“For some newcomers, it’s hard to ever break out. For Darnell Williams, a rapper and director from Los Angeles, breaking out will not be hard, but inevitable.” – Hillydilly
“Combining his ability to direct and edit with powerful lyrics and a commanding delivery, Williams gives us an honest look at what he’s been going through the past few years.” – Pigeons & Planes
“Darnell Williams is ready for the spotlight.” – XXL
Darnell Williams is a double-threat visionary who makes incredible art on both sides of the camera. Managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and signed to 12 Tone Music Group, the 27-year-old rapper captivates audiences with versatile songs which cover a spectrum of experiences, life lessons, and thoughtful reflections on the world at large. Behind the lens, this seasoned and industry-savvy rapper and director is among those raising the bar in a new age of music videos, with television and film projects also in the works.Read more
“I don’t think I ever felt like I wasn’t gonna make it, but I just didn’t know when,” reflects Darnell. From the West 7 Mile section of Detroit, Williams has been possessed by drive his whole life. Raised by a single mother, if he wanted something, he learned he had to make it happen to get it. That mentality poised Williams for a career in entertainment. Since his teens, Williams chased a dream that led him to Chicago, New York, Hollywood, and South Central. That journey also included periods of sleeping on friends’ couches and living out of his car.
Williams’ uses his actual name to remind himself of what he comes from and to show others that their dreams are possible. “No matter where I go, it always sticks out. It also makes me prove myself, cause it looks like an R&B singer, comedian, or an athlete,” he says with a hearty laugh, before adding that he wants to be approachable.
Songs like 2019’s “F*CK HOLLYWOOD” unmask the fake veneers that Darnell has witnessed. He admits that navigating the perils of the ghetto is much easier than a place where networking, royalty statements, and “so, what do you do?” dominate relationship dynamics. 2017’s “Porno” was a similar angsty assessment of life, matched with an imaginative video that blurred the lines between reality and XXX. Meanwhile, the Skrillex-backed, JOYRIDE-assisted “New Breed” brought Williams’ music to another genre entirely. A million viewers have tuned into the video, and more than double that have streamed the song. “I want to make sure everything gets taken in as a piece of art,” he says of his catalog which garnered attention since 2014’s “Boss Up Den Flex.” He emphasizes quality above quantity. His music possesses energy, thought, and wide appeal. For 2019, Williams has an assortment of new songs and videos strategically planned.
After nearly a decade of patience and persistence, Darnell Williams’ uphill climb is shifting. “I feel like I’m ahead of my time right now,” he notes. “I feel like my stuff is revolutionary and groundbreaking, and people will realize it eventually. But right now, it’s just a blueprint.”
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