|Pictured above: Ill Bill Oldie saw a spider, for real.|
Will Oldham has gone by many names in his day. As an actor, Oldham has worked on everything from Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure to the Trapped in the Closet series that features R Kelly remodeling his many closets to allow him to step up his shoe game. As a musician, his earliest work was under the name Palace or Palace Brothers, before moving on to Bonnie Prince Billy. He has collaborated with everyone from Tortoise to Johnny Cash, and continues to cultivate an audience in town. His latest venture as the self-proclaimed Rap Messiah, sees Oldham take on even more identities, calling in to question issues of identity and self. We caught up with Oldham to talk to him about his many personalities, his love of Subway, and Red Skelton.
Never Nervous: So what can you tell us about your move to hip-hop?
WO: Yo I was with my man Rick Rubin working with old J Cash, you know, and he was like, “I bet you got some sick rhymes in your mind, my man.” And I was like, “Damn cousin, I already done crushed indie and alt-country, next Ima take on Kanye West. That video I did with my boy Zacky G for Yeezy was only the start of my hip-hop empire, son. Ima crush shit and go mad hard rhyming.” Old Ricky Rubs was like, “For real, for real? You gots to get it out there and go all the way hard with them fresh raps, B. I know some people that makes them hot beats and they can set up all that trap work you need to get way live, son.”
So like, I called up my man Tity Boi, aka 2Chainz, fresh offa laying code to cypher on that whack ass Nancy Grace. And Chainz was like, “Yo son, I got them beats to get you hard, cousin.” So he called up his boyz and we laid out some hot ass trap work, and I was like, “I can flow to this, namsayin’.” Ayo we blazed up, got bent, and flowed over some down ass tracks then hit up the Subway, cuz we eat all the way fresh, boi.
NN: How would you describe your new music to someone that hasn’t heard you?
WO: Ayo it’s ya boy Willy Olds, Ill Bill Oldie, Bonnie Prince Chilly. Ya want that hot shit, you know. Ya blast my new record “Then I See A Dankness” and melt ya face with my dope raps. Damn son, I’m on that Tity Boi tip, riding whips, and flipping scripts. On that real tho, I got some rhymes that’ll make them honeys mad horny yo, like sick trap beats, them chopped and screwed vocals, and all that sub-bass to make that booty drop, son. This ain’t music for yo Me-maw, cousin.
NN: Can you give us an example of your raps?
NN: How do you write? Is it different than how you worked under your previous monikers.
WO: Yo yo, I write hard, son. I lock myself in my rap dungeon and dig into it, you know. I gots like three pens and two typewriters down there that I just fuck up with my words n shit. Yo word is bond, so you know I’m the mad mack titan of Rap-Hop. Imma be Rap Messiah for life with these new rhymes, cousin, like all the way hard, for real for real. So like I write out words and like spit into my flip-phone recorder, then like let my boy Tity Boi hear that shit, you know. Then we like make hot ass beats together, where I’m all up in the corner smokin’ dro and getting dank, while mafuckers are all at the mixer punching out beats and bops. We be boppin’ for real, son.
Ayo, I write like mad same-ish for my Bonnie Prince Billy jams. I get out my flip-phone and make mad recordings of my guitar jams, then get with my boyz in the studio to lay it all out. But yo when Im in this mood, I hang up my mad dank tracksuits and just rep them trucker hats n shit, cousin. Cuz you get that job that you dress for n shit, for real, for real.
NN: What is your favorite food at Subway?
WO: Those meatball subs, son. It’s hot subs or no sons, boi. I gotta get that warm meat all the way in me you know, go wicked hard at sub eating. Get those black olives in there too, you kno. Fuck yo mama, boy, Subway knows they shit. Yo I once flipped a baby over to get at that Subway son, motherfuckas can’t hold me back from those $5 Foot Longs, baby. I gots to eat fresh or die tryin’.
NN: How do you feel about Cool Runnings?
WO: Son, I got mad love for Cool Runnings. Ya boyz went all in on that bobsled team, cousin, and smashed shit along the way. Yo that scene where they use they freeze ray to make ice tracks for they bobsled is mad wicked. Cuz for real Jamaica ain’t got no snow, which is why these boyz are bad ballers. Then later on that scene where there spirit animal Bob Marley teaches them the meaning of Christmas fucked me the fuck up.
NN: Have you ever seen a square turd? I swear I saw one in a Port-a-Potty once.
WO: Ayo, who among us hasn’t seen a square turd? I promise you that it will change your life. That first Palace album was built around a square turd, cousin. I was at the State Fair straight bouncing through the midway and that Subway kicked in something fierce, you know. My guts was on fire like a devil was trying to escape. I saw a darkness then, you know. I looked down and saw this weird square beast in the ground and knew that I’d seen the unseeable. Shit was mad weird yo, and reshaped my thinkin’ on the world n shit.
NN: Have you ever peed through the hole in your boxers, because you were to tired to drop your briefs?
WO: All the time, my man. Who’s got time to drop trou to piss? Ain’t nobody got time for that, you know. When I gots to piss, I gots to piss, playboy. All the way. I piss so hard sometimes knock loose some porcelain, and I ain’t about to even pretend to mess up these Hanes, cousin. I mean for real for real, I could be eating all that Subway, writing mad rhymes, or snuggling up to some Golden Girls on Netflix, boi, so why waste time pulling down ya draws you know.
NN: Have you ever confused the name Red Skelton with Red Skeleton? Did it frighten you to think of a man named after his bloody bones, or did it give you a sense of ease to know that we’re all skeletons on the inside?
WO: Shit son, I thought they was one and the same. Red Skelton mad whacky, son, and I catch his shit on TVLand Nick at Night all the time, cousin. I film that shit. But searsly I thought homie was bloodie bones wrapped in a skin suit, son. I thought homeboy was tryin’ to mack hard on all them honeys back in the day, but like as a skeleton ghost n shit, like he don’t even give a fuck that he dead, he just got to get at them honeys, son. For real it wildin’ me out that he ain’t a skeleton person brought back from the dead to mack hard for all time, and I do think about my bloody bones underneath my skin now and it freak me out that Imma have a skeleton in me for all time, you know. Like that shit may try to come out one night and still my Subway or hide my Netflix remote.
NN: Suppose you could morph into a Monster Truck. Where would you take out your fiery vengeance and why?
WO: Prolly to all them haters out there that tryin’ to shit on Subway, you know. Mafuckers think they know something cuz they put yoga pants in they food and shit, but searsly that shit is dope fresh, boy. Fuck Jared too. Cousin think he all that cuz he eatin’ them cold subs like a fucking chump, when I got nothing but love for that hot shit, son. Gotta get those meaty meats warmed up wit cheese melted on it and shit. It just make me mad, you know, that mafuckers have to bad mouth my boys at the Subway just tryin’ to represent hard that sub love.
NN: What non-musical things have you riled up?
WO: Yo mostly that Golden Girls, son. Those broads be buggin’ sometimes, you know. Blanche is my favorite on that real tip. She get all horny n shit when she peeps dude creepin’. Girlie getting that freak on and be all sassy n shit gets me going, you know. Shit is mad funny and I give props to them betties for being mad sassy til death n shit, going all the way hard in Florida like they all that.
NN: What have you been listening to lately and why?
WO: Ayo only the best for ya boy Ill Bill Oldie here. Tryin’ to cop that inspiration baby, so only listening to that E-A-Ski style shit, you know. Check this out and tell me you don’t want to go mad hard, rollin’ them windows down, n shit. You can’t. Cuz these mafuckers are all the way hard, playboy.