The Basement Tapes: UT alumnus finds fame in world of rap

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Former UT student and local rapper Roosh Williams has opened for music artists such as Bun B, Big K.R.I.T., and Curren$y.
Former UT student and local rapper Roosh Williams has opened for music artists such as Bun B, Big K.R.I.T., and Curren$y.

In a fame-hungry generation saturated with entertainment realities such as MTV, American Idol and YouTube, it’s not hard to get your five seconds of stardom. But whether there’s talent to make it beyond the five-second marker, now that’s the bigger question.

For UT corporate communication alumnus, Roosh Williams, however, his talent in rapping has proven he's not just another wanna-be rapper.

Born Soroosh Faegh, the Houston native first spit rhymes during choir in middle school. Then last year, his poetic verses, streamed with creative plays on words and rhymes, got noticed and have landed him great successes, such as opening for Yelawolf, The Cool Kids and Curren$y.

The Daily Texan spoke with the rapper during Basement Tapes about the meaning behind his name and his first interest and performance in rapping.

The Daily Texan: So your real name is Soroosh Faegh. Why did you decided to add the Williams?

Roosh Williams: First of all, I don’t think my real name is like ‘fuck yeah.’ Second of all, the ‘Williams’ is kind of expendable. The Williams is the Williams. It could have been fucking Johnson, shit, Patterson, but it’s just to Americanize it basically, cause I feel like that represents who I am, you know? You wouldn’t be able to tell who I am from my real name. It makes it commercial and just as funny, almost kind of like a joke.

DT: What’s the joke?

RW: My last name has always been hard to say, so it’s just funny because I have always been a well, decent spoken person, like you wouldn’t be able to tell if you were talking to me, without seeing me, you wouldn’t be able to tell what I am.

DT: You didn’t want to embrace that you were different?

RW: Mhm. I also think when I’m rapping it’s not a character but it’s a mode I go into. It’s not representative of my real name. It’s a mode so I switch into gear — not some Batman, Superman shit. Well actually yeah, kind of like some Batman, Superman shit. [laughs]

DT: So when did you first get into rapping?

RW: I first began fucking around with it when I was in sixth grade in choir [laughs]. I just noticed I kind of rhyme, ‘like I can do that?’ and so I just started doing it.

DT: You were telling me earlier of all the rappers you’ve opened up for. What was your first opening?

RW: I opened for Lil’ Flip on Aug. 1 of I think last year.

DT: How did that come about?

RW: It was for some fraternity party and I had dropped my name like ‘yo, if ya need people to perform and stuff like that, let me know.’ And they were like yeah, we’ll give you a shot and they paid me and I did my thing. And it was really good and I got started after that. After that I got booked in Oklahoma City; like I was in Oklahoma City three weeks later.

DT: Can you name some of the artists you’ve opened for?

RW: Lil’ Flip, Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T, Bun B, Juvenile, The Cool Kids, J.Cole, Wale, Yelawolf …

DT: Of all the performances, which one would you say was your best?

RW: I think it was Yelawolf in Austin. It was at Mohawk. We just rocked that shit. I perform with a drummer so that shit is crazy in real life.