Throughout this fall, the weirdest Iggy Azalea headlines haven't come from her music, which is objectively mediocre, or her label boss, T.I., defending her because she's from Australia yet raps like she's from Memphis. Instead, they've all come from allegations and maneuvers pulled by Maurice Williams. Or Jefe Wine. Or NuWine. Or Wine-O, if you want to be specific.
The fun thing about all of this is how strange the headlines got, from a sex tape to a countersuit to a divorce, all in a matter of weeks. But what nobody decided to do (until now) is check up on just who the hell Maurice Williams or Hefe/Jefe Wine or NuWine or Wine-O actually is...or was.
Who Is Jefe Wine Again? Jefe Wine is a rapper from Houston. He's not massive in stature, but his baritone may be quite legendary. If Trae's gravel tone sits along the yellow lines on Allen Parkway, Wine-O's hovers right above the asphalt. Plus, he gave the impression that he was the scariest rapper with an eye patch that stood above six feet feet, so there's also that.
He may be somewhere in his mid-to-late thirties given that he was 27 in 1999 and then 27 again in 2005 (fountain of Lil Wayne, anyone?). Some basic math puts him at 37, and that's without a Wikipedia page.
In 1999, when he was rapping as Nuwine, he spoke mostly about the gospel, the kind of Christian rapper who made his bones by spreading the gospel, and having a deal on Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Records (!). Before the CHH scene in Houston reached today's outstanding heights, there was Nuwine.
But as soon as he got a divorce from his wife, he turned his back on making gospel hip-hop and opted for something far more secular.
Why Do You Know Jefe Wine? Two songs, really. He was the anchor leg on Kiotti's mid-2000s party anthem "Hooka Hooka" behind AJ 003 (another Houston rap casualty). He also had his own middling-big single, 2005's "Pop My Trunk," back when sampling Fat Pat and Lil Keke for choruses was the wave.
He also sort of introduced the world to Azalea, if you remember her rather confusing backstory of being a model who moved to the States and found her way to Miami and Memphis and Houston and finally Atlanta. Some on the Atlanta scene remember Azalea not having the rather rotund butt she has now, but that's neither here nor there.
So Did Iggy and Wine-O Really Date? Yes. As the story went on and as we reported back in 2012, Wine-O had a relationship with Azalea that eventually went sour, to the point where he allegedly sent her back to Australia, only for her to find her way back to the U.S., with T.I.'s Grand Hustle imprint. You can eventually guess how that made Wine-O feel.
He made a diss track, "Happy Birthday T.I.," while also allegedly holding onto plenty of unreleased Azalea music. Lately Wine-O's own music has been pretty unspectacular outside a guest spot on RiFF RaFF's "Woodpecker" and "From Nothing 2 Something," featuring Rocko. He's also moved into being a "legitimate businessman" with a few oil companies.
Story continues on the next page.
Is Anything Wine-O Says Fact? Well, in a feature story he did with the Press back in 2005 for his Hate Me album, he basically attempted to spill all kinds of dirt on preachers and pastors in the city, if he got the cover.
"If I knew you could give me the cover, I could give you all the dirt," he said then.
He also has the incredible backstory of having a crime-laden lifestyle that ended thanks to his getting shot outside a convenience store, the bullet entering his cheek and exiting between his eyes. That, plus a possible 15-year stint behind bars for aggravated robbery, eventually changed him around to wanting to "spiritually" rap.
Also, he quit wearing the eye patch because he said, 'Fuck it, I survived getting shot in the face.'
But when it comes to the Iggy stuff, who's to say? Wine says they were basically common-law married as of 2008 and just never got around to filling divorce papers. Which kind of makes the whole idea of "common law" marriages rather dumb. If there's a sex tape with him and Iggy, plenty of people are going to want to watch it because they're naturally voyeurs and naked people excite the hell out of us. (The latest development came on Twitter a few weeks back when Azalea vowed to let the courts decide.)
We also have come to know this over a decade-plus worth of ink dedicated to Maurice Williams. True to his nature as a child of Fifth Ward, he will figure out a way to win in the end. Even if his rap career didn't blossom the way it should have after "Pop My Trunk" knocked heads around in 2005, he finds his way to position himself with the right people.
Or maybe he just has the weirdest luck with Australians in Atlanta. Who knows?
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