We came across one of Chicago’s most promising young lyricists, Will Is Chillin via his sound cloud. We are hard critics but found ourselves very impressed by Will’s wordplay and delivery so we decided to catch up with him to hear about his journey as a cold emcee.
Will Is Chillin: Cold As Ice
CHM: Let’s start with the basics, who are you, where are you from, and when did you get started in hip-hop?
WIC: I’m Will, aka Will Is Chillin and I’m from Logan Square – born and raised. I first got into hip hop as a fan; I am sickly addicted to hip hop and I listen to music constantly. I started off producing and my friend basically made me rap so I finally took it serious.
CHM: Next up, congratulations on joining Stankface Records. How did that collaboration come about?
WIC: Thank you! It came about from word of mouth, I guess. [Rapper] Loud Mouth put me with Brandon, the CEO of Stankface, and I just showed him a couple videos and what not. I am glad to be in this crew though, nothing but talent.
CHM: When we first met we talked about your upcoming album and the fact that it’s taken a really long time – years even – to complete. How are you feeling leading up to the release of Pack Of Loosies?
WIC: I recorded Pack Of Loosies in about a week and I am thrilled it’s finished. I plan on releasing it sometime this upcoming week.
My album, Let The World Catch Up, [laughs at the shameless plug] is set to be out sometime this winter. It features all original production and I can honestly say I am immensely proud of how it is coming out.
CHM: Who did you work with on the project? Any features?
WIC: As of right now, my homie Jai Dee and my little brother Scribbles are on it. My other homie, Law The Dragon, also and we absolutely bodied this one beat [laughs]. Can’t wait to release it to the world.
CHM: You mentioned that find a lot of your beats and work with a lot of producers you find on Soundcloud. Do you work exclusively with any Chicago producers? Do you prefer to work with a wide array of individuals to diversify your sound?
WIC: I mainly work with [Chicago producer] Tommy Bazooka. No one has really heard of him but he can definitely make beats. I also work with Bobby Magic, 5heriff, Glassic, Pigeon Do, Panda Head, and a few more. There is so much talent out there and I find it so easy to connect with people now so I just scour Soundcloud for producers [laughs]. It does add diversity to my music since all the producers I work with have their own style, which is something I am trying to achieve.
CHM: While I was listening through your music on Soundcloud, it became pretty evident that you love samples and sampling. At what age did you start dabbling with production?
WIC: Around my sophomore year of high school I got into production and sampling. I LOVE samples, I really do. I love the feel it brings a record and the rawness of it.
CHM: I also noticed (and really appreciate) that you don’t mind blending genres. Outside of hip-hop, what other music do you make and listen to?
WIC: I just love music in general so thank you for noticing. Honestly, I’m a huge hip-hop head. I mean I like and can appreciate other genres but I don’t listen to much other than hip-hop. I love oldies, like Motown and Soul and Blues – mainly because I love sampling. I mainly make hip-hop music but I also love testing myself and using cadences and sounds not typically heard in hip-hop music.
CHM: Who are your biggest musical influences?
WIC: Jay Z, Nas, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, TI, Bone Thugs, A Tribe Called Quest, J. DIlla , Pete Rock, Premier, The Roots – the list could go on and on. I have honestly spent the majority of my time studying the greats to perfect my craft.
CHM: Chicago rap culture is widely known for two things: their criticism and their crews. Do you feel like you get the support and credit you deserve? And tell me about your crew, VOTV – Voices Of The Voiceless? Is that something you created because of the way our city moves?
WIC: Chicago is full of harsh critics. For some reason, it’s just how the city is. But it’s good though, it makes you a stronger artist. I feel like I don’t really get the credit I deserve, but I know it’s coming. This art is all about patience and thankfully I have a lot of that [laughs].
I made VOTV because I feel I speak for the underdog. I had insane stage fright as a kid. I was just that loner kid no one really talked to. But when I got into music, a lot of those things changed. It gave me a confidence I never thought I could have and I just want to use this platform to speak for anyone who feels left out in the world. The voiceless, the 99 percent, the 9 to 5 person, the kid getting bullied. You know, people like that.
CHM: What’s the next to-do item on your list to take hip-hop by storm? What is the eventual end goal for you?
WIC: My next move is dropping Let The World Catch Up. It has been a long time coming. After that? Just rap my ass off as usual. My end goal is to be in the conversation for G.O.A.T. [Greatest Of All Time] and just make dope music ‘till I fall off because eventually we all do. Quote me though, “fuck money and
CHM: Music takes work dedication and a lot of time. How as an emcee do you define “hustle”?
WIC: Hustle is putting in work. Hard work and dedication. Hustle is getting up and making tons of music every day just because you know you can be better and love what you do. Hustle separates the talented artist from the great artist.
Written by Jordhan Briggs