If you were a local up-and-coming rapper and you got the call that you will be performing with hip-hop legend Rakim this Saturday in front of an All-Star Weekend audience, you'd be pretty excited.
For rapper Roosh Williams, that's an understatement.
"I was fuckin' ecstatic," the 23-year-old rapper says over the phone, describing his initial reaction upon finding out he'd be billed alongside one of rap's founding fathers this weekend.
Williams will be opening for the rap great, along with rap group H.I.S.D, this Saturday at Fitzerald's. When asked why he thinks he was chosen, his answer is supremely self-assured.
"I think it's because of my resume," he says. "I can spit. I'm all about flow and lyrics."
Williams is no stranger to performing with established hip-hop acts, having shared the stage with Lupe Fiasco, Mac Miller, Dead Presidents and our very own Bun B. He even recalls Mr. B complimenting him after opening during one of his shows.
"Bun B came up to me and showed me some love after my set," Williams remembers.
Though the rapper hasn't yet decided what songs he will perform Saturday night, he will likely spit familiar tunes from his previous mixtapes, Attack of the Drobots and Common Struggles of a Modern Man. He says he doesn't usually "bust out new stuff," but this is All-Star Weekend, after all, so Williams just might include new material from his upcoming album, Deja Roo.
The new album, Williams says, is "eclectic," with tracks that range from "laid-back" cuts made for Cadillac hydraulics, to some "darker," "introspective" pieces. He also promises some "jams."
Production-wise, the album is pieced together intricately.
"It's very big," he says. "It has a universal sound."
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Williams has been rapping "professionally" for three years, he says with a chuckle, but he started writing and "trying to rap" since sixth grade. His aforementioned Attack of the Drobots LP was released in between his sophomore and junior years at the University of Texas at Austin, and Common Struggles of a Modern Man was released two and a half weeks before graduation.
He has just released a track with Bubba Sparxxx called "Fraudulent." All his works of music reveal a rapper with an SAT-caliber flow; he mixes together hood, comedy and intellect with ease -- kind of like a young Rakim.
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Deja Roo is slated to hit stores February 27. Check back Friday for the story on H.I.S.D. Roosh Williams, H.I.S.D. and Rakim perform after the championship round of the Space City Beat Battle Saturday night at Fitzgerald's. See here for tickets.