I had a chance to catch up with Houston rapper Roosh Williams while out in Atlanta for the A3C Hip Hop Festival. We discuss many things from working with Doughbeezy, the history of Houston music and whats in his A3C survival kit. He even spits a Queen Bobbi Freestlye:
Queen Bobbi: What brings you out to the A3C Festival?
Roosh Williams: Man I’m just coming out here cause we had a chance to perform on that Straight Outta Texas Showcase. So I’m just trying to network & fucking grind, you know & let people know what I’m about really.
Is this your first time at A3C?
Yes ma’am. This is my first time at A3C & my first time in Atlanta.
Your first time in Atlanta. What do you think about the women?
Yo! I love them, to be honest with you. I love Atlanta. Atlanta’s been great. Beautiful black women in the city. I don’t even know how to say it any other way.
Tell me a little bit about the scene. Were you surprised by any of the artists, did you get to meet any of the artists that you look up to?
One thing that really surprises me is that I walked by Young Guru like 15 times.
I have not seen him yet.
I haven’t said anything to him. I just keep walking by him like “hey” & I salute him every time. So I mean it’s cool. I’ve seen Statik Selektah. The thing that really surprises me is all the media that you meet like the bloggers. I met some people from Complex, The Source. I think that’s a big benefit of this whole event.
Yea networking is definitely crazy. Now you were at SXSW right?
Yes ma’am we did the South By Nice Kicks show.
So tell me what is it like when you have SXSW, which is a music festival in general, then you have A3C, which is strictly Hip Hop. What are some of the differences that you notice? Do you think [A3C] easier to navigate because it’s only Hip Hop?
Yes I definitely do. One big difference is like [at A3C] everything is at the Masquerade so everything is like centralized for the most part at one venue. You run into the same people. The recognition, they see you everyday so you can really strengthen that. But when you’re at South By is a free-for-all. Austin, it is so big down there.
Get in where you fit in.
Exactly. You might see some people you might not. It’s really a crapshoot, but [at A3C] it’s a lot easier.
So there are also a lot of Houston artists here. Did it surprise you that so many of the Houston artists made it out?
Actually yea. I mean I knew they were coming, but you know to see like Propain, Dough, myself, I’m probably going to miss somebody on accident, Keke, Killa…to see how Houston kind of took over that night [of the Straight Outta Texas Showcase] was cool.
Lil Keke shut it down.
Yea Keke shut it down. “Got to be a G’ til the day that I die. ”
Ok so tell me what projects do you have coming out or if you have one out already?
I am working project. It is currently untitled, but it is going to be the biggest thing that I’ve done to date. It’s going to be a full, all original project. I’m looking at dropping it hopefully within the next 2 to 3 to 4 months. It just depends. I’m taking my time with this one.
Sometime before we die. Hopefully the world doesn’t end in December.
Hey I hope not. But nah it’s going to be easily the best thing I’ve worked on. I’m just trying to line everything up. Videos, promo…have everything ready so when I get going I can get going. I don’t stop moving.
A lot of people want to know & of course, I want to know myself, how do you rap so fast? Is there a technique or is that your thing?
Honestly I kind of learned how to do that almost a year ago. I just find the beat & I figure out how to fit inside of it. I just try to pack as many rhymes as I can & hit that drum; you know what I’m saying. I can’t give my techniques away.
I’m not a rapper so I don’t get what you’re saying.
Right. Basically I inhale marijuana & then my brain kind of does it & it’s done.
That marijuana smoke just instantly inspires you. So you have a track with Dex & also Doughbeezy. You guys are such great emcees. What is it like to work with those guys & get in their creative space?
Working with Doughbeezy is awesome. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the lab or seen him in the lab, but he doesn’t write anything down. So we had the beat going & I’m sitting there writing & he’s just walking back & forth. He’s just in his head & he’ll just come & record it, lay down like half the verse then go back & think about it. It’s really awesome to watch. Dex is just a different cat. I mean his creativity…my flow; technically I try to stay on point. Dex isn’t about that. Dex just does whatever he wants. It really kind of makes you step up.
You’re going to write me a hot 16?
Girl if you want. What’s your budget?
What Soulja Slim say? I got four 20′s & three 50′s.
I got hot 16′s all day especially for Queen Bobbi.
So do you have any projects that are already out?
I do. I have an LP, an EP & a mixtape I just dropped. Basically within the last year & a half I dropped 3 things, but I was kind of trying to find myself. As an artist kind of trying to find where my lane is, what I’m trying to do. So jam them download them. It’s all free. It’s on iTunes I think as well if you want to help a player out. But I have elevated my game.
Buy it off iTunes, help Roosh get him some chips.
Yes. But like I said I have elevated my game so this next shit is going to be like…I really can’t describe it. I’ve been hiding it. I’ve been working on it all year. No one’s really heard shit from it. I got some crazy people on it. Doughbeezy’s on it. The point of the story is this shit’s going to be crazy. I’m just trying to do this for Houston. Kind of carve a different lane for my city you know. Show them that we are versatile basically.
Let’s talk a little bit about the Houston scene. We kind of get a lot of flack. They think we always drink & ride candy paint. But when you think of the foundation of Houston [rap], the foundation is based on lyrical content. Fat Pat wasn’t a basic rapper. Scarface certainly wasn’t a basic rapper. Lil Keke is not a basic rapper. Although he is the slab king, he is not a basic rapper. So what do you think when people try to put us in that “man hol’ up” box?
I think people are just sticking to the hits that they remember & not digging deeper. There is definitely that shit, but like you said there’s Scarface, there’s Pat, there’s Keke. We have a lot of lyrical people. So honestly from top to bottom, especially when you get into the underground like The Nice Guys, Delo, Preemo…we have from A to Z if you ask me. So I don’t like when we get boxed in, but we don’t help ourselves by trying to recreate the same thing. I feel like we try to hold on to what made us popping in like ’03 or ’04 or ’05.
This is about to turn into a debate because you know I disagree with you, right?
Really? Hit me.
See I’m thinking– if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it. When you hear the singing hooks, Z-Ro singing on a hook…
But you’re right & I think a good example of [not fixing something if it ain't broke] is Slim Thug. It’s 2012 but he’s still…he just got off of tour with K.R.I.T. He’s so H-Town. He’s still doing the same thing he was doing 7 year ago. But he’s still successful. He’s still thriving.
I think he’s been able to pace himself in a good way & he’s not trying to over-do it. He’s trying a little bit here & a little bit there. He’s not trying to force it down our throats when he wants to make a change.
Real quick I wanted to add about what we’re talking about, like we said Propain, Doughbeezy, Delo…these are guys that recreate their own sound, but they kind of bring their own flavor to it. So I think it’s a very cool thing to see.
That’s really what it’s all about. We’re at A3C what is the most important thing that you absolutely have to have to make it through this weekend?
Money. If you’re going to try to sleep somewhere, if you’re going to eat & if you’re going to try to transport yourself from hotel to venue, money. Aside from that, the obvious, I came with CD’s. I think it’s a smart idea to come with your shit if you come prepared.