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Mr. Dougie's Profile
Money makes the world go ‘round. Dallas Texas is a city saturated with great people and great places, with a diverse community where making money and major moves are the norm. It’s naturally fitting for hometown hero Wil Martin a/k/a Lil Wil to call Dallas home. Originally calling home the historical city of New Orleans, Lil Wil moved to Dallas, Texas with his mother at the age 11. During this time, Lil Wil began writing and crafting his skills to become a force in the music industry. He started writing about a plethora of things that he witnessed and experienced while growing up. As he sharpened his skills, he discovered this was something he wanted to take serious and make a career out of. Lil Wil’s niche’ is speaking on the reality of his life and surroundings and coined his style as a “reality rapper.”
He was presented an opportunity to relocate to Atlanta in 2002. This was the perfect place to be because Atlanta was the musical Mecca of the south being known for major hip hop stars such as Outkast, Goodie Mob, Ludacris and T.I. Lil Wil began networking with various people in the music industry. One of his most valuable meetings was with then up and coming music producer, DJ Toomp. “Meeting Toomp was an amazing experience. This was the first time I was in the studio and saw the whole musical creation from top to bottom.” says Lil Wil. Atlanta enabled Lil Wil to understand the importance of hard work and perseverance. “I learned how to grind and take my career serious in Atlanta. Everyone there who had projects was grinding. They were out promoting their CD’s everywhere so people would know.” he said. This Atlanta experience definitely changed and molded Lil Wil into a better businessman and artist.
In 2005, Lil Wil moved back to Dallas with a master plan. He set out to make a mark in Dallas and the hip hop community. One of his first mix tapes was the popular “Bootleggers Special.” It sold over 10,000 copies and people recognized Lil Wil was something special and paid attention. It didn’t take long for other Dallas rappers to connect with Lil Wil. He has battled and collaborated with artists such as Tum Tum and The Rally Boys. It was the connection with The Rally Boys that linked Lil Wil with local reggae artist, Rude Bwoy. Rude Bwoy had recently formed his indie label, Rude Bwoy Ent. The introduction between Lil Wil and Rude Bwoy created a union that elevated into a proposition that Lil Wil became the flagship artist for the label.
While starting the process of making music for his debut album DOLLA$, TX, Lil Wil released his first single locally entitled, MY DOUGIE. The track is not just another dance track but a story depicting a lifestyle and sub-culture of the Texas underground. “I was watching the movie Paid In Full and Cam’ron was tripping doing the old school “Dougie” a la Dougie Fresh, and there is a dance we do in Dallas called the D-Town Boogie, so we put both moves together and that’s how we created MY DOUGIE. It also means how freshly dressed or how fly you feel, like a fresh hair cut or a brand new pair of Air Force ones.”
The buzz of his first single and video started to stir in a BIG way from the streets of Dallas to the channels of YouTube to the radio airwaves in the South. Music executives began to notice what the Lil Wil movement was creating. Wil eagerly signed with Unauthorized Entertainment and Asylum Records to distribute the RudeBwoy Ent. brand.
His June 2008 debut album release, DOLLA$, TX features collaborations with local Texas artists Kiotti, Deonté, Rude & Big Hood Boss. One of his favorite tracks is “Move It“featuring Papa Reu. “We got in the studio and heard the track and completed it in 15-20 minutes. Being from Dalla$ moving and making money is a reality for me.”
Lil Wil credits artists Andre 3000, Gnarls Barkley’s, Ceelo Green, Soulja Slim and Lil Wayne as some of his major influences. “I love that these artists are experimental. They aren’t afraid to take chances musically. I relate to that. I want people to give my album a chance to show them I’m not afraid to take chances.” Lil Wil also gives credit to one of his mentors who has been very influential to his career, producer Landlord. He produced several tracks on his debut album. “Landlord is one of my mentors and has stuck with me throughout my career.”
Lil Wil is focused on presenting his reality rhymes to his fans and hip hop lovers hard and raw. He considers himself the underground hero reminiscent of Atlanta rapper T.I.P a/k/a T.I. “Everyday I wake up, there’s something to rap about, I’m not stopping no time soon.”
April 30, 2008
May 6, 2008
New York, NY
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Middle East Downstairs
Richardson Performance Hall
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