Toledo artist Beverly Wills to perform on BETWritten by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
He’s a 21-year-old who dreamed of being a high school guidance counselor — and Hip-Hop pays his bills. Talk about an oxymoron.
If you knew Beverly Wills when he was just Brandon, you probably don’t talk to him very often today. The Toledo rapper says, “people don’t call and ask about my daughter or how my days went,” but are offended when he charges them for his musical services.
After performing all across Ohio and winning an Ohio Hip-Hop Award for Best New Artist, why would his services be free? Oh, yes, that’s right: you’re not allowed to take your craft seriously before you leave your city and become a national superstar.
And that’s single-handedly why most artists never leave their city and become national superstars.
Beverly Wills has come a long way from the kid who rapped in high school for fun, looking up to Ma$e because he looked like the urban kid’s dream: flashy, rich, a braggadocio and a ladies’ man. Nowadays, Wills is seeking more intangible measures, like his daughter’s affection, or seeing his music help people going through the same struggles he has survived.
Honesty is a quality too often lost in Hip-Hop, masked by desperate attempts at success through a make-believe life. But with his personal style of music, Beverly Wills says he “can’t rap about a Maybach because I don’t have one.”
It’s because of Beverly Wills’ ability to reach people through his dynamic personality and raw emotion that his popularity has grown, not only in Toledo, but internationally. Social networking plays a huge part in his success, garnering him “more attention from an ethernet card than pressing CDs.” A month ago, he learned he has fans in Croatia, who eagerly pass his music around. Hope he has a passport.
Never forgetting where he comes from, Beverly Wills’ new project is titled “T.O.L.E.D.O.,” an acronym for “This Opportunity Lets Every Demon Out.” This is his first true representation of himself, with completely original music and very personal lyrics. After trying to follow trends and only make club music, he is now only focused on being himself and showing the world that he’s more than just a “swagger rapper.” As the world will see very soon.
On Dec. 22, Beverly Wills will compete on the highest-rated television show on BET. “106 & Park’s Wild Out Wednesday” is a segment for artists to display their talent, then berated by a studio and at-home audience via text message. Wills says he expects to win, but “making it there speaks volumes.”
However, if he wins, to him it only means to “keep pushing.”
Beverly Wills understands what most artists don’t; a television appearance doesn’t guarantee success, and the bills come every month regardless. So while being on the show is an honor, it doesn’t put a recording contract in his hands. But that doesn’t mean he won’t need your support. Watch BET’s “106 & Park” on Dec. 22 and vote for him.