A Conversation with Willie D

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Photo courtesy of Willie D

One of the most underrated emcees in rap music history is Willie D of the Geto Boys. Willie had the fortune and misfortune of rapping alongside an unforgettable character in Bushwick Bill and a master lyricist in Scarface. While he may have been slightly overshadowed, Willie did more than hold his own and provided something tangible for listeners to hold on to.

Willie D’s lyrics were informative, funny, intelligent, and raunchy. His versatility is his strongest attribute and essentially what makes Willie beloved in rap circles.

Willie’s lyrics on 1989’s ‘Let a Ho Be a Ho’ encompassed everything that’s great about the Houston native. A master storyteller, Willie D educated and entertained on the unforgettable Geto Boys classic—the final verse is a thing of beauty.

The Real Hip-Hop was blessed with the opportunity to speak to Willie D and we’re more than excited to share it with you.


TRHH: I read your blog and recently you wrote about Barack Obama losing the first presidential debate. What’s your theory on why the President came out flat during that first debate?

Willie D: He was put under a supernatural spell. There was some witchdoctor’s or some shit out there in the audience. Something happened between him leaving his house that day and arriving at the debates. That’s all I can think of. I can’t explain, man. I don’t know.

TRHH: I didn’t see the debates but I heard about them. To me it sounded like he just underestimated him.

Willie D: Yeah, here’s the thing, with Mitt Romney you already know he’s going to lie because he ain’t got nothing else. When he talks everything that he talks about is off his daddy’s record. Anything that he can say that’s decent about him came from some type of accomplishment that his daddy had. He has nothing. All these years he’s been alive, all these years he’s been making money he has nothing to point to where he has assisted the common man. He can’t look and say, “I did this for the people,” he has nothing. The man is garbage. He don’t care.

It’s human nature to look at somebody’s who very successful and say, well, he’s a good business man, our economy is in the tank, it seems like a natural conclusion to bring him in and let him fix the economy. He’s made so many millions doing business. You have to follow the trail. Look how he made his millions. Look what he did to get it. He stomped on the little man! He stomped on the little man to get every dollar he got. It’s the little man that’s hurting. Now how in the hell you think if the man ain’t never did nothing for you all these years he’s miraculously going to do something? It ain’t even in his character. It’s not in his DNA. It’s not in his DNA to help anybody but himself to the money. He had an opportunity to give American’s jobs well before the election when he worked at Bain Capital. He had the power to save thousands of jobs but elected to send those jobs overseas because apparently American’s didn’t need those jobs.

TRHH: I’m intrigued by why poor white people in the South and Midwest vote Republican…

Willie D: Because a lot of poor white people are like a lot of poor black people, they’re easy to guide. When you’re poor it’s easy to fool you. When you live in the gutter you have insufficient living, food, housing, education, so it’s easy to fool you. All somebody gotta do is come by and promise you something and pass out some turkeys, you’ll think they’re the savior. Or give you some cheese. They’ll pass out blocks of cheese and you’ll think they’re the savior. That person wouldn’t have to do anything. You probably never seen that person before in your life but they come through one time and do something nice and you think all of a sudden they’re decent. That’s why a lot of poor white people vote Republican. It’s because a lot of those poor white people, especially in the South and Midwest, play the blame game. They don’t want things to change. They’re in that rut. Who is to blame for this? Poor white people been blaming who? Black folks!  They’ve been blaming black folks for their predicament.

In their mind they’re saying, “Goddamn you damn niggers need to come back here and work for free! Since you left we ain’t been able to make no damn income!” They haven’t been able to be successful like their parents and great grandparents before them because their ancestors had free labor. A bunch of lazy motherfuckers getting free labor and all of a sudden the gravy train stops and you have this influx of poor white people. They can’t take advantage of free labor anymore so instead of getting up off their ass and going to work they decide to embrace the old way of living, grab them a confederate flag and try to hold down the fort. “This is the reason why we’re in this situation. I hate those niggers. I hate ‘em, I hate ‘em, I hate ‘em.” They’re really saying every black person is the reason why they’re in the predicament they’re in–especially successful black people or even just a black person who has a job. They say this is the reason I don’t have shit, because of them.

The reason why they do that is because that’s the Republican Party agenda and that’s the way they keep their base. They stir it up and keep confusion going with poor whites. A lot of Democrats do the same thing. They keep confusion going on with poor blacks and say they’re the reason you ain’t got nothing. The Democratic Party can win an election without a majority of the black vote but the Republican Party cannot win without the majority of the white vote—the poor white vote especially. That’s their constituency and the majority of the people who vote. The majority of the people who vote are poor. They aren’t the 1%, 2%, 5% or even 10%.

TRHH: Recently Lupe Fiasco reiterated that he’s not going to vote because the U.S. government as a whole is corrupt. What’s your opinion on Lupe’s stance?

Willie D: That’s dangerous. If you don’t have a solution there shouldn’t be complaining. A lot of people say don’t vote. If you don’t vote you don’t count. No, if you’re not going to vote do something else about it. I personally think the reason why most people don’t vote, and I’m not saying this is Lupe’s case, I think personally the reason why most people don’t vote is because they’re lazy. I think most people don’t vote because they’re lazy and irresponsible. It’s easy to say, “Aw man they’re both the same. They’re both going to fuck us over. You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.” Meanwhile the politicians are doing whatever the fuck they want to do because your ass didn’t go to the polls. You didn’t cast your ballot. You sitting up at the house and all of a sudden you hear a big ass commotion of jack hammers and big ol’ balls dropping on shit and you jump up, put your house shoes on and say, “What the fuck is going? What y’all doing out here?” And they say, “We’ll were building a mall and a highway.” Ain’t nobody told you, but they put it in the mailers. It was in the papers, people voted on it, they had a town hall meeting and everything. That’s what they do!

I got a buddy who owns a sign company in Houston. It’s a franchise sign company on top of everything. They’re worth millions and millions of dollars. Even with that some lobbyist went to Austin who was worth a few million more and got a law passed that in order to create illuminating signs you have to have a certified electrician that specializes in those illuminations on your payroll [laughs]. Of course almost 100% of these companies do not have a certified electrician on their payroll. A lot of these companies are small businesses. They don’t need a fuckin’ certified electrician that’s certified in these special lights and shit because they been in business all these years without it. Now this dude has slipped through a bill and got it passed and only his company can do the shit! The only company in the whole fuckin’ region that can do this shit. He done greased somebody’s palm, slid it through, and put this law on the books without nobody knowing. A lot of these people are smart educated people with money getting drilled, but they managed to slip the law through. All you have to do is put it in the paper, put it in small print, and say this is what’s going on. Don’t make a big ‘ol announcement, keep a low profile, keep the media away from it and you’d be surprised how much shit gets passed.

I don’t like somebody being able to control my fuckin’ life without me having some say. Im’ma have some say in this shit. You ain’t just finna handle me no any kind of way. Some people don’t feel like fighting. They don’t want the trouble or the police knocking on their door. I don’t want the police trying to pull me over when I’m driving down the street either, but I also vow to live my life like a man. I can’t be a man when I walk in my house and then go out in the street and be a sucker. Operating like a little punk, I can’t do that. A whole lot of other dudes can, more power to ‘em.

TRHH: Getting into the music, The Geto Boys were trailblazers on so many levels. Do you think the group gets the credit it deserves for being pioneers of southern rap and gangsta rap?

Willie D: I hear people say gangsta rap and southern rap, number one, let me just say we are a rap band. We’re artists–real fuckin’ artists. We make real music and we’re real lyricists over here. I don’t like it when people say, “you’re southern”, because nobody ever says Jay-Z pioneered New York. They just say he’s a great rapper. They don’t try to minimize him and put him in a certain region. We’re not a regional group. We have international fans. We have fans in New York, L.A. and all over the fuckin’ world. We’re not a southern act. We’re the motherfuckin’ mighty Geto Boys. It’s bigger than that.

As far as getting credit, no, of course not. But keep in mind one of the big reasons is because of us. Out of sight is out of mind. We don’t tour, we don’t participate in red carpet shit, and we don’t play the Hollywood game. We’re not hobnobbing and all that old shit. So a lot of times when you see groups being recognized know that they’re not going to shine this light on you and you not gonna show up [laughs]. The ones who do decide that they should recognize the Geto Boys somebody in the think tank will say, “Man you think they’ll show up?” OK, well who else we got? ‘Cause they gotta sell that shit. It has to be sold to management, ownership, advertisers, and the artists who want to participate. It’s all business.

When it comes to further recognition you gotta look at where the articles are being originated from. Most of the stuff in the press is coming from New York or L.A. Most of the people who run the magazines or are on the radio are New Yorkers. One thing that I know about New Yorkers is them motherfuckers stick together. Even if you do think the Geto Boys are the number one group and you’re from New York you better not say it. Because you gotta go up against all those other New Yorkers who’ll say, you’re fuckin’ crazy! “Yo son, you trippin’! You on that shit!” They won’t wanna be around you or fuck with you. New York is very cliquish. That’s why when somebody in New York likes something everybody’ll be on it. If you ain’t on it you’re an outcast and something is wrong with you. I’ve been around it and I know how they operate. How you gonna be from New York and like Geto Boys? You got P.E., Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, and other cats so quite naturally you’re going to be biased toward your own region. You might know some of those dudes personally so you’re going to give them the thumbs up before you give somebody in the south the thumbs up. You heard of us, but you don’t know us like that. You probably went to school with Prodigy! It’s a difference. It’s going to be some bias. I understand the shit that’s why I don’t pay it no mind. When I do see somebody who gives it up to us in a magazine from another coast or something I know it’s authentic. I know the pressure they’ve faced. Everybody respects us, especially the people in the industry. But when it comes to putting it on paper or on TV then it’s whispered that you can’t put it out there like that.

It’s kind of like black people who kill each other. You’re in Chicago; it’s a bunch of killing going on down there. It’s like black people talking to black people about what to do with black people who disrespect the neighborhood, kill, and maim our youth. They terrorize our women and children so what do we do with them? It’s a whole lot of whispering going on saying, “Kill them motherfuckers! Lock them sons of bitches up forever! Destroy their asses! Terminate them motherfuckin’ roaches!” See if I was talking about white people, black people would be on board talking that revolutionary shit. But when I say it about black people they’re like, “He could be talking about me!” Naw motherfucker, you can’t have it both ways! You cannot criticize and minimize other races when they do something that affects black people in a negative way. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot try to expose these people or bring them down and then give black people a pass when they do the same thing. You can’t have it both ways. White people do the same thing black people do, they just do it a different way, black people barbecue in the front yard, white people barbecue in the back yard. Black people sell dope on the street corner. White people sell dope out their house. One person drives up in a car and they say ride up to the garage, go in the house, and grab the package. Nobody else comes to their house. Black people got trap houses, motherfuckers rolling up all day. You know it’s going down over there! Shit is going down over there! White people got one motherfucker coming to the house. And only one motherfucker know where he live at. That’s it! They doing the same shit.

They beat their women. You ain’t gonna see them beat their women at the motherfuckin’ club. They gonna shut that door and do what they gotta do inside that house. They do the same shit! We just do it on a different level. They do so much killing. Don’t turn on A&E, don’t turn on First 48, turn on goddamn Unsolved Mysteries. ‘Cause when they do killing it’s gonna be a mystery [laughs]. They do the same shit they’re just sneaky and slick with it. Black people are just loud and wanna be seen and have to put their business on front street. They do the same damn shit. You kill somebody white in the neighborhood your whole family got to get the fuck up outta there! I don’t give a fuck how many years you been living there. Your whole family gotta get the fuck up out the neighborhood. When they say ‘there goes the neighborhood’ they mean that shit. They’re getting your ass up outta there. “No motherfucker, there go you, not the neighborhood. We’re paying taxes to live here this is my home and I’m not letting nobody destroy it. We’re not having a motherfucking killer living on our block. Get your ass outta here!” I don’t give a fuck how many people you killed. They ain’t scared. They will band together to get your ass outta there. Your grandmamma can’t stay there no more. You children are going to get harassed at school. Y’all gotta get the fuck up outta there!

Oooohhhhhh but on the other side, the black man, you kill one of the kids in the neighborhood, kill someone in the neighborhood that’s beloved, if he do go to jail when he comes out what do we do? We celebrate him. We throw him a motherfuckin’ barbecue. Hell we might even give him a nickname and call him Killer. See how motherfuckin’ pathetic that is?

TRHH: Yes.

Willie D: So how we gonna get mad at other people? You gotta get mad at the black people that are tearing up the neighborhood, too. You have to stop being cool with them motherfuckers. I don’t wanna be cool with a motherfucker destroying my neighborhood. I don’t wanna be cool with a motherfucker that’s terrorizing my community. You not cool with me. I don’t wanna be your fuckin’ friend but I will eliminate your ass! I’m not scared like that. A lot of people call it keeping it real, no man you’re keeping it coward. You gotta treat them the same way that you would think of a racist ass white cop that shot one of your kind in the back. When that starts happening that’s when the cops gonna bow down and get the fuck out the way. That’s when all the dirty shit that they do to the community will stop.

When the community stands up and says, no more, that’s it, I don’t care what your skin color is, you violate our neighborhood, our women, and our children we will stop your ass in your tracks. It’s gotta be like that every single time. If you kill one of our beloved neighbors or kill a man in this neighborhood that ain’t been nothing but good we’re gonna get your ass up outta here. That’s how it’s gotta be. Now niggas don’t wanna hear that ‘cause that means they gotta get rid of some of their homeboys. That means they’re going to have to get rid of some of their brothers and sisters. They walk around the neighborhood wanting to fight every goddamn day, just mad. Fighting every two days. Motherfucker if you so goddamn mad and angry and wanna fight and wanna kill I can think of a whole lot of motherfuckers who are suppressing your ass every single day who you can fight and do some killing to if that’s what you really wanna do.

TRHH: I’m from the west side of Chicago and I know you’ve been reading about the murders here. Why is it that we’re so easy to be violent toward each other but not toward anybody else? I have a white friend who was on the train during a big storm and the rain got so bad that the train completely stopped. He had to get off in the middle of the hood and start walking home because there was no other way for him to get home. This is a blonde hair, blue eyed white guy, his wife was horrified but what she doesn’t know is ain’t nobody gonna touch him. If it had been me walking through the hood who knows what would have happened?

Willie D: Yeah. It’s twofold, one black people love being on their best behavior around white people. Black people have been stigmatized by white people. They like to prove to white people that they can be civilized when they come around white people. You ever notice how black people switch up their vernacular when they’re around white people? I’m talking about the most broken English Ebonics motherfuckers in the history of civilization. All of a sudden them motherfuckers start putting “ers” and “ings” on the word. Shit comes out of nowhere.

The second reason is the perceived retribution of doing something violent to somebody white. They kick it up a notch, “Hello this is my white comrade,” the reason why they do that is because they’re trying to hold on to that air of invincibility. Whites can kill whites, but black people cannot kill white people. When somebody black does kill somebody white they do everything they can to punish them as severe as possible. Black people know that so they give them a pass. The reason why we kill each other is because we have no incentive to not kill each other in terms of immediate effect. We’ve been given an incentive to kill each other. How many times have you seen black people kill other black people and don’t even go to jail? Matter of fact, most times they don’t even have to go down and give a statement. “I just killed eight motherfuckers and they ain’t even lookin’ for me!” ‘Cause them eight motherfuckers was black. I know dudes who have cold blooded killed somebody black and got out of jail in five years.

TRHH: Me too.

Willie D: Got back out on the streets and what they do? Kill again. They will never treat black life with respect and humanity. They won’t do that so we have to do it. When we start doing it then they will do it. That’s the way shit is. That’s the truth. When we start kicking peoples ass in the neighborhood who throw trash on the ground, stand on the corner and punch a woman in the eye… this your girlfriend bitch, this ain’t your motherfuckin’ slave! This is a person. You don’t own her motherfucker. If a motherfucker punch a dog in the mouth he’s subject to get five years in prison. How a motherfucker get away with punching a woman in the mouth? How you get away with some shit like that?

How do men let men get away with shit like that? I’m talking about real men, not no motherfuckin’ niggas, or so-called goons—ignorant motherfuckers. I’m talking about real men with some type of principles. I don’t fuck with dudes who are women beaters, them ain’t my partners. I know some but I don’t do it. These kind of dudes are dangerous. Listen man, when you beat a woman one time she might be with you 20 years but she’ll never trust you or feel safe with you again—never. And guess what, when you whoopin’ her ass and you got girls, that tells your daughters that it’s cool to accept an ass whoopin’. It’s just not a good look because now you gotta deal with you going over there and trying to whoop somebody else ass for beating up your daughter. It’s a vicious ass cycle. It’s like beating up your children. You got your ass beat and you didn’t like it, but now you’re kicking your children around and treating them like slaves.

Read part 2 of A Conversation with Willie D

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About Sherron Shabazz

Sherron Shabazz is a freelance writer with an intense passion for Hip-Hop culture. Sherron is your quintessential Hip-Hop snob, seeking to advance the future of the culture while fondly remembering its past.
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