Lil Woo Opens Up About His New Album “Marauder Season”
Written by Vocalo Radio on March 16, 2020
Lil Woo is an up-and-coming Chicago MC, now residing in DeKalb. He was featured on Netflix’s “Rhythm and Flow” and WCIU.
Woo sat down with our Midday Host Bekoe to break down the origin of his name, lyricism and giving back to the community …
How did you get the name Lil Woo? Is there a meaning behind it?
Well, my family nickname is “Woo Woo.” When I used to cry as a baby my grandma would hold me and she would sing this song “can you woo woo woo?” When I was eight years old, that’s when I first decided to take on music. At that time I was a fan of Lil Wayne and I thought, I’m gonna put a Lil in front of Woo. That’s my name. I stuck with it ever since.
Now, when did you jump into the music?
I wrote my first song when I was eight years old. Third grade. I took it to my pop, he went over it, he liked everything about it, except I put the N word in it. He told me not to do that. Ever since then, I’ve really been getting into music.
In fourth or fifth grade, I was passing out CDs at my church, to family, to friends, and my classroom at school. I’ve just been moving with it since.
So was there anything in particular that motivated you to start your music career?
My dad is a producer, and as as a kid I used to watch my older cousins and uncles record with him. As a kid I’m over here like, “Man, this is really cool.” I have an older cousin that recorded with him, and I remember as a kid … I was his biggest fan. I used to rap all his songs. Eventually I knew I was going try it myself. Then I was motivated to try writing my first song.
I did hear you say your father mentioned the N word and told you to rework your lyrics. Do you feel like profanity can be a crutch within the music industry? And do you feel like that helps propel artists further within their career?
Yeah, I feel like it is a crutch because a lot of guys using profanity use it to carry on to the next line, the next bar. So like, for me, I didn’t want to use it as well. Not only it being a crutch, but also because you reach more audiences. I want the whole world to hear me. And if I cuss that’s already cutting out a certain percentage of people because parents aren’t gonna let their kids listen to it if we’re cussing.
I know growing up, to me, my mom didn’t want me playing songs with cursing in them and so like, I was just trying to make sure I make something that can reach everybody’s ear and when you don’t cuss, you have that ability.
It’s easier for us to play your music on the radio as well! We’ve been playing Numb, can you break down how you came up with that single?
Before I get into that, I want to give a special shout out to my special friend Emma King. She was a real inspiration for that song because me and her have been planning to make music together. Numb was one of the songs we’re actually going to do on the chorus we’re supposed to be singing that together and stuff.
Then one of my managers went to California over the new year and I had to change the song around. She told me she was going out to meet with Redfoo and his mom because she’s working on a book for them which is dropping later this year. She wanted me to make the song as a gift for Redfoo. So I had to change lyrics and I had to say stuff that relates to him and also had to make sure that I’m still fully myself so I had to bring some of my artistic aesthetic into the song too, obviously. And really that’s how it came together. Just being myself and spreading love, man.
You’ve been involved with a couple humanitarian organizations like Feed My Starving Children and CleanCity. Can you break down what those organizations are?
So in my hometown I have a classmate that I drove with and his family has these warehouses called The Suter Company. That’s actually one of the places I work now. They have this event called Feed My Starving Children. Where folks come down and spend time helping out kids around the world who don’t have food.
When I was younger, I used to help out at the homeless shelters. And in our church, we go once a month, and we cook them breakfast and donate food to them. Stuff like that is all always like, touch my heart. I always want to be involved to like, give back to the world. So I always did.
And also with CleanCity. I have a friend named Keegan Reynolds, runs up and out of nowhere. He just got this idea. Like “I’m gonna make an organization to clean up around our community.” So he came to me asking for help, I promoted him on my platform as an artist. We’ve done cleanups in Chicago and we’ve done a couple previously in the DeKalb and Sycamore area. We plan to keep moving forward. We had a little break with the system at first because we were focusing on all these big ideas instead of just doing the work. But now we’re just focused on doing the work instead of no more big idea, just doing the work and giving glory to God.
You got any shoutouts before we end things?
Shout out to my Lord and Savior. Shout out Father God. Shout out my mom and my dad for supporting me with everything through music. Through my crazy times and my ups and downs no matter what. Shout out all my friends out there for supporting me. I just wanted to shout out everyone supporting me because without y’all and without God, I wouldn’t be here today. And I’m extremely grateful to be able to to be walking on this journey towards this purpose.