IamBillyDee on his musical upbringing and funk influence

LA’s @IamBillyDee recently released the single “Top Down” ft. Fat Boy SSE and EDI Mean from Tupac’s Outlaws, produced by A.I of Illegal Productions. Below is his Thizzler interview covering his process and what’s next for him! (Artist Submitted)

Thizzler: Where are you from? How was your upbringing?

IamBillyDee: I was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Hollywood till the age of 10. Then, my family and I moved to Covina, California. During my time growing up, there was a lot of music, a lot of love, and a lot of creativity that I was exposed to. My Mom and Dad had a lot of musician friends and they would come and share their talent and would even give me pointers and teach me things.

T: How did you begin making music?

BillyDee: One of my father’s very good friends Mr. Ronnie Jones, a super funky bass guitar master, took me under his wing and begin to show me how to do what it is that I do today. He began my training to be a recording artist. He began to talk to me about the importance of writing lyrics about how to record them. He had a little 4 track recorder and I think I recorded about 2 or 3 raps that I had and that was my start. From there, I eventually got my own 4 track and began to duplicate the process. I went on progressing from then, till this very day.

T: How did you get your rap name?

BillyDee: I’ve had a lot of rap names since I’ve been doing this but the name that I go by today is the name that I was given by my parents. Billy Dee is my name, given to me at birth. So I, in fact, am Billy Dee.

T: How would describe your musical style?

BillyDee: I’m an “MC”, a “style flipper” and a “game spitter” on the mic.
I was raised on West Coast hip hop so I love the funk and a lot of that musicality. However my foundation is traditional hip hop. I’ve also been schooled in classic and modern R&B/Soul Music styles.

T: Tell me about “Top Down”.

BillyDee: “Top Down” is a wavy, West Coast, stylish track that is, just like the title, open, airy and we all have room to shine. It features some really dope emcees/artists one of them being Fat Boy SSE. He really brought a lot to this record. His verse is really dope from start to finish and he spit a lot of game on the record. We also have EDI Mean from the legendary Outlawz crew. Him, as an OG has a lot of wisdom to impart, his style and his flow is undeniably smooth and on point. The track is produced by none other than producer Ai of illegal productions and man, that thing hittin and it’s jamming.

T: What inspired this single?

BillyDee: I just really, really want a convertible.

T: How is it different than previous releases?

BillyDee: I think “Top Down” has more of a smooth sound than my previous two singles, “Poppin” and “Abundance”. I’m spitting but it’s really more about styling than spitting. Also, this jam has two really great features, unlike my previous two releases, which feature me alone.

T: What message do you want fans to walk away with after listening?

BillyDee: I want the listener to say, “Maaaan that thang jammin…” lol. I want to earn the ear of listener and if I don’t earn it on this one, hopefully, I will earn a another shot at earning the ear of the listener.

T: What’s next for you?

BillyDee: Pre-sale for the single “Top Down” is now available distributed by Rival Distribution. You can go to Iambillydee.com or you can go to my instagram page (@yougottalovebillydee) and hit the link in my bio and get all the information you can pre-purchase it and you can also pre-save it to any playlist. This feature is available on all streaming platforms.

Additionally, I’ve got an album to drop and some surprises along the way. Look for “Abundance”, the album, to be released next month, December 2020.

T: Is there anything else you want to say?

BillyDee: Yes, we must end police brutality there are far too many cases of innocent or at least unarmed black and brown people being unnecessarily harmed and ending up dead during police encounters. I’m no political expert but I know something’s wrong and something needs to be said and ultimately done and so I am speaking and I along with Illegal productions stand with the people.

Find IamBillyDee on Apple Music!

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