|Birth name||William James Dennis|
|Born||November 1, 1966|
|Origin||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Occupations||Rapper, record producer|
|Associated acts||Geto Boys|
Willie D (born November 1, 1966 as William James Dennis in Houston, Texas, U.S.) is an American rapper who gained fame as the lead member of the pioneering rap group from Houston, Geto Boys. Despite his reputation for being a hardcore artist who pens often provocative lyrics, Willie D is known for his diligent work in the community and many of his songs contain positive messages. He is often called on to speak at universities, high schools and youth facilities.
A gifted athlete, Willie took up boxing at the age of 11. Willie D was so good at boxing that in 1985, he became the Golden Gloves Champion for the State of Texas. With a Golden Glove championship under his 17-year-old belt it looked like Willie D was well on his way to becoming a professional boxer, but fortunately for his fans, fate intervened. Like any teenager growing up in the early 80s Willie D was captivated by the music of his generation. An avid fan of rap music, he listened intensely to the music and set his sights on becoming an MC.
Willie D earned a reputation around town as a fierce MC. It wasn't before long that Willie’s reputation reached J Prince, founder of Rap-A-Lot Records. At the time Prince was looking to revamp the now legendary Geto Boys and knew that Willie D would be a key factor in the group’s success. Once Willie D was on board, Bushwick Bill and Scarface were added to complete the group.
Considered the classic line up, Willie D, Bushwick Bill, and Scarface first emerged as the Geto Boys in 1989 with their Gold record, "Grip It! On That Other Level." The record contained the songs "Gangsta of Love," "Do It Like a G.O.," "Size Ain’t Shit," and "Read These Nikes," all penned by Willie D. Willie went on to record a string of critical and commercially successful solo and group albums including the Geto Boys’ "We Can't Be Stopped" (platinum), which featured the single "Mind Playing Tricks on Me," co-written by Willie D.
He was featured on a Track on Mike E. Clark's Extra Pop Emporium along with Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid called Scrubstitute Teachers. In April, 2012 he released "Hoodiez" featuring Scarface, D-Boi and Propain. The song quickly went viral and became an internet hit. It is a tribute to slain teenager Trayvon Martin who was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
Willie D's mother, Marvelous Dennis (died February 14, 1994) was born in Houston, Texas. She was a cafeteria cook for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for several years. His father, Alfred Deboest (died May 17, 1998) is from Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was a carpenter and construction worker by trade. Willie D was raised by his mother in Houston after his parents separated when he was four-years old. He has stated in interviews that both his parents were alcoholics and that his mother was physically and verbally abusive. Although he rarely saw his dad while growing up, when it was discovered that his father had lung cancer, Willie D took him in to live with him before he succumbed to the disease. Furthermore, despite a troubled relationship with his mother, in 1991 he took his first large paycheck from his music royalties and purchased a four-bedroom house for her while he was still living in an apartment.
On September 3, 1994 he married Bridget Bonier who is a mechanical engineer, in a private ceremony on a yacht in Clear Lake, Texas. They have two children: daughter, Caen (b. April 26, 1995) and son, Blake (b. July 8, 1999). They were divorced in 2010. His daughter, Caen attends university in New York and is pursuing a law degree. Willie D has four siblings: two sisters, Karen Rogers (b. September 3, 1964) and Ernestine Dennis (b. December 22, 1967); and two brothers, Warren Van (b. September 19, 1965) and Isaac Dennis (b. August 16, 1976). He and Ernestine have the same parents while his other siblings each have a different father.
Despite being a celebrity and a public figure Willie D is said to be a private person. He is particularly confidential of his children's personal life and has stated that his kids didn't ask for his life. Says Willie D, "They have their own ambitions so it's not fair to them to be subjected to public scrutiny and have their privacy invaded because of who their father is. If they want to get out there I'll support them but it'll be their choice, not mine."
In 2012 Willie D began writing a weekly political satire column for Vice Magazine, a New York City based Canadian magazine and media conglomerate focused on international arts & culture. After his contract expired he created a new advice column entitled, Ask Willie D. The popular column, which mainly deals with relationships of all kinds, was first published in The Houston Press, a weekly newspaper focused on politics, arts and entertainment. In addition to The Houston Press it is now published in eight other newspapers including LA Weekly and The Village Voice. Willie D has expressed plans to fully syndicate the column and write a book centered around its topics.
On July 10, 2013 Willie D launched an international logo and design contest for his new fashion line Deboest, pronounced ( (Di bōst) his father's surname. The competition gives fans who are aspiring designers a chance to create the company logo and first t-shirt designs. Willie D says of the venture, “This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so it’s a beautiful thing to see it come to fruition. I’ve always been an admirer of fashion. No other art form coexists with music more.
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions|
|1992||I'm Goin' Out Lika Soldier
|1994||Play Witcha Mama
|2000||Loved by Few, Hated by Many
- 1992: "Clean Up Man"
|Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||# 51|
|Hot Rap Singles||# 6|
- 2002: "Dear God"
|Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||# 78|
|Hot Rap Singles||# 4|
- "Boxer Willie Dennis". BoxRec. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- "Willie D". Discogs. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- "Raps Willie D pleads guilty to wire fraud". upi.com. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "Legendary Houston Rapper Willie D Goes to Prison". myfoxhouston.com.
- "Willie D out of Prison; on twitter". houstonpress.com.