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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Hip Hop


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"Willis — The Understanding"

From the opening R&B samples and powerful horn section that triumphantly blasts the arrival of a new hero on the scene, Willis’ The Understanding perfectly captures the inner-city swagger of a blaxploitation movie icon. Strutting through these dirty streets like he is God almighty, Willis unashamedly kicks the doors in and sits at the head of the table. “Money” is the perfect anthem for his regime. “Before or after me, there’s none of a kind!” he boasts.

The yacht-rock backing track of “Baller on a Budget” is a guide to a lifestyle that Willis not only wants the listener to admire but emulate in every way, and it’s impossible to say no. “Up All Night” invites us to the VIP section, getting down with the ladies while “standing on sofas” and waiting for last call orders to come around. It’s a deliciously danceable wish-fulfillment that Willis is more than happy to grant.

Of course, with every good time, there is the eventual comedown. “Nowhere to Hide” is a dark foray into facing the penalty for one’s sins, while “Painkillers” is the retribution for ignoring them, a high-pitched wave of vocals mocking and taunting the abuse that’s coming on the horizon. But, thankfully, Willis and crew offer shreds of hope, especially with the beautifully insightful “Lessons from My Father” and the final track, “Rhyme + Reason,” wherein he proudly explains his reason for existence without any guilt or guile. It doesn’t matter what Willis is talking about; it just matters that you’re understanding it. — Louis Fowler - The Oklahoma Gazette

"In the Spotlight - Mike Willis"

At age 28, Michael Willis Jr. is like a high voltage shock to your musical senses. He is a singer, songwriter, and producer that yields his words at a master craft level. Willis serves up his own refreshing and distinct brand of Hip Hop and R+B as he navigates listeners like a time traveler through his own musical continuum. With awe inspiring talent that could make even the most cynical skeptic believe, he's is unquestionably one of the most gifted up and coming artists around. Born in Dallas, TX, Willis was raised in the baptist church. He began to sing in the church choir at age 9, and from there his love for music began to blossom. His father , Mike sr. was an avid music lover himself. His Fathers large album collection became the cornerstone for his musical influences. He says "Back when I was young, my home was filled with Stevie, The Jacksons, The Isleys, Zapp and then in the middle of all that I might find a Sting album, Earl Klugh album, or the soundtrack to the Untouchables". He would spend countless hours listening to the records and reading the lyrics printed inside the album covers. At age 13, he began writing his own original songs and freestyle battling with friends. After moving to Oklahoma City, he was taught by close friend the art of writing raps songs. With his newly found crew of MC's they set out to become Hip Hop superstars. From then on, he would carry his passion for music from his adolescence into his adulthood. Over the years he honed his talents into finely tuned skills to move audiences and captivate listeners. In 2005, After struggling to find studios and producers to work with, Willis began to record and produce his own material. The following year he began recording and producing for others. " I just got tired of having to wait for other people to contribute to my success," Says Willis "So I figured, why don't I just do some of this myself."
In 2006, Willis would come to learn more about production and recording from fellow local producers. Through a mutual friend, he met local producer, Scoot Beatz, who would help evolve and expand Willis' musical talents. After hearing a song Willis had wrote for a friend, Scoot Beatz decided to bring in Willis as a songwriter and A+R for his independent label, Grind Associates. Working with the artists at the label, he would spend countless hours helping rewrite songs and build concepts for other artists projects. He became a more well rounded lyricist and began to progress even more as a producer. After a tumultuous year, Grind Associates was no more., leaving the roster of artists and producers torn between what to do next. When things had begun Willis went into action and released Mixtape after Mixtape for local listeners. He would sell copies of his mixtapes at local 7-11, hair shop, and nightclub parking lots. After the positive feedback from his mixtapes began to mount up, Willis decided that he and his friends would leave for California to achieve greatness. Equipped with a 98 Chevy Malibu, $375, and some wishful thinking he and his friends set out for Hollywood. Though his fellow dream chasers would leave two months later, Willis would spend the next year and half struggling to maintain in Los Angeles. Finally in 2008, he decided to come back and continue to make music in his hometown.
Today, he has one of the most unique sounds of Oklahoma City's thriving hip hop scene. His style of rapping, singing, and production blends together like the perfectly smooth cocktail for the listener. Weaving an eclectic background of influences with a new age bounce, he is definitely primed to be a front runner for the next generation of great musicians. When asked what he felt he had to offer the music industry he says "I want my biggest contribution to be making music that lives on past this year or the next. I want to make timeless classics that stand through the ages.” - HipHopOklahoma.com


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members