at age 11, began rapping at an early age. It wasn’t until 2002, while living in Atlanta, that he began to pursue his craft. He teamed up with rapper Amaan and worked with Atlanta hitmaker DJ Toomp. Besides a few mixtapes, nothing major came of Will’s work in Atlanta and the youngster began losing interest in the mic. After relocating back to Dallas, the shooting death of Amaan in 2005 led Will to refocus on rap as a tribute to his fallen cohort. He began working with reggae artist Rudebwoy, who made him the lead artist on Rudebwoy Ent., and with “My Dougie,” a song and dance inspired by legendary NYC rapper Doug E. Fresh, picking up spins across the country and climbing up the Billboard charts, things are working out well for the now 21-year-old rapper. “We all know the rapper, Doug E. Fresh,” he explains his hit single. “I kinda just took his name and made it into a terminology, a new word we use around Dallas. ‘Dougie.’ Dougie means your whole personality, your swag, just everything that makes you fresh. That’s your dougie.” Now that his “dougie” is right, Lil Will is set to release his debut album through Asylum Records entitled Dollas, TX, and if everything goes as planned, Terrell Owens won’t be the only Dallas representer making headlines this year. //

36 // OZONE MAG

y l t n e i t PWaaiting

Ozone Mag #67 - May 2008  

Ozone Mag #67 - May 2008

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