Charlie Wilson Discusses Influence On Nas, Kanye West & Snoop Dogg
Exclusive: Charlie Wilson looks back on his and The Gap Band's influence on Hip Hop culture.
Charlie Wilson's work as a solo artist and as a member of The Gap Band has been incorporated into several songs by rappers, including Nas, Snoop Dogg and Da Brat. In 2013, Wilson was a guest on Kanye West's "Bound 2," a cut off the rapper's Yeezus album.
Charlie Wilson says he did not anticipate having this type of influence. "I look back, I look at it as kind of a cool deal," Wilson says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "When we was recording records as The Gap Band, I didn't have a clue that we'd be around or that we would inspire so many people. I didn't ever think that I would still be here. First of all, I didn't think I would make it this far. Let's just get that straight. I thought that I would be dead a long time ago, but God had a different plan for me."
Wilson says God also answered many of his prayers.
"I asked God that if I didn't do anything, to let me inspire," he says. "I think that's what my blessing was, and the reason why he kept me here. I notice that a lot of people from back in the day, when me and my brothers as The Gap Band was comin' through, some of the poeple was really big superstars at the time and they've tried to do some of the same things that I've done and just didn't make it."
Charlie Wilson has worked with Kanye West on several songs, including "Lost in the World," "The Joy" and the aforementioned "Bound 2." His work with The Gap Band has been sampled in various Rap songs, including Nas' "Life's a Bitch" and Da Brat's Jermaine Dupri and The Notorious B.I.G.-assisted "Da B Side." Last year, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell and others celebrated Wilson's career during the BET Awards, where Wilson was honored with a lifetime achievement award.