HBO documentary, “The Defiant Ones” interviews Alonzo Williams
Alonzo Williams has received a multitude of honors and accolades for his contributions to hip-hop culture
Godfather of West Coast Hip Hop is one of “The Defiant Ones”; Alonzo Williams bares truth about Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, in HBO documentary, Sun., July 16
LOS ANGELES — The acronym N.W.A. is three explosive letters loaded with controversy within the unpredictable genre of hip hop. But for one man, those letters mean only one thing — Not Without Alonzo. Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams is widely acknowledged as the definitive “Godfather of West Coast Hip Hop” and considering his historical stance pioneering the birth of west coast hip hop, it is clearly understood why.
Williams rightfully takes credit for brokering not only some of the biggest connections in hip hop but also for discovering some its biggest names, including Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy E.
A sought after hip hop historian, Williams is often asked to provide commentary about west coast hip hop and its iconic artists. He has been featured in numerous documentaries and even portrayed in several films, including the motion picture blockbuster, “Straight Outta Compton.”
In the HBO documentary, “The Defiant Ones” Williams details the musical and business partnership between Dr. Dre, and Jimmy Iovine. Directed by Allen Hughes, the film will include numerous in-depth interviews including Bono, Nas, Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, and Williams.
“My inclusion in ‘The Defiant Ones’ shines the light on many things I have been talking about for years,” Williams said. “When Allen Hughes first contacted me about being interviewed, we were supposed to spend about two hours together. Two hours turned into six as he was amazed by the history, anecdotes, and insights I could share with him.
“I have nothing but gratitude for him and HBO for taking note of my role and input at the beginning of what has blossomed into one of music’s largest genres. It still amazes me to this day, because at the time, we had no clue that our efforts would evolve to this level,” Williams said.
In his memoir, Williams tells the tale of the “wild, wild west” hip hop style, sharing in vivid detail his role in the early days of West Coast hip hop guiding and influencing many of its early players. As the leader of the legendary R&B/rap group World Class Wreckin’ Cru, Williams is credited with launching the careers of not only Dr. Dre, Ice Cube D.J. Yella and Eazy E., formerly known as N.W.A., but he was also instrumental with positioning artists like Michel’le, DJ Battlecat, the L.A. Dream Team, Rodney-O & Joe Cooley, and Compton’s Most Wanted just to name a few.
With a focus to uplift youth who are interested in a career in entertainment, Williams stays active on the speaker’s circuit with appearances at organizations, high schools, and colleges.
“Though I’m happy about the popularity of hip-hop culture, I’m not thrilled with some of the elements of it,” he said. “In the early days, it wasn’t about money, gangster bravado, crime and going to jail. It was about the music and keeping it real.
“My message as I mentor youth is to remind them that hip hop is really a creative art form and the message in the music is very important. The more I reveal about the early days of hip-hop, the more the truth is unveiled and the more likely we can get back to some of those original concepts,” Williams added.
Williams has received a multitude of honors and accolades for his contributions to hip-hop culture. His personal collection of music memorabilia has been exhibited at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.
WATCH: Alonzo Williams Details Writing Book About Involvement with N.W.A.