Mistah Wilson:Yo Iwil, thanx for taking the time for this exclusive interview with us. You are our first artist we interviewed under our new title Urban Youth & Artists. How ya been?
Iwil:I been good man keeping my head above water, trying to stay busy.
Mistah Wilson:Before we go into further detail, give us a broad background on yourself. Where did you grow up and how has it impacted the person (and artist) you are today?
Iwil:I am born in raised in the Los Angeles but from my early teen years and on up i have lived in and around the Pasadena
Mistah Wilson:According to your biography, you joined a group called Also Known As. What was the inspiration behind the name and how did you come to collaborate with Linx & Ruff Ska?
Iwil:I met Linx in Old Town Pasadena maybe 10 years ago he said he made beats. We kept in contact over the years one day i am over a his studio and i told him about this idea i had for an album, around that same time i met Ruff Ska. Over time that idea evolved into “Also Known As” i think the day we agreed on the name we also realized more about the album and started considering the album title “Proper Villains” and after working with a few other possible group members Ruff Ska just kinda worked the best for the direction the project was going in.
Mistah Wilson:We heard the album. We really enjoyed it, too! Not to mention a feature by MF DOOM that was dope you know how that cat gets. How did that collab come together?
Iwil:A mutual friend by the name of Alonso Beas made a call to Dooms people on our behalf and got the ball rolling.
Mistah Wilson:Would you say you’re more of an LA rapper than Pasadena?
Iwil:For me Pasadena is home man, but dont get it twisted L.A. CA. ALL DAY!!!!!!! I did a song years ago called “Pasadena Song” one of the lines was ( I love L.A. with a passion that is ever lasting but Pasadena thats my home if mother fuckers asken) LOL!!
Mistah Wilson:How did you guys come up with“Proper Villains” as the title of the groups debut LP?
Iwil:Villainy was something i was dealing with at the time. While writing lyrics for the “Proper Villains album” i was doing a lot of self analysis and going through a lot of issues with the Pasadena Police and Court system.I was just trying to understand who i was and where my life was going. The song “Sunrise” on the “Proper Villains album” is a perfect example of what i am talking about.
Mistah Wilson:Did you release any projects while working with LA’s Finest?
Iwil:We released a some vinyl Last time i spoke with Mnemonic he was talking about doing a digital release of the L.A.’s Finest album. Its actually a really dope project it features a lot of great artist, like Planet Asia, LMNO, 2MEX, ect…
Iwil:We have done many shows at many different venues and festivals such as Solstyce festival 2 years in a row the first time we opened up for “Canibus” and “Dead Prez” We have also played music venus around L.A. and Hollywood such as The Terrace and the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena. The Arliner for Urban Underground in L.A. The Dragon Fly on Santa Monica and Whiskey a GoGo on Sunset in Hollywood The Galaxy Concert Theater in Santa Ana where we shared the stage with Bone Thugs n Harmony, The Beauty Bar in Las Vegas NV ect… The list gose on…………….
Mistah Wilson:Before all the groups and collaborations you were a solo artist. Who were some of your musical influences?
Iwil:There has been many musical influences over the years but i will try and keep the list short. Wu Tang, 2Pac, Jay Z, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Guns and Roses, Sound Garden, Jimmy Hendrix, Nina Simone, Muddy Waters, Red Man, Mos Def, Phroahe Monch, Common, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Emenem, Del, Acealone, Myka 9, Medusa, Tom Waits, Saul Williams, Rza, Gza, Method Man, Dilated Peoples, Atmosphere, Audio Slave, James Brown, KRS ONE and, E 40 to name a few. i could go on but i think you get the idea LOL!!