Falcons safety William “Willy Mo” Moore knows there have been so many athletes-turned-bad-rappers over the years that hip-hop fans instinctively roll their eyes at all such endeavors.
But Moore says he’s serious about his music and hopes listeners will keep an open mind before judging. Moore already has fans among Falcons teammates, especially in the corner of the locker room known as the ‘D block,’ where Moore is known to entertain on ‘Freestyle Fridays.’
We talked to Moore about his music.
Q. Have you been rapping for a long time?
Oh, no doubt. In college [at Missouri] I used to go to the studio a lot. I used to open for a lot of big names [like] Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Ja Rule when he was hot. I started back in middle school, way back when. It’s been a passion of mine for a long time. What I’m trying to do, it’s not about making money on the side or anything like that. It’s about breaking down the wall. They say athletes want to be entertainers and entertainers want to be athletes? I want to do both. Or, I want to pursue my passion for both, not just do them.
Q. You think a lot of people are skeptical when they see athletes putting out raps?
Of course. That’s when I put that song out, [“W.A.R. (Willie Mo Always Ready)]. I wanted to show a creativity, that I can rap about football.
Q. In one of your raps [“Respect”] you talk about coming from the trailer park to get where you are. True story?
True story. That’s as real as it can get. [Raps:] ‘Came a long way from trailer parks/ and dead rats/ and I ain’t going back.’ That’s a true story.
Q. What was it like growing up where you did [in Hayti, Mo.] ?
It was real tough. I had a tough past growing up. I’m sure we all share similar stories, a lot of athletes. It was real tough coming up. But I made it out… . That’s why I use my testimony. I’m glad I can rap so I can spread it out that way.
Q. How do you describe your style?
I listen to a lot of Tupac [Shakur]. I compare myself to Tupac. I don’t rap a lot about a lot of money, cars, jewelery and stuff like that. I like to rap about stuff that goes on around me and stuff that I have been through.
Q. You think people relate to that?
Yeah, that’s what people want to hear. And I ain’t got Jay-Z money, so I can’t talk about that you know what I mean? [Laughs.]
Q. You’ve got money, though. But you don’t want to go there because it’s kind of played out?
Yeah, exactly, that’s what I’m saying. But one thing I will talk about is not having [money] and then having it. How I got here, what I did to get here and how things change when you do get here.
Q. Are you more East Coast, West Coast or Dirty South?
I’ve heard [it called] Down South; I’ve heard the Texas [style]. I look at me like I do everything, you know what I mean? I can go fast, slow; I can do it all. I just wish people would give me the chance as far as listening to it. I think I can impress a lot of people.