Edreys aka Billy Drease Williams
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Edreys aka Billy Drease Williams

Buffalo, New York, United States | INDIE

Buffalo, New York, United States | INDIE
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Dec
27
Edreys aka Billy Drease Williams @ Broadway Joe's

Buffalo, New York, USA

Buffalo, New York, USA

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You could be forgiven for wondering if Buffalo has a hip-hop scene of its own, so diffuse, scattered and underground has that particular community remained over the past 20 years.

But that will change, if Edreys Wajed has his way.

For the past 10 years, Edreys –pronounced “Ed-dreez” –has been charting his own course through the hip-hop industry as an independent artist, all the while working to unify Buffalo’s piecemeal rap scene. He also has challenged the bountiful stereotypes that have plagued hip-hop from its beginnings in the early 1980s.

“Hip-hop gets a bad name, and some of that is justified,” says Edreys, who also performs beneath the nom de plume Billy Drease Williams. “I’ve always worked against that whole idea that hip-hop concerts are unsafe, that anyone who raps is a drug addict who carries a gun and has a misogynistic streak. ¶ “Hip-hop is art, when it’s at its best. And it is also a significant part of the culture –here in Buffalo, of course, and in the whole country, as well.”

Casting himself as a conduit between what he sees as the popular conception of hip-hop as a dangerous, unsavory art form and the reality –“It’s a celebration of a culture, and of art in general” –Edreys has balanced his career as MC, record-maker and songwriter with efforts to provide opportunities for the Buffalo rap community to flourish. ¶ Along the way, he has become the most promising, adventurous, nigh-on-visionary hip-hop artist Buffalo has yet produced.

The fruits of Edreys’ labors will be manifest this week, at the fourth annual “The Art of Hip-Hop” festival at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The festival blends visual art with break dancing, live DJs and free-styling MCs. Edreys (with the help of producer/ promoter/DJ/head of local in-die label Deep Thinka Records Tony Caferro) conceived of the festival while working at the Albright-Knox as assistant for community programs.

Offered a Friday evening as part of the “Gusto at the Gallery” series to do with what he wished, Edreys came in loaded for bear; the first “Art of Hip- Hop” went off without a hitch, and convinced him, he says, that this was “a cause well worth pursuing.”

Fight the power

Growing up in Buffalo under trying economic circumstances, Edreys realized from a young age that he wanted no part of the stereotypes that surrounded him. He fell in love with soul music first, submitting to the deep sway of pioneers like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Kahn. When rap came along, it hit him hard –“As much as a cliche as this is by this time, I still remember buying the Sugar Hill Gang vinyl, getting it home, and saying, ‘That’s what I wanna do’!” –and he soon became hopelessly immersed in the form’s possibilities.

But from the get-go, Edreys saw himself as “different,” as an outsider with his own vision of what a career in hip-hop might mean.

It boils down to his desire to present himself as a positive role model in an industry that thrives on “gangsta” mentality. Loving the music but rejecting the lifestyle so often associated with it, Edreys focused on his love of visual art, writing and his burgeoning MC skills while many of his peers fell into the traps set for them. All of this meant that, by the fifth grade, Edreys had been welcomed into the “gifted and talented” program at City Honors School.

His experience there was a formative one, and laid the template for the course he would pursue upon graduating –one that sought to marry the power of hip-hop to clean living and consistent, focused community involvement. “The Art of Hip-Hop” came from that idea.

“From the beginning, what was so cool about ‘Art of Hip-Hop’ was the way it crossed over so many different barriers. Patrons of the museum who didn’t know hip-hop were mingling right there with rap-lovers who didn’t know anything about the art world. That was the idea –to mix those two worlds, and to show people from both of these worlds that the other had something to offer.”

One essential ingredient to the future of hip-hop, Edreys feels, is cleaning up its image. “The Art of Hip-Hop” was always going to be “a family-oriented event, something you could feel good about taking your kids to. I want to be able to help kids –my own included –realize that the ability to express yourself in some manner through art can give you confidence, direction and purpose.”

Hip-hop hybrid

“This is the one,” Edreys insists. “This is the record I’ve been working toward all of my life. And we intend to make it count.”

“Good Morning Amy,” the record Edreys so passionately believes in, will be released in September. If there is any justice left in the industry –and if Edreys and Caferro play their cards right, as they seem perfectly poised and prepared to do— the album will make significant waves in the hip-hop industry. It’s a masterpiece, one that crystallizes the positivity at the heart of Edreys’ outlook on life and simultaneously marries the influences of classical music, old-school R&B, rock, blues and hip-hop.

Citing as their motivating mantra a desire to “challenge the idea of what hip-hop is,” Edreys and Caferro set about the construction of a new strain of the form, one that would build on the past, but posit a decidedly modern interpretation of that past. This meant that what Edreys calls “a deeply musical edge” would be prevalent throughout “Good Morning Amy.”

Toward that end, the pair enlisted the services of one Richie English, a graduate from the Masters in Music Performance Department at UB. English, after reading about Edreys in The Buffalo News, “hunted us down and basically said, ‘I want to work with you; I can help you do what you want to do.’ And man, did he ever.”

A highly skilled pianist, English can also “sing like Chris Martin of Coldplay,” and he worked with Edreys on the articulate, ornate and sophisticated musical and vocal arrangements that elevate “Good Morning Amy” head and shoulders above the hip-hop pack.

So (justifiably) strong is their belief in “Good Morning Amy” that Edreys and Caferro have hired seasoned publicists to work the record around the country. Initially, the record will be released only in Buffalo, where Edreys’ will “work it from the inside, build on what we already have generated here and then go after the college charts and do some smart, select touring in other cities.”

“The thing is, you need to create demand in other cities, give people a reason to come out and see you, before you just go off blindly touring without any kind of publicity. That’s a mistake an awful lot of people make, and it’s not one we’re going to make. I need to justify leaving my family to go on the road by doing it the smart way, you know?”

Edreys and Caferro also hope to take “The Art of Hip-Hop” on the road, and plans are afoot to turn the festival into a nonprofit organization.

“It’s so badly needed right now,” says Edreys. “Buffalo schools, like schools in so many other cities, are really challenged as far as art and music program funding.

“It might be really difficult to display on a flow chart the positive effect that involvement in music and art has on kids. But you just know that it does. It gives them something to believe in, it teaches them to respect themselves, it helps them stay focused and out of trouble.

“That’s what it did for me. I only hope I can pass that on.”

jmiers@buffnews.com Check Edreys out at www.myspace.com/edreysmusic - The Buffalo News


Buffalo, N.Y., isn't exactly a music mecca, but that hasn't fazed rapper Edreys: He's a main attraction unto himself. He's worked as a producer and lyricist, solo and with groups like Soulive and Raw Intel. In fact, the latter was signed to Elektra earlier this decade and had four tracks featured on videogame "ESPN NFL 2K5." In 2002, Velour Records released a 12-inch from his previous group MEKA 54, produced by Soulive drummer Alan Evans. Edreys manned the decks for tracks featured in "Farce of the Penguin," HBO's "Unscripted" and Lifetime movie "Officer Down."

His forthcoming record, tentatively titled "Good Morning, Amy," however, will be his first solo album. "Every Sunday morning at 7 o'clock, my boys Brian Anderson, T1X and I would powwow at this joint called Amy's Place. It's a place where we think of how to take the music to the next level," says the artist, who was born Edreys Wajed.

The set's first official single, "I Like It," has been picked up for digital distribution by the Orchard and will be featured on the Yahoo Music Hit List for five weeks starting March 21, with a video to match.

Additionally, Edreys is trying to make a play as an active live performer. He's opened for the likes of Craig David, Ghostface Killah, Slum Village and Premiere, and will try to earn himself a crossover crowd with select dates on the Vans Warped tour this summer.

"I write digestible music, stuff that's good for any different crowd. I'm not trying to make the club hit or the jewelry song or the song about ho's. I don't use profanity and I don't talk about guns or murder unless I'm reflecting a story," he says. "People seem to identify hip-hop as all these things, but I'm out to make universal music. It's intended for everyone." He also plans to move to New York City once a plan for rolling out his album has been established.

When he hasn't been busy with music, Edreys has established himself as a graphic artist and painter. He set up Gallery 51 in Buffalo a few years ago, featuring high-end stationery and his own prints, plus works by other local artists. He's also been an active contributor to the Albright-Knox Gallery for contemporary art and is trying to secure a sponsorship for his music from Sakura art supplies. - Billboard Magazine


Tell us a little bit about yourself...

My name is Edreys, and with no shame I am the most talented person that I know. There are others that are super talented, but know one can do or be Edreys. Everything about me is absolutely me, nothing borrowed or stolen, and my approach to my music reflects that uniqueness. I'm an emcee and a producer with an artist's eye and artistic abilities, so everything I do has a creative touch. I'm not sure if where I'm from is super important, but if you must know, I'm from a place where many great careers were made by the likes of Jim Kelly, Bob McCadoo, Thurman Thomas, OJ Simpson, Rick James, Goo Goo Dolls etc.

How would you describe your sound?

Lyrically, my delivery is serious in tone, yet easy on the listener, almost like that of a narrator, best described as where "intelligence meets the streets" hence the moniker "The Sidewalk Scholar." I'm universal in my thinking, so my topics range vastly, and emotions can shift between songs convincingly. Whether spitting heavy battle rhymes or life's issues, my diversity enables me to touch various demographics. Musically, my beats perfectly compliment me, from samples to straight up original playing, its hip hop refined and re-defined by me and for me.

Who are some of your favorite music artists and why?

Emcees: Rakim, Big Daddy, ll Cool J, Lil Rodney Cee and KK Rockwell to Common, Tribe Called Quest, P.E. to Nas, Jay-Z, Kanye, as well as Slum Village.

Rakim flipped the game with the slow, no joke, knowledge flow. Big Daddy established ill punchlines, Double Trouble could rock a pary live. LL is a legend; his diversity to battle and love the ladies gave him longevity. Common stuck to his guns and repped hip hop, Tribe is legendary in sound and unique material, P.E. hardcore, serious sound, urgent rebel music. Nas is a narrator, Hov is ever the business man and emcee, Kanye's ego and confidence, Slum Village and Dilla for knowing how to put together an entire classic album.

edreys-n-liza1.jpg

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from three directions:

1) Most times music predicts what I will say or write. Its that beat that talks to me and the words just come.

2) Life situations play a big part. I'm a narrator, the Sidewalk Scholar, I watch from the steps and report what i see and read about and give it to the people like a mirror so we can see how we are all a part of all that is going on.

3) My creative mind likes to throw twists and plots in there sometimes.

How would you describe your sense of style when it comes to fashion?

Fashion for me is whatever anyone else isnt doing. When I shop, i ask "So how are these selling?" If they reply "Yo...they are selling like crazy" then i'm off to the next item...I dont want it. I shop for what people dont have or dont wear. Those are the things that look best on me. Ima plain cat who has the swag to make the ordinary into extra-ordinary. straight up. Real loose, kick it gear flipped to look ill.

Anything new on the horizon?

Working on the finishing touches for a video called "I Like It" along with an exclusive limited edition 7" vinyl 45 record with A and B sides. Setting up a tour in Europe and come back into the States. We are finishing the album as we speak to have that out in 2008. Great things on the horizon, life is good! Check out www.Deepthinka.com and www.myspace.com/edreysmusic

Thanks for chatting with us!

Thank you for taking the time to read my long responses, but it's worth getting to know me. Peace.

Visit www.myspace.com/edreysmusic. - Groove Effect


Edreys (pronounced E-Drease) translates into the “one who masters the pen”. Does the rising rapper/producer live up to the definition? You be the judge. His solo album, The Expensive Hobby, is scheduled to drop in spring of 2008, a precise time for a hungry artist to showcase his expertise to the judgmental and simultaneously thirsty world of hip-hop music. Buffalo may be snowed in this winter but the talent of The Sidewalk Scholar is anything but under the radar. Aside from his rapid rise in hip-hop, Edreys has produced for television screens including Lifetime Television and HBO. If that’s not enough to get your attention, an additional four tracks from The Sidewalk Scholar made it to ESPN’s NFL 2K5. He is moving quickly and Nobodysmiling.com is catching up swiftly. We sat down with Edreys to discuss The Expensive Hobby, creation of classic music and his quest as a street reporter.


Edreys quote Nobodysmiling.com : Please introduce yourself to the people.

Edreys : I’m from Buffalo, N.Y. Very diverse cat. I’m an artist…anything that has to do with art. Writer, production as well as visual arts. All those three things I combine are me. That’s what makes me unique.

Nobodysmiling.com : What kind of visual art do you create?

Edreys : I do a lot of pen and ink; a lot of acrylic painting. I do some portraits but it’s really an eclectic style that reflects my music. They all go hand-in-hand for me. From the production to colorful music that I do, to the way I write. All those things work mechanically the same way for me. And that’s what it is, creativity. I’m a very creative person.

Nobodysmiling.com : What separates you from other hip-hop artists?

Edreys : It’s a couple of things, actually. One I would probably say is my diversity. I am able to do story-telling. Convincingly do some really engaging story-telling from the beginning to middle to end. Also, I think my voice and my delivery is very unique in itself – I don’t sound like anybody. Production-wise, my voice, the way I write, all those things engage in each other. My production, I really can’t say it sounds like someone else’s either. I do some sampling but as of lately, I’ve been really just playing a lot; really discovering that I can actually play *laughs*. I don’t really find myself getting trapped in any particular vain of hip-hop. I’m just really into doing good music so in that way, it can touch many people.

Nobodysmiling.com : How do you define “good music”?

Edreys : Maybe I shouldn’t say good music…let’s say classic. I don’t make music for a particular period of time. Whatever’s hot now I’m not gonna switch over and do that just because it’s hot now. The industry and the audience change so quickly. I’m really focused on making timeless music; that’s what the greats do. The greats don’t focus on what’s hot and appropriate right now. They look inside of themselves and they draw out as an artist what’s gonna capture a picture from their mind and where they were in that particular moment and not where the industry was at that particular time. That’s what I mean by good music or classic music. You can put it on now, or five years from now and be like ‘Damn I remember where I was now, I was washing dishes when I first heard this song’. That’s what I try to accomplish…

Nobodysmiling.com : Music that has longevity?

Edreys : Definitely.

Nobodysmiling.com : There are different styles found in your music that can be associated with artists such as Nas, Little Brother and J-Live. Who are your influences?

Edreys : I can say Nas to a certain degree. But my influences production-wise go back to a lot of musicians. James Brown was a heavy influence on me musically; a lot of jazz artists. That’s what I’m influenced by. They make timeless music, like you said, with longevity. Lyrically, I have to draw back to Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, EPMD, and the current artists I’d probably say - not influenced by but inspired by - are Nas, Common… And I love Freeway and Ghost. Right now, Freeway and Ghost are crazy for me. I love their creativity, where they come from, their perspective and their energy. Both of their projects are in my computer right now that I kind of check out on the daily.

Nobodysmiling.com : Other than artists, what influences you?

Edreys : Life. Even the industry changes so life constantly changes and how can you not be influenced by it? I’m inspired by life issues, by social issues -

Nobodysmiling.com : Such as which?

Edreys : Sometimes I go by the moniker called The Sidewalk Scholar. And The Sidewalk Scholar pretty much is…I’m a writer and I write from the street perspective. I’m not out there hustling, I’m not out there in the block, I’m not out there getting women pregnant. I feel like I’m able to convey what’s going on and I kind of throw a mirror to society. Like this is what we’re doing to ourselves, this is what’s going on, this is what’s happening. Not that they don’t know it but I’m able to do it in a way that it’s not offensive and it’s not pressuring and it’s not preachy at all. I’m like a reporter. A reporter goes out in the field. You know what’s going on but they bring it to you via camera and via audio and you’re captivated like ‘Wow, I didn’t know that’. Or you can put a different spin on it. So that’s what really influences me. I feel like I have to be a leader in a sense. People don’t really understand how heavy the music can influence the mind, influence a person’s decision, and I do realize that seriousness. That’s what I try to do through my music – to inspire folks. That’s what music should be in a sense, an escapism; but not a misleading escapism.

Nobodysmiling.com : Tell us about your new album. Run it down for us, the release date, production, lyrical expectations, features and theme (if there is one).

Edreys : We don’t have a release date yet but it will probably be April/May 2008; that’s the ballpark. The overall theme – it’s a tentative title – is The Expensive Hobby. Everyone has some sort of hobby, something that they do and they’re coming out of their pockets for it, and they just enjoy and they love doing. Whether it’s beneficial to them or detrimental to them. So The Expensive Hobby strictly aims at that; that’s why I like that title. Because truly, anybody who’s been doing it for any number of years and until you’re at a Ludacris, until you’re at a Nas, until you’re at a Jay-Z level - you can go on and name them - it’s an expensive hobby for you because it has not paid off for you yet... in a sense that you’re able to eat off of it. So I think a lot of people can relate to that. You can talk about people who love gambling and playing lotto tickets. That’s an expensive hobby but they like it. So that title goes across the board because I feel that everybody is gonna relate to that. That’s why I call it The Expensive Hobby because this is something that I really enjoy doing but I’m doing it with the premise to break some bread and really make this a life-style for myself.

Musically, earlier on when I first started this album I had some samples here and there; but now I’m kind of going a different route with it. It’s still very hip-hop but it’s almost like an electric sound. It has a bit of old-school but it has a little futuristic sound to it. It’s kind of up-tempo. There’s some very deep story-telling in it, some emotional stuff. I have a song called “DUI”, called dumb under the influence. I could do a hook but I’m doing my Rakim; that’s like an ode to Rakim when he did “Microphone Fiend”. That influenced me like ‘Wow that joint didn’t have a hook’. So lyrically, you can expect true MC lyrical prowess down to great song writing and almost some novel-like writing where you can sit down and actually absorb some album material as well as some good singles. There are no features right now, I’m being very selfish with it *laughs*. Not to say there won’t be any but it’s not looking like there’s gonna be any right now.

Nobodysmiling.com : This is your first official album?

Edreys : This is my first official solo album, yes.

Nobodysmiling.com : How are you planning to market and promote it? Is there a target audience?

Edreys : We’re working on the team right now for the marketing; that’s the difficult thing. The thing for me is, I think a lot of people – a lot of industry itself – have glazed over a lot of professionals, people that go to work for a living and they have children, and they just want some good music. They can’t listen to the radio and they don’t want their children singing these persuasive songs and they want to be able to still be engaged and involved and in-the-know of hip-hop, and at the same time be able to play it around people so they won’t be…not embarrassed, but not feel comfortable playing. I don’t use any profanity in my lyrics and that’s by choice. I think my vocabulary and my wit and all those things play together so I don’t even have to use it; and it’s not in my character, it’s not something that I walk around with. I don’t walk around using it every-day so it’s not difficult for me; that’s how my rhymes come out too. So in that aspect, I don’t have to make apologies for folks and all that stuff…

But to get back to your question, marketing-wise we’re still working on that but that’s gonna be one of the targets, the bracket of professionals. You’re talking white, black, whatever. There’s a professional age group that feels that there’s no hip-hop for them.

Nobodysmiling.com : You’ve produced for TV screens – how did you get into that?

Edreys : There’s been a couple features on Lifetime Television, there’s some on HBO. We had a nice joint on ESPN’s feature video game, NFL 2K5. Yeah, the TV thing I would love to get more into. A lot of people want to be the star and that’s not really my goal. I’m not doing this for selfish reasons of ‘Oh I want to be Jay-Z’ or ‘I want to be Nas’. It’s great that those guys work hard to be where they are; but there are this many people that you will ever read about that are doing very well in the industry musically because they’re writing songs, like you said, for TV, for movies…so I’m not limiting myself to just trying to be this guy who has this big dream of being known and having to wear sunglasses everywhere I go *laughs*. I truly don’t care about that; if it gets me to that point, that’s awesome but that’s not my drive.

Nobodysmiling.com : How did you start getting your music out?

Edreys : Dre, the guy who manages me right now, he’s in New York City and New York City is eight hours away from where I live. So he’s able to be up in people’s faces. We talk all the time, ‘You know what, let’s try this’. We’re always looking at different options, different ways…You can’t always make it through the front door so you got to find a window that’s open. You gotta slide down ropes and crash windows and come through the back door. He just dug deep, he found a lead, somebody was looking for some music…and so we just reached out to them for the licensing, for the music and we just kept going that way. We were so tired of knocking on Major’s doors – we literally tried about six or seven different labels, Major labels, just doing the regular thing, shopping the demo. We’re like ‘You know what? There’s better ways out here to really get it going, let’s stop wasting our energy on that’. And right now we’re going Indie, we’re on Deep Thinka Records. So that’s where we’re going now, we’re going with the Indie. It makes me a little more flexible, I don’t have to play these games of ‘Yo, you need a single that sounds like this’. They let me do me.

To stay focused on your question, I have a great team of folks and we always just brainstorm. ‘What’s another way to do this?’ There’s more than one way to get in. So I’m very thankful for the Lifetime and HBO stuff and I want to continue going that way. TV is huge. 300 channels, somebody gotta bite for one *laughs*.

Nobodysmiling.com : Where is your focus now – on TV/big screen production or the promotion of your new album – or can you do both?

Edreys : The promotion of the album is…I’m gonna’ do what’s necessary, be wherever I have to be…because that’s a big part of it, my availability to do that. Which I’m putting my heart into everything that I’m doing, the writing and production so that just comes with the territory so I’m ready to do that. And as far as the TV thing, I think it can go simultaneously. That’s where the team comes in. My team is great, all I need to do is put up my product. I was up at 6 o’clock in the morning recording ‘cause that’s what I gotta do. I had to wash mad dishes after, I HATE washing dishes. Rappers too have to wash dishes *laughs*.

Nobodysmiling.com : Hey, you gotta’ do what you gotta do.

Edreys : *laughs*. So I’ve been up. I do what’s necessary. If it takes me 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock in the morning to complete something, then I’m doing it. My thing is to complete the product and then let my team run and do what they do best. That’s what makes us successful – everybody plays their position.

Nobodysmiling.com : Did I miss anything?

Edreys : I think that’s pretty much it, man. I think you’re asking great questions. I hope I answered them right…

Nobodysmiling.com : Perfect. As we anticipate The Expensive Hobby, folks can check out your talented art-work at www.edreys.com. - Nobody Smiling


I consider you a creative soul, was this creativity something you had to nurture or was it something that came natural to you?

Definitely came natural to me. I used to neglect it and not give it much attention when I was younger because everything came to me so easy. I thought that everyone could do the things that I did.

It took a long time to realize that not everyone was equipped to do the things I could do. But with anything it has to be nurtured in order for you to master it and ascend higher.

"To whom much is given, much is expected." So I have to wear many hats and work very hard.

How hard is it to have an impact in Hip-Hop today?

Everyone is doing it right now. It’s like the fastest growing DIY phenomenon, its ridiculous really. Basically, its like hitting the Lotto right now.

Talent has nothing to do with notoriety today. Nothing. There is no system in place to weed out the fake, the weak,the lame etc.

Back in the day, you had to earn your stripes man to man, or show and prove your worth. Today, your worth is determined by how many people viewed your "spoof" or home video tippy-tap-toe dancing' nonsense on Youtube.

We have all these artificial portals where people can become who they want and do what they want with no system of balance in place to say, "you know what..? you're quite lacking in skill...you belong much lower on the totem. Fall back! Let the pros do this."

There are so many talented cats out there, and some, the world will never hear of. Like Jadakiss said, "Why is there a cat upstate better than Jordan that ain’t get that break?"

Big Up to Kanye, but there are so many other Kanye's that won’t see the level of success that he has. So, I say it’s very difficult to make an impact, and even harder to have a lasting impact since there is so many biters too.
Do you want to be seen as a role model?

Yes I do, but more than a role model, I’m much more interested in being an inspiration.

I get much more from the feeling of being an inspiration to someone to see or find the good in themselves in all of their uniqueness, than to aspire to be ME! No man is perfect or without flaw, but yes, I am comfortable with carrying that load.

If you are a responsible and accountable individual, why wouldn’t you want to be a role model. I have always stood alone and never followed and I am happy because of that.

These kids today need role models. Right now their role models are BET, name any magazine, and people in their hood whom they consider to have it going on.

How about 20 Million a film..thats what you call having it going on. I am talking about Will Smith. As Fresh Prince, some say he was corny, but he ALWAYS stayed true to himself.

So for me, he is a role model for me. Plus I have two boys myself. So I have no choice but to take on the role model hat throughout the rest of my life.

Give us some insight as to what you are working with when it comes to your new album.

The album is coming together beautifully. I'm in the zone and riding the wave. The songs really write themselves.

My faith in the creative source, the infinite intelligence makes the process easy. Whatever you want to call God, that’s who I make room for when I’m creating. It's so easy the way the songs come from me making the beat to writing to recording.

There is only one song out of say like 30+ songs that I have been sitting on. Only like 5 people heard it, because the song is such a hit, but so strange that i cant give it until its time.

But otherwise, I make them and share them with my people. Not to like it or dislike it...but just to share. I don’t care who likes it, because I'm sure that there are millions of people out there on my vibe and level that would relate immediately, we just have to find each other. Beat wise, its very diverse. Some hard street records on which I always narrate my street tales of consequence, deceit, decision making etc. Then there are the life tracks where I kick it about life and what we should get out of it.

Then the straight spitting tracks, where no one can touch me lyrically, ya know..talkin trash. Then, lately there have been the future sounding joints.

Synths, ill bass lines and Clavinets and ugly tech drums. Its rounded and yet, still cohesively Edreys!

What will, in your estimation, make this album a success?

The one success is getting it out of my head and out of the studio.

One must understand the industry and I'm talking more than just the business, what's hot, fashion etc. I'm talking about, as a hip-hop addict, someone invested in and understands the foundation of hip hop...you must understand that part of it.

Its like a farmer must be able to read the clouds, the stars, the animals, the bugs and the seasons in order for him/her to know when to plant seeds, what he'll be able to yield from what crop etc.

One must be sensitive to the pulse of music. I have my finger on the pulse of music! I know there is always a season for everything, so to answer your question, I'm going to hit an artery...and its going to bleed, heavily.

It will be beyond anything I could estimate. So, minimally in success, nothing less than worldwide acclaim, longevity, inspiration and impacting lives.

Do you as a lyricist feel that you are being betrayed by Hip-hop with the more corporate route it is taking today?

Honestly, I don’t take any of what’s going on too personally. And every man and woman must be honest about the situation.

We speak of integrity and morals and such, but if an underground artist was offered the advances, the success, the boom, the exposure of some of the cats I wont bother to name...C’mon, the meal on the table may start smelling real good if your plate at home got dust and leftovers on it. So I understand the game.

I know why these cats do what they do and that its a job at the end of the day, but personally, I want to do things my way and not compromise the standard of my music.

Like if a label told me to make a song, a hot song about how dope the sandals on my feet are and make a dance up called the Spongebob,,,I guess I'll be starving...I couldn’t do it...But like I said, I understand.

What is your first memory of hip-hop?

First memory of Hip-Hop, as cliché as it may seem was hearing Sugar Hill. My parents weren’t really up on the emerging sound of hip hop, but I remember the song coming on the radio, and I was like WOW! I gotta have that record.

My mom bought that record and the hair brush was in my hand and I was rapping in the mirror ever since.

Do you see the music as more influential than people ever envisioned?

If you are talking about Hip Hop, the answer is yes. The fact that it once was just this thing that pretty much was popular in NY, and now it translates to people around the world that don’t even speak English, but they love the music...that’s huge.

Also, the fact that large corporations McDonalds, Apple, Gap etc are using hip hop to do the talking for them...c’mon, who would a thought.
People never looked to rock stars and even punk stars as role models why is it that the world appears to turn to Hip-Hop icons as role models and is quick to condemn them when they act the fool?

Rock stars glamorized death and darkness, and the drug high life, which def influenced generations of white kids, but black kids weren’t affected much, now hip hop glamorizes fortune, violence, sex etc and its just so much more attractive to the masses.

It's not just the black kids, its the Asian, the white, Hispanic etc. The influence is so much more broad, and impacting, so once its starts hitting other demographics other than black, then I think the red flags go up, like ‘oh..this is an issue.’

Then the rappers become responsible for every child’s behavior. That’s the best way I can explain it really.

Does this make your job harder today as an MC?

No. Makes me think further outside the box. What way can I say things intelligence and still have the sound that they are comfortable with so they can digest it. I like the challenge. - Female First


A couple weeks ago my buddy Tone X over at DeepThinka Records sent me a link to one of his artist’s latest videos. The artist was Edreys and the video was for "DUI (Dumb Under The Influence)." I was instantly impressed with Edreys’ skills on the mic and the video was a great homage to the classic Hip-Hop film Krush Groove. “DUI” was so brilliant, in fact, that I had to know more, so I hit up Tone who put me in touch with Edreys. This week I sat down with Edreys to discuss the video, his very interesting history in music, and in what way you can literally see what he’s saying.

Adam Bernard: First off, let everyone know who you are and where you’re from.
Edreys: My name is Edreys, pronounced E-Drease, like "grease." Born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo, New York, and schooled here as well. I graduated from one of the top high schools in the United States today, City Honors High School. I like to add that in because I think it's cool to be smart (laughs), so you won't hear any tales of how my dad left me and how I fell victim to the streets and served a bid. Fact - Yes, I was raised in the hood, grimy, and contrary to my earlier statement, my dad was NOT around, BUT I was fortunate enough to rise above the trouble, the guns, the drugs, the ignorance, etc.

Adam Bernard: I hear you also have a vast musical history. Talk to me about it.
Edreys: One of the groups that I was involved with that made a little ripple in the pond, so to speak, was called Raw Intelligence. The founding member Trevor (Trev Thorne) was the producer and I was the emcee, with the likeness of Guru and DJ Premier or Pete Rock and CL Smooth, except Trev rapped too. Raw Intelligence dropped three albums: Universal Law, F.E.E.L. (For Ears of Educated Listeners) and Raw Intelligence. Before Raw Intelligence I was an emcee in a live band called The Elements. We produced three albums independently on some real basement, underground, organic vibes. The two musicians from that group, brothers Alan and Neal Evans have since gone on to greater achievement by forming a band called Soulive. As The Elements I believe we created about four albums, once again, very under the radar, especially since this is like the beginning of when I started taking it seriously.

Adam Bernard: Now solo, you recently released a “no-budget” video for “DUI (Dumb Under The Influence).” What were some of the most creative things you had to do to make this happen?
Edreys: The video was Tone X's idea, a nod to the legends, LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Rick Ruben etc., so some of the most creative things were how we created the set to resemble that of the Krush Groove set with no more than what was already in the office. Also, we had to pull the studio mic out of the studio, raise it as high in the air as we could and use it as a boom mic. It’s in the shot, but it's difficult to see, and I won’t tell you where it is either, but it’s definitely in the shot. The ironic part is when I enter the room I have a disc in my hand and throw it on the table after they diss me, but here is the kicker, I tell my man to play the BOX and he presses the play button on the tape deck. So why I didn’t walk in there with a tape cassette in my hand (laughs)… talk to the director.

Adam Bernard: Why did you go with that scene from the film?
Edreys: When Tone X hipped me to the concept I loved it because it was definitely the most memorable part of the movie for me. LL Cool J at the time was hardly off the ground as the Def Jam lead off artist, but when he busted into the auditions unannounced, that was just so hardcore. He had his two boys with him and was like "Box." It was like "I'm going to rap anyway and go for mine" and that attitude always stuck in my memory, so to portray LL in our production just made so much sense, especially in light of the fact that DeepThinka is now re-branding itself and I'm the lead off artist for DTR now.

Adam Bernard: Now explain to all the readers out there what being “Dumb Under the Influence” means.
Edreys: “DUI (Dumb Under The Influence)” is a play obviously on Driving Under the Influence, in which a person’s judgment is impaired. With today’s bubble gum music, stale bubble gum actually, and the way it’s force fed to people through marketing and airplay, it’s causing people’s judgment to be impaired. You hear a song, know its wack, and a month later you're like "yo, it ain't so bad really. I like the beat." NO! Wack is wack. The influence of the machine is so auto-suggestive, it'll have grown people singing and dancing as silly as their children. People have sipped, swigged or guzzled the mass marketed and manufactured Dumb Juice, hence Dumb Under the Influence.

Adam Bernard: Finally, what do you offer to listeners that no other emcee does?
Edreys: I’m universally accepted and palatable from the streets to the universities. My range is more diverse than any emcee. Many emcees are, or have generally been, stronger in one area than in another, but I can tell a story, a touching story, a mystery, etc. with the same effectiveness that I can spit a verse to make a dude stop rapping for good. Like I said, "from the streets to the universities." I'm also more than a triple threat. Not only do I produce, write and perform my own material, I am also a visual artist. My visual art and my music share the same stage and platform, so when I ask "do you see what I'm sayin?” it really means do you see what I’m saying, because my music visually paints pictures in the listeners minds and my artwork also speaks. And how many emcees can brag that their art is dope enough to be found in restaurants? - Adam B's World


Local hip hop artist Edreys Wajed has been working hard at making a name for himself, and that work is starting to pay off. Edreys was featured in the “Now Hear This” section of Billboard Magazine's March 22 issue and the video for his song “I Like It” is being featured by BET.

Edreys said he was very excited about being featured in the magazine. “I ran right out to Barnes and Noble and they didn't have it yet. So I went over to Borders and they only had three copies, so I bought all three copies. You know, one for my mom, my dad.”

While his music is the product, Edreys acknowledges his agent Andre Howard for exposing him to the right people. Howard, who works with Media Music in New York City helped get the piece in Billboard. He also got everything set for the video for “I Like It.”

Edreys didn't expect “I Like It” to be a single, but is excited about the hype it's gathering. “That's phenomenal. It's actually pretty magical, man. When we recorded we didn't have any intention of releasing 'I Like It.' Our agent was traveling with a guy who was documenting Pharoahe Monch's tour. He was like, "I really like this 'I Like It' song lemme give it a treatment," and we were like, "Whatever man, go ahead." A couple of weeks later we went down to New York and shot it.” While they didn't initially know what to do with it, they were able to generate buzz through YouTube, and now it's being featured on BET's Ya Heard? -- a site for videos by independent artists.

Warped Tour, an annual concert festival that tours the country each year, has been expanding its usual punk and hardcore offerings to include more hip hop. Edreys will be on this years tour for several dates including the Buffalo show on July 24, and hopes to expand his fan base. “I think it's a good thing for all independent artists. The Warped crowd is usually the skateboarders and hipsters, and my music is pretty broad demographically.”

You can support Edreys by buying a t-shirt of his or a limited edition 7" vinyl. As an established graphic artist and painter, Edreys is a very prolific artist. More information can be found at Edreys blog, also at http://www.edreysmusic.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/edreysmusic - Buffalo Rising


This is the mixtape I've been waiting for - and for a long time at that. In fact, it has nothing to do with the artist Edreys (pronounced "E-Drease") but more to do with the selection of beats - straight CLASSICS! It helps that the MC is really rather bloody good. This review will be devoid of any clever shit, as I'm buzzing off this mixtape too much, so let us get into it quick sharp…

So take one wicked MC, throw him over a bunch of truly legendary beats, and watch him do his thing. The only real negative I can come up with about "Classics" is that it is apparently "mixed" by DJ Lo Pro - this really isn't mixed, and is actually quite poorly put-together in places. Aside from that, there is so much gold to mine from just an hour - and so many memories to be evoked. I'm talking "Children's Story" and "Warm It Up, Kane." I'm talking "Ain't No Half-Steppin'" and "Paid In Full." Even ones like "Public Enemy No.1" which you may have forgotten about, and just make you let off an internal "Oh shit!" - those kinds of beats.

What's more is that with that level of instrumentation underneath Edreys' sneaks, you're positively waiting for him to screw up - he doesn't give you the satisfaction. Line after line of dopeness: punchlines, kicklines, stories, re-interpretations, he can ride over most of the tracks flawlessly. Perhaps his voice isn't immediately identifiable, but everything else is. More than anything, however, he is EXCITING. Sure, a bit judgmental, but you will sit up and take notice. Edreys is an MC that takes his art seriously, and one hopes that he can kick on from this and construct a great album - riding over classic beats is one thing, but CREATING classic beats is another.

I'm not the biggest fan of mixtapes - they either have to be expertly constructed (e.g. DJ Green Lantern's stunning work on Nas' "The Nigger Tape") or just hijack straight FIRE beats. This one belongs to the latter, and foregoes modern music in favour of tried and trusted beats with twenty years of vintage. I'm not sure if anyone has done it like this before, and it would only really work with an MC that truly loves that 1988 vibe - it never sounds disingenuous, and Edreys does a magnificent and innovative job from start to finish. I never give mixtapes Classic rating (9.0 or more) - unless they only comprise of original music - but this is one that has run the closest thus far. I just hope he hasn't set the bar too high for his forthcoming debut album "Good Morning Amy." Safe to say I'll be copping that, and you shouldn't hesitate about picking this up pronto.

Music Vibes: 8.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10 - RapReviews.com


In this week’s edition of Ear 2 The Streets we’re keeping it in New York but not the New York that you’re thinking of. There’s no Times Square, dirty water dogs, or Hot 97. We’re talking about Buffalo. Many might think that the talent is limited but one man is doing his thing hard body. His name is Edreys and he gets the Sixshot.Com and Jonny Boy co-sign. Talented as a producer and rapper this non foul-mouthed MC is the wave of the future. Remember where you heard it.

Sixshot.Com: Sup man, what's good?

Edreys: I'm good. Every day is special and I'm able to smile.

Sixshot.Com: So what was it like coming up in Buffalo?

Edreys: Man, I really don't know how to answer that question without being long-winded. As a kid I remember Buffalo having a lot of pride. There were professional basketball teams, football and hockey teams that we all cheered for. You could see Rick James hanging out at some of the summer festivals. People pretty much had decent jobs, automotive, banking, teaching or some sort of industrial work. That's the Buffalo that I remember.

Even though we lived in the economically challenged part of city, the ghetto, the hood or whatever you choose to call it, where a lot of things we're afford to us, Buffalo and it's people still had pride. My mother made sure she exposed us to other thin gs like visiting universities, art galleries, art shows, festivals, etc. outside of where we lived and it was THAT which allowed our child-like minds to grow and explore for more. But the Buffalo of today, there isn't much pride about it.

We would like to think that the city is currently in an upstroke, but yet, the jobs are declining rapidly. It's a severely divided and segregated city. Education is suffering with alarming literacy rates and our kids are failing. We witness the same crime and violence as many other cities. It's been ranked nationally as the 2nd poorest city. Buffalo is a hot spot for cancer and HIV. No Super Bowl. No Stanley Cup. Snowfall in April. Buffalo is an interesting place to say the least. Despite all of that, there are some special things about the city, which make it hard for its people to give up on it. It's a strange love-hate relationship.

Sixshot.Com: Upstate has never been a hotbed but I feel like there are some good artists coming out of there lately. What do you think?

Edreys: Definitely some good talent in Upstate, no doubt about that. I can only speak about Buffalo personally, which in itself has never, ever been strapped for talent. Whether rock, jazz, folk or hip-hop, you name it, there are some incredibly talented artists here. Now here's the catch. The ones that stay here have to face the fact that it's not a hotbed and there are no major industry outlets, so the talent goes unheard and unrewarded most times.

The talents that do become successful each have one thing in common, they had to leave Buffalo. Very few of the successful ones come back to help make a difference so I applaud the ones that have. Plus, I can't mention talent in Upstate or Buffalo without mentioning myself, I just can't let that go unsaid, and I'm here to make a difference.

Sixshot.Com: You produce and rap. Do you prefer one to the other?

Edreys: No I don't prefer one to the other. I think they both have the same challenges. When you are in the zone, the beats come fast and the joints are crazy, same goes for the rhymes. But, at the same time, be prepared for the dry-spell for either of them. Fortunately the way it works for me is, I create the beat, and if it's hot enough, if it's bangin', the rhymes usually follow-suit immediately. So for me I see them as a whole, and don't really separate them.

Sixshot.Com: Are you happy with the response to "I Like It"?

Edreys: More than pleased with the response to "I Like It”. It wasn't supposed to be a single at all. I will say this though, that from the time I made the beat, to writing the rhyme, I knew I found the middle ground. It was weird, because I felt it was general enough not to be boxed in, but just seen as a good song lyrically and musically.

People who care about lyrics were able to appreciate what I was kickin' and the people who don't care at all about lyrical skills who just want a good beat were able to feel it too. The video producer/director Hezues Rodriguez had a vision that he pitched to us, and we let him run with it. Then once the video was completed, we loved the song even more since the visual product was so professional and well suited for the track.

Sixshot.Com: You don't use profanity in your music, why is that?

Edreys: I've always been a square. The guy who didn't mind standing alone for what he believed. My friends have always respected the fact that Edreys will be Edreys. So, the fact that I keep it curse free, that's just who I am. My music directly reflects me in my everyday walk. I don't curse, so it's not in the music. So it's not something I do as a gimmick, plus I am a person who really feels responsibility needs to be taken seriously.

Artists are always quick to say, "I'm not a role model. I'm not responsible for what influence I have a over the kids." Whereas I'm very concerned about the kids. I have two of my own to whom I am definitely a role model. So I'm mindful in that regard that I can prove and show confidently who is Edreys by being myself and expressing that musically.

Sixshot.Com: Tell us about Good Morning Amy.

Edreys: Good Morning Amy is a working title for the album I'm completing. Basically, my team and I meet everyone Sunday morning at a place called Amy's Place for breakfast and plan our strategy. So, when I wake up at 6:30 in the morning on Sunday for a 7 a.m. meeting, it’s like saying "Good Morning Amy!" For those involved, what it shows me is how dedicated and serious we all must be to meet each Sunday at that time. Plus, the morning symbolizes newness, a new start.

Sixshot.Com: You've been the opening act for some pretty big names. What were those experiences like?

Edreys: Nothing really exciting. Early on when I was starting out, I would have it fixed in my mind that who ever was the headliner, would be so impressed by my performance that I would get signed that way. Once I realized that fantasy was a waste of time, doing shows and opening for other acts was empty, because I truly feel that I'm better than most of them cats anyways. So, I don't have pictures standing next to stars and all that stuff from the shows I've done, because I have always seen myself as a success.

Sixshot.Com: You're also an artist, graphic and painting, right?

Edreys: Before music, it was written that I master the pen. That's the meaning of my name, Edreys. One who masters the pen or the scribe, so art was my first gift. I love drawing as much as I like creating music, and I'm happy that I'm finally able to put all my talents together and present myself as this unique artist/producer/emcee. The next video we're working on is called "Get Free" which will be an animated video fully drawn by myself. It's digitally directed and rendered by my man Rob at Lifeguard Productions in Rochester, NY. We keep it Upstate as much as possible.

Sixshot.Com: What happened with MEKA 54?

Edreys: It was just a 12" deal pretty much, and the label didn't really know how to go about marketing the product, for it was definitely in its own lane and different for the climate of music back then. The album was incredible though; it was produced completely by my man Alan Evans of Soulive. He's my best friend that I've known since like 3 years old. So we put my rhymes over his production and came up with that project. 54 is the school where we first met.

Sixshot.Com: You've also produced some tracks for television. What is that process like?

Edreys: It's interesting in regards to how the music is used. The tracks as you made them may be used in a different way than you intended. That's the cool part about it I guess. Having your work become a part of someone else's creative vision.

Sixshot.Com: With your style do you feel that you're going to appeal to a certain type of audience?

Edreys: Originally I wrote on paper that my audience would be the professional, educated, family oriented, male or female familiar with the old school music of the 80's since that's the music I most admire and just through conversation, discussion and study, that particular audience has been neglected in the music process. My music is intelligent, entertaining, clean, nostalgic and yet futuristic in a way. My approach is fresh, which by the way is the title of another video in the works being shot by the good people at Amilot Films in NYC. But, the "I Like It" video has shown us that, the appeal is much wider and younger than we thought and that we can't say exactly who it's going to appeal to. It'll make sense to who it needs to make sense with.

Sixshot.Com: How do you manage to keep your music so diverse?

Edreys: I don't get in the way of the process. I never sit down and say, "OK, today I'm working on this kind of track a hard, street joint." Or a club song, or a girl song, I just let the creativity flow. I experiment and see where it goes, that way it keeps it interesting for me. It's always something new, and repetition can be boring at times for me. So staying fresh and open-minded is staying diverse. I always keep in mind that my goal is to make good, classic music. Period.

Sixshot.Com: What projects do you have coming up that we can check for?

Edreys: We're always into some sort of planning, so the best thing to do is to watch. I guess the most immediate thing to mention is my tour in Spain. I'm packing right now as we speak. I'll be over there about a week. I'll be posting pics and video etc on my blog:
www.edreys.com. Otherwise I'll be focusing on the album to release it later this year.

Sixshot.Com: Anything you'd like to say to your fans out there?

Edreys: All I can say is thank you to the people that get it. The ones that get where I'm coming from and appreciate Edreys being a little different, noticing it and accepting it and seeing my music as pertinent and viable. Thanks to Sixshot and you Jay. Billy Drease Williams! - Six Shot


Edreys, born and raised in Buffalo, New York, created quite a buzz with his video on You Tube, with 300,000 views ‘I Like It’ in a month. Apparently he’s caught the attention of some label heads, so the future seems bright for this young MC who’s currently working on an album to be released in 2008. You should look out and buy a copy of his ‘D.U.I.’/'I Like It’ limited 45 now before they’re gone. Edreys will be on tour with Camp Lo and Prince Po in April and May, so if you’re a promoter or if you know someone who’s capable of putting up a show, get in touch and support real music.

The first track featured here is a nice breakbeat driven track with a sample you should be familiar with. The second is a remake of the classic Eric B and Rakim track, with new lyrics that take the track to a new level. - From Da Bricks


Discography

September 2009: "Good Morning Amy"

April 2009: "Good Evening Billy"

July 2008: "Classics"

2008: Ground-breaking Video "Get Free" featured on Youtube
2008: Single "Get Free" peaks at #3 on College/Internet Radio Charts
2008: Host of weekly mixshow podcast for Move-Radio.com
2008: Hosted the Grand Opening of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo NY
2008: Debut Video "I Like It" over 330k+ views on Youtube
2008: Featured Performer on 2008 Warped Tour Skull Candy Mix Stage
2008: 'Now Hear This' feature in Billboard Magazine
2008: Featured Artist of the Week on Myspace Music
2008: "I Like It" / "DUI" peaks at #4 on College/Internet Radio Charts
2008: First Hip Hop Artist to perform for WBFO Live Concert Series
2007: Coordinated and performed in highly acclaimed "The Art of Hip Hop 2"
2007: Lions Gate Movie: "Farce of the Penguins", Produced track for artist Flame
2007: First Place Winner - HOK Production Slam Poetry Contest
2006: HBO 'Unscripted' Reality Show, Produced track for artist Flame
2006: Lifetime Television Movie: "Officer Down", Co-Produced and wrote song for
outtake: "Gang Wars"
2005: 4 tracks placed on ESPN debut video game ESPN Football 2K5 (800k sold)
2004: Coordinated and performed in FIRST ever Hip-Hop event at the world
renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery "The Art of Hip Hop"
2004: Starred in Documentary by Ivan Rodriguez. "The Art of Hip Hop: A Short"
2002: 12" single with B side deal with Velour Records-NY/Red Ink Distribution
2002: Reebok Nationwide Radio Promotion for RBK product branding
2001: Buffalo Music Awards winner for "Best Hip Hop Producer"
2001: Recorded album with Alan Evans from Soulive as MEKA 54
1999: Buffalo Music Awards winner for "Best Hip Hop Artist"
1997: Recorded album as group (Raw Intelligence)
1996: Recorded 3 albums with live band currently named Soulive (Stax Records)
1995-1996: Recorded and co-produced album with NYC producer Cochise

Photos

Bio

Billy Drease Williams is a walking industry within himself: he produces, writes and performs his own music with noted awards and accomplishments. He is recognized for his visual artwork as well as his entrepreneurial spirit. BDW's accomplishments include being partner and co-founder of a non-profit organization, vice-president of a design company and CEO of the DTR45 indie label. His list of achievements reads like movie credits, his stage performance is electric and captivating, and his off stage personality is one of charm, leadership and respect.

Unlike his peers, Billy Drease Williams' talents and reputation aren’t paraded or distorted by grossly exaggerated street credibility, drug tales or prison time. Billy is quite the antithesis regarding the manner in which he has climbed the ranks and secured himself a place in the industry. Raised on the dilapidated East Side of Buffalo, NY, he faced the same challenges as other children from single-parent homes living amidst drugs, pregnancy, drop-outs, murder and crime. BDW made the tough decision of staying the straight course.

Accepted into the “gifted and talented” program at City Honors School in 5th grade, Billy's abilities were recognized and awarded very early on. After keeping his promise to his mother that he would first graduate from college before seriously pursuing his music career, the legacy known as Billy Drease Williams began to take form. From his achievements with former group Raw Intel, Best Buffalo Hip Hop Group and Best Hip Hop Producer awards in 1999 and 2001, 4 featured tracks on ESPN NFL 2K5 Football, to Myspace artist of the week spotlight, Yahoo! Launch Music features and Billboard Magazine artist highlight in March 2008. Edreys has proven his market viability all without a major record deal or extended marketing dollars.

So, “Who is Billy Drease Williams?” To experience his music is to accept and respect his brand of hustle: self-determination, inspiration and motivation for the active listener.