We got the chance to sit and speak to the DMV rapper.
WillThaRapper is a DC native who’s fairly new to the rap game but is making steady strides to the top. At only 20 years old, the rapper is known for his hit single “Pull Up, Hop Out,” which was released late 2016. The video to the single has reached over one million views on YouTube, you can watch it below. Will is signed to Republic Records and has recently worked on a collaboration track with Baltimore rapper BandHunta Izzy for the new single “How we Livin.” The duo worked on a visual for the track, shot in Will’s hometown in Southeast Washington D.C.
This past Monday, we stopped by at Republic Record’s office to chat with Will. We got some insight on his road to becoming a rapper, his aspirations for the near future and he even offered some advice to people who want to take creative risks in life. You can read the interview with the rapper below. Be sure to check out his music, available on Spotify and Apple Music for streaming.
When exactly did you start rapping? When did you begin to feel this is something you want to do for the rest of your life?
When I was in the 9th grade I got put out of high school and I was on probation, but in order to get off of it I had to go back to school. So, I had to move out from the DC area all the way to a place in southern Maryland called St. Mary’s. It’s like the boonies. If you’ve ever watched Courage the Cowardly Dog, where they’re in the middle of nowhere – that’s what that was. So, I was there going crazy. I couldn’t do nothing, I wasn’t doing nothing but saving money. I was about 16 when I first started rapping. I bought a little microphone off ebay, a little pop filter, bought software on my computer. I ain’t never dropped none of those songs, I ain’t never like how they came out, but that was when I first started rap, cause it was something I could do ya know what I’m saying.
When you were just starting, who was someone you looked up to? Somebody that inspired you?
I had three favorites at the time. Two mainstream artists – which was my favorite rapper, Lil Wayne – and at the time, my other favorite rapper was Meek Mill. I had a local artist that was popping at the time, Lightshow, and those were the three people I listened to. If you weren’t playing them or some go-go music, I really wasn’t tuned into it.
Do you feel that you’re at a place where your career can flourish or do you still feel like you have a long way to go?
I feel like I got a long way to go, but now I’m at that point where people are paying attention. So, I could show people how I’m coming. I could show people now that won’t be like “nah never heard of him”, “I don’t care”, “Get him out my face”, you know what I’m saying, “Imma see about him when he’s up”. It’s like now, I’m up, and they’re coming to see about me, and now they’re saying, like, “Is he gonna last long?”, “Is he gonna do this? Is he gonna do that?”. It’s cool though, you gotta earn your respect in the game. I feel like I’m at a good point, any day I can take off, I just gotta do it the right way.
What are the steps you’re taking to make sure you go that extra mile to get noticed, to get people to listen to you, to get people to work with you?
I always work. I’m always recording, I’m always shooting videos, dropping videos, working on projects, whatever I gotta do to stay in tune with the music scene. I stay out of trouble. I stay out of the streets now, I stay away from trouble and people with bad intentions and all that. And just stay true at the end of the day, you can’t force anything. Where I came from, I didn’t think this right here, sitting with you, would be possible. I came this far, but I never forced it or said “Imma be this”, “Imma be that”. I just wake up and do my thing, whatever happens, happens. I feel like if I keep it like that, there is no true disappointment because at the end of the day, I’m not at the bottom. I’m not where I started. If this was the end of it today, I would be alright with it because I came from nothing to get here, and that’s good enough for me. I gotta tell people, because the next younging might see me, come from nothing and get here or even up there, just by looking at me. I just stay grounded, I don’t believe in no fairy tale lifestyle.
We’re halfway through the year now, June is pretty close. What is one thing you want to accomplish before the year is over to help boost your career?
I wanna get a song on the charts, I’m talking about like crazy on the charts, like number one. I’m not gonna sell myself short. I want a number one song on the charts. I feel like shooting for the stars man, what the hell we shooting for clouds for?
Who’s one rapper that’s out now that you see yourself working with in the future?
Migos! They hustle man. They go crazy, they drop videos, they dropped an album, they still dropping videos, doing shows – their work ethic is crazy. If there’s anybody that I wanna work with its them. I don’t wanna pick another rapper and it takes us 8 months to do a song cause they ain’t really a rapper, they a street n***a, they don’t really care. But the Migos, they about business. I’d work with them.
If there’s one piece of advice you would give to somebody who’s younger than you, or maybe even somebody who’s your age, older than you, trying to make it work and have a big breakthrough – what is that piece of advice you would give them?
I’d tell them, whatever they trying to do, to put their heart in it first. The money won’t come right away, and if you’re only doing it for the money, you’re gonna be disappointed. Even if you do get some money, you’re not gonna get as much as you wanted. Do something you’re willing to do for free. Like rap, I could’ve not got paid off rap and I would’ve still been rapping, I just wouldn’t have been in front of everyone else. Yeah, I’d tell them that one thing, do something that you really love. Have your side hustles too. Some people like to paint, but paint doesn’t really make everybody a lot of money. Have your little side hustles but never stop pushing what you like to do the most. I ain’t know I was gonna blow up off rapping, I was just rapping. Nobody knows they’re gonna blow up off painting, they’re just painting. Somebody picks up one of their paintings and goes museum crazy. Two, don’t ever let no one tell you how to work your hustle. You know how many people told me “Rap? You need a backup plan. There’s college.” It was my hustle, I didn’t let nobody tell me how to work it, I didn’t let nobody tell me it wasn’t going to work. I listen to all the critics, all the opinions, but I never stop at the end of the day. If you play football, your hustle is to play football, I don’t care if they say you’re 6 foot and you’ll be better at basketball. If you know your hustle is football, get on that field. Just keep it that way, it’s easier.
Besides rap, what’s one thing you feel you’re good at? Something you like to do, a hobby.
I can gamble my ass off. Nah, real talk, I used to draw. That’s probably why I used painting [as an example]. I used to draw when I was a youngin, I used to think I was gonna be Picasso, I thought it was cool back then. That’s the only thing I ever did, like, I used to get pulled out of class for drawing like “you drawing again? Gimmie that. Go stand in the hallway”. I wasn’t doing nothing, I was drawing. That’s the only other thing I probably love more than rapping, I got beatings over drawing in class.