10 Music Industry Heads Who Should Be A&Rs

DJ Ill Will

Organization: HotNewHipHop
Instrumental in the rise of: Tyga, Chris Brown, Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Kid Ink

How did Meek Mill got on with the tastemakers? Obviously he made noise with the Flamers mixtapes, but it was Mr. Philadelphia that took him to the next level. Who hosted that? DJ Ill Will. When Kendrick Lamar was known as K-Dot, the first tape that hit all the blogs? It was on HotNewHipHop because DJ Ill Will hosted it. YG, the hottest up-and-coming rapper from the West Coast, DJ Ill Will co-signed him.

But the biggest thing he did was the Tyga/Chris Brown mixtape, Fan of A Fan.

It was looking like Young Money left Tyga for dead. Let’s be real, Young Money put a Tyga album out three years ago, No Introduction, but now they act like that never happened. Nobody cared about Tyga. DJ Ill Will found him and gave him an opportunity. He knew Tyga was hot.

Meanwhile, nobody cared about Chris Brown at that time either. Everybody hated him. Jive was in disaster mode for Chris Brown. Chris Brown was dead in the water. People were laughing at him for wearing tight pants on the Graffiti cover. The Jive staff didn’t know what to do.

 

Everybody was down on Chris Brown but then “Deuces” comes out and it changed the whole game. “Deuces” was a No. 1 record, Brown was getting props, the label was going full force. Next album, he’s a superstar again and nobody cares he beat Rihanna. Fan of A Fan made Chris Brown. “Deuces” made Chris Brown. And who hosted that mixtape? DJ Ill Will. Because he knew what was hot.

 

Everybody was down on Chris Brown but then “Deuces” comes out and it changed the whole game. The entire label got excited. “Deuces” was a hit record, Brown was getting props, the label was going full force. Next album, he’s a superstar again and nobody cares he beat Rihanna.

Fan of A Fan made Chris Brown. “Deuces” made Chris Brown. And who hosted that mixtape? DJ Ill Will. Because he knew what was hot.

Ill Will also manages Kid Ink. Nobody understands Kid Ink but but he’s doing national tours and selling shit. Quiet is kept, but Kid Ink is huge.

DJ Ill Will started a website called HotNewHipHop. HotNewHipHop produces the hottest new rappers in the game as far as sites go. If you want a tastemaker of who’s gonna be hot, it’s HotNewHipHop. If you’re a real A&R you’re on HotNewHipHop every day, that’s just the facts. They don’t do the best blogging or the best news coverage, they post songs—that’s what they do. But at the end of the day, that’s what the kids want.

Any up-and-coming artists in the know will say, "I need HotNewHipHop." The kids are paying attention to HotNewHipHop. Why? Because DJ Ill Will knows what these kids want. Everything he’s co-signed has sold.

If you go down DatPiff and you search DJ Ill Will and all the talent he’s brought into the game, it’s not a joke. Right now, DJ Ill Will has his ear to the kids and to what’s hot and new better than anybody else. Ill Will is doing a better job than any A&R right now.

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