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(photo credit: William Olguin)

What’s one of Hip-Hop’s cardinal rules? Have no idea? Well the main one is to always surround yourself with a good team, especially when they’re capable of standing on their own without you holding their hand.

That’s what superstar Ludacris had in mind when he acquired Arizona’s Willy Northpole for his Disturbing Tha Peace roster.

Being able to do your own thing means not riding the head honcho’s coattail, and that’s what the man born as William Adams has done.

Besides the upcoming release of his debut album, Tha Connect [Click for review] the Phoenix native also has a deal with Fyxx Hybrid Water, while the ink on a deal with NASCAR is almost dry (and who said Hip-Hop and NASCAR would never be in the same sentence?).

So by virtually surpassing normal expectations in the midst of creating new ones, what else can the MC from The Grand Canyon State check off his list? An interview with iHipHop of course…


iHipHop.com: What have you been up to lately? Any up coming projects?

Willy Northpole: The ultimate project for 2009 is my album… It’s going to be my first album, and it’s called Tha Connect, and it’s really a personal album for me…

This is the chance for people to get to know me as an artist, and I don’t have too many features on there…

I got Luda on there of course, and we’re going to try and get Lil Scrappy on there because he just got added to the label… Besides that I have Ne-yo and B.o.B., and that’s pretty much it…

I really wanted this album to just feature myself, so people can get to know me… This is something that I’ve been working on my whole life, and if it’s funny or sad; everything that comes across is true…

iHipHop.com: How was the vibe like when you were putting the record together?

Willy Northpole: I’m inspired by life; you know what I’m saying? My music is based off what I see, what I’ve been a part of, what I’ve done in my past, and what I plan on doing in my future… I’m not going to say it was easy, but it flowed perfectly…

As a kid I was listening to Sade, so I’ve always been opened to everything… So at the same time, that’s basically the same ear I used to put together this album… I’m a new artist, but I’m definitely not new at what I do…

iHipHop.com: Besides yourself and Hot Rod’s presence, is there a really big Hip-Hop influence in Phoenix, Arizona?

Willy Northpole: There’s a huge Hip-Hop presence, but Hot Rod is not from Arizona; he’s from Sacramento… He’s from by way of Arizona, and he came out of Arizona when he got signed… So that’s kind of how he got the image…

He’s the first rapper to come out and show love to Arizona, but he’ll tell you that he’s not from Arizona… I’m the first artist originated, born and raised from the Southwest…

As for the Hip-Hop scene, there’s a big Hip-Hop scene out here, and a lot of untapped talent… Once I open the door, and show what it really is, I’m going to bring some artist from underneath me…

iHipHop.com: Staying on the subject of Arizona, most people have this perception of Arizona just being a desert wasteland filled with cactus’, but how was it like for you growing up?

Willy Northpole: When you’re born into something, you’re just so used to it… When people picture Arizona they picture it as just being cowboys out here… Like mothaf*ckas is riding around on horses and sh*t… I don’t blame you, because until someone puts their city on the map like Nelly did for St. Louis, you never know what really goes on out there…

All we ever had were sports, and a few rappers talk about Arizona, but you never had someone from the streets or the ghetto part of Arizona show what it is out there… I grew up on Broadway and 24th Street, and I think that’s the gutter of the gutter… I’ve been to over 20-25 funerals just growing up in my lifetime, and they were all personal friends…

So people would never expect that coming out of Arizona, you know what I’m saying? I get people coming up to me saying, “Yo, you don’t look like you’re from Arizona” and at the same time you’re thinking to yourself, “What the f*ck does that mean?!” [Laughing]

willy-article-21iHipHop.com: [Laughing]… When did you first start to gain recognition as an MC?

Willy Northpole: I’ve been doing this all my life, and I always made demos… But I got locked up for a couple of years, then when I got out, I did an armed robbery and when I got out for that I was 18-years-old…

When I got out, there were a lot of people that were making noise, and some people had big names and respect…

But I wanted it so bad, and I didn’t want to be anyone’s friend, so I made a diss record and I dissed everyone in Arizona… [Laughs] Whoever had a name, I dissed them, even the radio stations… The song was called ‘Garbage Disposal. That song put me on the map, and it stamped me…

That is by far the classic diss record of Arizona… I don’t perform it that often because it was a political, and I’m cool with everybody on the song, and it wasn’t anything personal.

I was influenced by 50’s ‘How To Rob,and I took some of his methods and did what I had to do… It gained me to be the first n*gga from Arizona to officially have a record deal… [Laughing]

Now it’s time to bring the n*ggas in, because everyone I dissed, I f*ck with now… [Laughs] You have to take charge of your city, and let people know that you’re that n*gga… At the end of the day, if you really want this, you got to take that sh*t…

iHipHop.com: So it was ‘Garbage Disposal’ that landed you over there with Ludacris and DTP?

Willy Northpole: Yup… I was working with Hot Rod when he got signed to G-Unit, and Hot Rod brought me along because 50 [Cent] said he wanted someone from Arizona who had a name… So [Hot] Rod came and got me, and we were trying to start something together, but it didn’t workout the way I wanted it to…

But all of that brought me to the position that I’m in now… Not too many people know about the G-Unit situation because I wasn’t signed to 50 [Cent], but at the same time, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get signed, so I wasn’t going to stop what I was doing for my career…

I stayed at 50’s house for a little while, and if you want to know the whole story behind everything, there’s a song on my album called ‘Tha Story, and I tell you everything and what went wrong. I kept it 100 through that whole song…

iHipHop.com: What are some of the things you learned from Luda?

Willy Northpole: I watch him a lot man, and I’m not a big fan of a few things in the industry that you have to do in order to make it—like I really don’t like photo shoots and things like that… But I’ve watched his shoots, and how he gets comfortable with the camera…

One shoot is one thing, but when you have to pose in front of 100 mothaf*ckas, you start to feel a certain way… [Laughs] Then you get to a point where you’re used to it… So I got used to being around him when he was doing radio drops and presenting himself as an artist, and you have to take from the best…

There’s a few rappers out there that’s it’s okay to get sh*t from, and he’s one of them… So being around him definitely helped my situation out, and at the end of that day, he’s a real dude…

dubcoverjpegpo2iHipHop.com: A lot of artists say they wouldn’t want to sign under another artist, because they fear that they won’t be the focal point. Did any of that cross your mind?

Willy Northpole: Not at all… You know why? Because any n*gga that says they won’t sign under another artist, why are you rapping? What’s the f*cking purpose of rapping if you’re not trying to get into the game?

I’m not sitting on Luda’s lap, this n*gga ain’t carrying me on his shoulders and doing everything for me… He signed me because he believed in me as an artist…

So once my name was on that dotted line, it’s my job to make myself “Willy Northpole.So you can either sit under a n*gga and get fame off his fame, or get to a point where mothaf*ckas want to follow you…

Of course I’m going to do songs with him, because we’re on the same label, just like I do songs with other n*ggas on my label… But he’s done enough for me to where I can carry myself… I was on the DUB [Magazine] cover with him, and I was on Theater Of The Mind

I’m not a kid that he’s trying to raise, and he didn’t sign me for artist development, he signed me because he felt I was a star, just like Chingy… Regardless of what people think about Chingy, he went 3x Platinum… When you think of Chingy, you don’t think of Luda, you think of Chingy

iHipHop.com: Do you feel any added pressure since he’s in your corner?

Willy Northpole: You have to understand, it’s not just Luda; pressure is pressure… The pressure is on because I’m representing the whole Southwest area, so that’s pressure… I’m the first one out of the Southwest who’s been signed from that region; Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, and the whole Southwest area… So that’s pressure; you know what I’m saying?

I’m only n*gga who has a record deal from that region… I would call that more pressure than being signed to Luda… There’s still pressure with Def Jam and DTP, but on top of that I have a family to feed, and this is what I have to do as an artist…

iHipHop.com: Do you think it will be difficult getting people to gravitate to your movement due to Hip-Hop’s over saturation?

Willy Northpole: At the end of the day man, it’s all about the records that you make and how you present yourself… I don’t know anyone else’s situation; a lot of people get on by freestyling all day, a lot of people get on by beefs, and a lot of n*ggas get on with good music… All I can do is create my lane, keep grinding, play my position, and be consistent…

I don’t worry about album sales, because I feel like the people will come along… Once you get to know me; you’re going to have to f*ck with me… It’s not like the 90’s when we were growing up with a lot of great music… Rap has changed, and I’m not knocking anything that’s out right now, but we’re in a new generation right now… Hip-Hop isn’t f*cked up, people just lost in the fun in it…

They’re so obsessed with personal lives and what’s going on when it comes to the Internet; they’re not trying to jump on a CD when it comes out… I’m building one fan at a time, and I’m at least signing one autograph a day, [Laughs] and that’s how it’s going to start man…

willy-3iHipHop.com: Have you found the constant grind of keeping your name out there to be tough? Or is it natural for you?

Willy Northpole: It’s natural because I like to talk, and I like attention at the same time, so it ain’t sh*t to me… Plus I have a GREAT f*cking team… As soon as we walk in the building, our presence is known…

My team is like, “Here’s a CD, and he’s right over there, go holla at him.” I got a manager that keeps a camera in my face all day, and we go hard every single day… Anything you do for 21 days is a habit, and we’ve been doing this consistently everyday for a year…

iHipHop.com: What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions about you?

Willy Northpole: People might see me with all the tattoos and think I’m a tough guy, but when they get to know me they find out that I’m a funny n*gga, and that I have a sense of humor…

I don’t think I’m a tough guy or anything like that, and I haven’t been tested to show you if I’m a tough guy or not, and at the same time I don’t want to be tested… But if I have to— it is what it is…

But they’re going to see me and see that I really love music… I want to be a trendsetter with the kids too… I got to the juvenile facilities, and I holla at the kids, and I do a lot of stuff that rappers don’t get recognized for, and I do that for me…

  • http://www.ihiphop.com/La_Bella_4822 La Bella

    damn where her titties at…? u cant even palm dem shits…lol

  • http://www.ihiphop.com/mikedoggydogg fuckabitch

    I fucks with willy.