Dallas, Texas is a city saturated with southern culture and competitive mentalities within a diverse community where making money and major moves are the norm. It’s naturally fitting for hometown hero Wil Martin aka Lil’ Wil to call Dallas, Texas home. Originally from New Orleans, also referred to as the “most unique” city in America, Lil’ Wil moved to Dallas, Texas with his mother at the young age of eleven. Shortly after relocating, Wil began writing and crafting his musical skills. Wil knew this was something he wanted to take serious and make a career out of. Lil’ Wil’s niche’ is speaking on the reality of his life and his surroundings, he is coined as a “reality rapper”.
Wil was presented an opportunity to relocate to Atlanta in 2002. Atlanta being the musical Mecca of the south as well as known for major hip hop artists such as Outkast, Goodie Mob, Ludacris and T.I.. Li’l Wil began networking with various people in the music Industry. One of his most valuable meetings was with then up and coming music producer, DJ Toomp. In 2005, Lil’ Wil moved back to Dallas with a master plan. He set out to make his mark in the Dallas hip hop community. One of his first mixtapes was the popular “Bootleggers Special”. It sold over 10,000 units. People recognized Lil’ Wil and knew he was something special. It wasn’t long after the release of Bootleggers Special that other local Dallas artists started connecting with Lil’ Wil. He has collaborated with artists such as Tum Tum & The Rally Boys, Deonte’, Mr. Lucci, Mr. Pookie, T.Cash, Doughski G, Damm D, Bun B, Kiotti, Big Hood Boss, Yo Gotti, Soulja Boy, Shawty Lo and many more. It was the connections with The Rally Boys that linked Lil’ Wil with local reggae artist, Rude Bwoy. Rude Bwoy recently formed his indie label, RudeBwoy Entertainment.
The introduction between Lil’ Wil and Rude Bwoy created an union that elevated into a proposition that Lil’ Wil became the flagship artist for the label.
In 2007, Lil’ Wil released his first single locally entitled, “My Dougie”. The single was not “just another dance record” but a story depicting a lifestyle and sub-culture of the Texas-underground music scene. The buzz of his first single and video started to stir in a big way from the streets of Dallas to the channels of youtube to the syndicated radio airwaves. Lil’ Wil eagerly signed with Unauthorized Entertainment/Asylum Records to distribute the Lil’ Wil brand. The release of Lil’ Wil’s debut album, Dolla$, TX, featured collaborations with Papa Reu, Kiotti, Deonte’, Rude & Big Hood Boss.
Lil’ Wil’s follow up single “Bust It Open” had an even greater impact that the infamous “My Dougie”. “Bust It Open’ made the Music Billboard Charts in 3 different areas, Peaked 22 on “Hot Rap Tracks” in 2008, 56 on “Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and 21 “Hot Rap Tracks” in 2009, as well as Dolla$, TX, which was released in June 2008 by Asylum Records and charted at #3 on Billboard’s Top Heat seekers chart and 76 on the R&B Album charts.