Willie The Kid Talks The Fly, Role of Mixtape in Hip Hop
Exclusive: La's brother talks his upcoming DJ Drama tape, compares albums/mixtapes to Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Last Thursday, HipHopDX spoke with Aphilliate Music Group emcee Willie The Kid about his upcoming mixtape with DJ Drama called The Fly. The Grand Rapids-born rapper spoke about his mentality while recording the project, saying that it stems from his desire to bring a heightened sense of artistry and creativity back to Hip Hop music.
“I’ve always been a fan [of Hip Hop] since I can remember, since I was a little kid, something like kindergarten young,” said Willie the Kid. “I’ve always respected [Hip Hop] as an art form. I think a lot of times, with the way the game is now and how lucrative the business is now, they forget about the art. Me doing The Fly [mixtape] was me being artistic. I wanted the sound’s emphasis on content where the lyrics are concerned, vocabulary…concepts where the whole project is concerned, just energy and attitude that just represented artistic expression. The Fly for me was my opportunity to really shine a lot of light on being an artist. [It’s] about being creative, [like] saying yellow and blue instead of just saying green.”
Much like 1984 film of the same name, Willie The Kid described recording process as something of a musical experiment. Yet while the experiments in the film yielded horrific results, Willie feels that his mixtape will triumph personal creativity.
“[Part of the meaning of the title] is from the movie The Fly,” he explained. “I’m not talking about the gruesome side of [the movie], but the way [the main character] was like a scientist creating a new idea, doing a groundbreaking thing with science and technology…[recording was like an experiment], but one thing I tried not to do [was] to force anything creatively. I tried not tot say ‘I’ve got to get this beat from this producer and I need this feature from this artist and I need to make this song to appeal to this region and that song to appeal to this crowd.’ People do that a lot…and I think that when you put those barriers and boundaries on the music, you’re going to limit it and box it in. I believe music and expression are infinite and you can go anywhere you want with it.”
He later added, “Sometimes you’ve got to sort of dare to be yourself. You’ve got to dare to do what feels good. It may not fall in the realms of what people say you should do or what they would think about you if you do this, but sometime you’ve got to do what’s best for the music…you’ve got to put super emphasis on that. I think sometimes, people are afraid…it’s a danger to be yourself sometimes.”
Willie also spoke about the role of mixtapes in the Hip Hop game. He says that the mixtape is the raw and unprocessed form of albums, not only affording the artist more creative liberties but also proving to be a prime jump-off point for up-and-coming artists.
“I would say an album is like Seinfeld and a mixtape is like Curb Your Enthusiasm,” explained Willie. “It’s the staff, it’s the same engine, it’s the same writers, just the platform’s different. “Seinfeld” plays in syndication in re-runs on regular, big broadcasting stations throughout the nation. “Curb Your Enthusiasm only plays on HBO. “Seinfeld” was on season after season after season. So was “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but it’s a little tighter-knit, it’s a little freer because there’s no censorship there. It’s a little looser because I’m pretty sure there aren’t any advertisement slots being taken so it’s not being chopped up three and four times an episode…I guess what I’m trying to say is that a mixtape is an uncut album. Over time, the mixtapes became so important that its impact and significance of towards building your career is pretty much the same…it’s hard for a new artist to come out, but mixtapes are giving these new artists…the same opportunity as the other artists receive.”