last week i had the pleasure of interviewing black eyed peas lead emcee/super producer/solo artist/fashion designer/activist william adams, known to millions across the globe as “will.i.am.”
it’s been an interesting decade for the renaissance man. adams worked endlessly and witnessed first-hand the fruits of his labor as the peas transformed their cult-following into arena-packed crowds, losing some but gaining many on the ride.
as of late, will’s been outspoken on a number of political issues. he’s worked with EVERYONE in the music biz – from past projects with busta rhymes, justin timberlake, and the game – to future projects with whitney houston and michael jackson.
please, don’t forget his black eyed peas franchise/label (will.i.am. music group), which not only houses the grammy award-winning peas, but also fergie and his own critically acclaimed solo projects.
will and i spoke for 13 minutes, one-hundred eighty seconds over the limit set forth by interscope records, which set up the phone interview. i had never spoken to the dude longer than three minutes previous to this.
oh yes, we have spoken before. even met.
it’s a real long story, but here’s the jist: i am good friends with one of the peas’ managers. i’ve been across the northeast with bep, from ontario to stroudsberg – checking out shows, hanging out in the dressing rooms, and then heading to, or in some instances, creating the after-party.
tour buses, hotels, catering areas, clubs, frat houses. “all-access pass” doesn’t even do the experience justice.
so you’d think after hanging with the peas on numerous occasions, that i’d be really cool with will right? wrong. see while taboo, apl.de.ap., the crew, and OCCASIONALLY fergie were gettin’ our crunk on, will got his business on. will got his producer on. will would literally spend all time before the show on the “john lennon bus.” basically – it’s a state-of-the-art recording studio on four wheels, funded by the john lennon music foundation.
right before show-time, will would get his wardrobe and prep on with tab and ap. after a quick hallway meeting with fergie and the band – the whole crew would hit the stage in a usually extravagent fashion – entertaining a sold-out crowd.
after the show, the band, tab, ap, the managers, myself… we’d seek out the alcohol and promiscuous activities that the home city offered.
but will would head back to the “lennon bus” as those backstage affectionately called it. once i spoke with the lennon rep for the bus about will’s work ethic.
“the guy is amazing. he spends all day, all night in here. and seriously, he has hard drives upon hard drives of material. he’s definitely tupac-in’ it.”
but you could argue that bunching him with the likes of shakur doesn’t give adams the proper credit he’s due. afterall, will’s impact spans from hip-hop and r&b, to latin music (sergio mendes), to pop music.
needless to say, i have an uber amount of respect for the man, as a person and as a professional. this is why the interview spanned two parts over two nights – covering a wide range of topics, from the new solo cd to immigration reform.
the links to the interview is below. i promise, you won’t be disappointed.
– part one (the solo cd, the “beef” with kanye, another solo cd?)
– part two (american issues, the solo cd)