INTERVIEW: Lou Williams

1 Feb

Lou Williams is a star for the Philadelphia 76ers, whose basketball talents were so extraordinary he was drafted into the NBA straight out of high school. While most see him as a basketball star, Lou is debuting another talent of his. Rapping. The Sixers star recently released a single with Meek Mill called “Want It All” that is getting heavy rotation on Philly radio. Check out what Lou had to say about his entrance into the music world!

How did you get started making music?

I officially started making music freshman year in high school. My step father was a DJ, so I was fortunate enough to have access to a studio and equipment. But in terms of just freestyling and rapping, I’ve been doing that forever. I discovered music with basketball. There were plenty of times were I would freestyle on the back of the bus while traveling to games. I know people see me as a basketball player, and I definitely recognize that basketball feeds me so that’s always my first priority. But I’m a well-rounded person and can do many different things, rapping is just a reflection of that.

How many songs have you made or been featured on?

I’ve created roughly 150 to 200 songs. Making music is not a new thing. Music has always been a hobby. For awhile I never let people hear my music, because I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t want to be criticized for something that I treat as a hobby. I write a lot about where I’m from

How did you link up with Meek Mill to create “I Want It All?”

Meek is my ace, and outside of music, that’s my homeboy. We’re friends and have done a lot of music together. We made 15 or so joints together, and are in discussions to do a joint mixtape. We’re just having fun.

Because you are a professional basketball player, do you think it will affect how people view your music?

Of course. People see you doing one thing and it’s hard for them to accept you stepping out of that box. I know there are people out there that are gonna hear my music and say that’s the wackest sh*t they’ve ever heard. Part of that is because they see me strictly as a basketball player. And I’m ok with that. I’m comfortable with what I’m doing so it’s all good.

How do you balance practice and the Sixers’ game schedule with rapping and studio time?

It’s not a balance. Basketball is my career and that’s my main focus. Everything else falls behind that. Anytime I have time to go to the studio I do, but be clear everything revolves around basketball. Again, music for me is really a hobby. With music tho once you put yourself out there, it opens the door for opportunities. Who knows what happens.

You have a friendship with Bow Wow, has your relationship with the new YMCMB rapper helped your rap skills?

No (laughs). I’ve known Bow since I was 14, so we go back and we’re friends, but we haven’t had any music experiences together.

Since you play for the 76ers it’s not a stretch for people to compare your venture into hip hop music to the former Sixer Allen Iverson’s attempt as a rap artist. How do you feel about that?

I can see the comparison but our approaches to music are a little different. Allen was more serious with it. He actually had a deal. I’m just doing this for fun. I think people will enjoy my music cause it’s real. That’s not to say that A.I.’s music wasn’t real. But I make music for my family and my friends. I’m telling stories that I know they can relate to and laugh at it. I just appreciate the listeners that can enjoy my stories and inside jokes, that’s great.

What do you think is harder, rapping or playing basketball?

I think both create their own challenges for me. I’m passionate about both, but I think basketball is harder because you have different opponents every night to prepare for. You’re constantly working to figure out how to be better than the next guy and help your team win.

Who or what influenced you musically?

Bone Thugs N Harmony was the first group I heard and my love for rap music grew from there. I loved songs like “I Tried” “Creepin On Ah Come Up” and “If I Could Teach The World.” Being from the South I was on Lil Wayne and the Hot Boys early. I also listened to a lot of Outkast.

What types of music do you listen to?

I don’t listen to a lot of rap. I like all different types of music. I like Plain White Tees, All American Rejects and Usher, who I think is the best male R&B artist out right now. Being from Georgia I listen to Rocko, Travis Porter, T.I. and Jeezy.

Southern music isn’t known for its lyrical content, so do you just like songs for the beat?

Southern rap is like theme music. We like the idea of what the song is about. I like the idea of hopping out the bed and turning me swag on or being all the way turned up. It’s hype music.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Some of my favorite artists are DRAKE, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Big K.R.I.T, Usher, Bone Thungs N Harmony, and Meek. I think in terms of female artists, Nicki Minaj is dope, Erykah Badu and Monica are both cool. I like Rihanna’s songs but I’m not a Rihanna fan.

Do you have any new music or projects coming out?

New music is definitely coming out. Me and Meek have some songs recorded and are getting ready to do a music video.

You also have a Youtube channel where you post documentaries about your life out right now, what is the idea behind that?

This is a documentary about me outside of basketball. It’s up close and probably too personal, but I hope people enjoy it.

Check out Lou’s video for his freestyle of “Imma Boss”

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