Northpole: Raising Arizona
Interview conducted by: Todd Davis
Willy Northpole, nee
William Adams, was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and from the very moment
baby Willy entered this world it has been a constant struggle. A flood that
day forced his mom to give birth, not in a hospital like normal, but rather
in a helicopter, en route to one, instead. His original nickname
was actually Helicopter Baby. Growing up a huge fan of Michael Jackson,
young Willy turned to music as way of escaping the perils of his youth. He has
since overcome the many tragedies that have plagued his life; a crack addicted
absent father, the brutal murder of his only male role model, his cousin Walter
Salt Morison, a.k.a. Broadway Gangsta, and his own Armed
Robbery arrest and the lengthy incarceration that followed. Upon his release
at age eighteen, Willy finally decided to make a change for the better. He aligned
himself with a, then, rival local emcee, Hot Rod, and instantly became the rappers
right hand man. Rap Industry recently caught up with the talented wordsmith
who was fresh from inking his major label record deal with Disturbing Tha Peace/Def
had been talks of you signing with G Unit Records, and you were even featured
on a few DJ Whoo Kid mix-tapes, rapping alongside 50, Lloyd Banks, Buck,
Yayo, Hot Rod, among others. However, you instead eventually ended up
going with Ludacris Disturbing Tha Peace camp -- Explain why?
G unit is real niggas I can vouch. That error of me signing came
to be because I stayed in 50s house for a quick sec, and helped
my boy, Rod, with his career. Man, I have a driven management company,
Family Tree Entertainment, whos ran by Michael Blue
Williams. And, the quarterback of my career was Tiffany Johnson, Blues
right hand. Tiffany is my manager who I met at a young age, and she works
harder than any mufucka I know, and shes tough on me. She
shopped me until she dropped and fell on DTPs door step. We flew
to L.A., met up with Chaka Zulu CEO, and he told (her) after listening
(that) he wanted to sign me. When he said that, Phoenix won the Superbowl,
my nigga!! It was the best day and feeling, and it hit me like a brick.
I had a flash back of all my ups and downs, and thanked God on the balcony
of Chakas room where we all (had) met up. Now its my turn,
and DTP jumped on the ball before G-Unit thats all that happened
-- Sh*t was crazy.
You mention Phoenix, of course Im talking about Arizona, where
you were born & bred -- What was it like for you coming up?
was a child, man, bout seven or eight and moms used to bump Too
$hort Life is
Too $hort album and a nigga used to listen and mimic
the whole album til she realized I had stage presence, and started
throwing a nigga in talent shows. Back in them days, I was stuck on Ice
Cube and N.W.A. as a group, but Cube was my favorite artist growing up
Moe Dee was that nigga, too.
Did you always know from even way back then that you wanted to make
a career out of your music?
Willy Northpole: I
always wanted it as a kid, but it wasnt until I got outta jail from
a three year bid to realize I really wanted it, and grinded that sh*t
to the fullest with every dime I made. I wasnt afraid to get it
either, it was just a matter of time.
How did you wind up calling yourself Willy Northpole?
Cause its another word for snow. See in the hood, that was
the nickname for crack cocaine, and it was the hustle I lived on for a
few years to get by, and I took that name and made it a household word
in Phoenix. Northpole is me, its every hustla in the nation -- Its
a strong slang term on the streets.
Your sound is very unique, so what is the most accurate way to best
describe what actually happens when you pick up the M.I.C.?
Willy Northpole: I
describe it as a beast in the booth!! Its universal and creative.
Its what Arizona as a state is, and it comes from the heart. It
represents who I am, and I see it as tool to get what I want <Hahahahahaha>
Its West with a struggle behind it, and shows lyricism of a true
emcee. I want to be one of the five elites in the game.
Whats the name of your DTP debut?
Its called Tha Connect. Thats a big word in the hustle world
and I was a drug connect growing up. Now, Im Tha Connect
because Im connecting a whole fuckin state to a world of music.
Im responsible for that. When you come in and out, you gotta go
through me -- Gotta go through my team.
Aside from, of course, Luda, who all were involved in the creation
of your forthcoming solo CD?
my nigga, Nitty, The Heatmakerz, pioneer, EZ Elpee, Track Stars, Charlamagne.
All of them niggas came through like champs, even before the deal. Afterwards,
I worked with LT Moe, Needlz, Jelly Roll and the list goes on and on.
I even did something on the homie, Chingys beat. The album is a
certified classic. It all sticks like glue. Every song was crafted and
designed from the same heart, Ya know?
Whats the biggest misconception about Willy Northpole?
That Im a family nigga, a good father, and a bad cook. I also like
the Discovery Channel <Hahaha> I still fuck with, and surround myself
with, real niggas. And, Im Willy everday, nothing phony. I dont
mean mug the cameras at photo shoots to look tough, but Ill whoop
a niggas ass if I have to. Im a private nigga, I like my own
space, and I like to think.
What future goals and plans do you have in order to maintain longevity
in this grueling business of music?
The key to my success is consistence and drive. The hunger I have will
continue to sustain me, and bite these niggas even when Im full.
See, its all about what a nigga want. I have my goals and plans.
I know the amount of money I want, cause there is no amount -- So,
Ill never stop.
So, with that being said, what sets you apart from your peers and friends
in the industry?
I aint feeling no albums, no rappers, and Im not happy at
all with Hip-Hop, but all I can do is Willy. No offense, but Im
shittin on niggas with this album. I promise Hurricane Katrina in
the booth!! This is my profession, and how I get paid, and nobody is gonna
fuck with me after this album and mix-tape drop --Remember I said that.
Debut single, has it been selected yet? Album, Tha Connect, scheduled
for release when?
Marked Up is the single, featuring my nigga Slim Thug, whos
a real ass nigga for showing love to an upcoming artist as myself, without
hesitation. And, we trying for October this year for the album, but dont
wanna rush it
Any parting words?
Yeah, understand Yall, I come from where you come from. I gangbanged,
all that sh*t -- Anything is possible, trust me. Anything you do for 21
days becomes a habit, so you have to attack that sh*t and mean it. When
Michael Jordan left the NBA and Kobe Bryant came, thats me. Its
just one them situations. Im that new nigga on the scene, so watch
what I do. I see myself becoming a rich nigga, not just from money though,
homie, but also from family and love. Willy Northpole, Man Up Squad, Southside
Phoenix all day!!