I am Brandon Alexander Williams. On the mic, they call me Real T@lk. I’m a poet and MC extraordinaire. I was born in a car on the way to the hospital. As a result, I love to travel and I can’t sit still.
When did you first realize you could write?
I could always write. In elementary school, I wrote a book called “The 12 Falcons”. Around 8 or 9 my older brother Donald and I used to freestyle parodies to current R&B and rap songs similar to “Weird Al Yankovic”. By 10, I used to sit in front of the television set speaker and record music videos from BET and MTV. I’d then play and rewind the songs and write down the lyrics so I could learn the words. If I didn’t recognize larger words, I spelled them to the best of my ability phonetically, then looked them up in the dictionary. This assisted with my vocabulary.
Who is your biggest lyrical inspiration?
Andre`3000 of OutKast, Eminem, and Busta Rhymes.
What do you see for your future?
I see myself giving lectures and having multiple motivational speaking engagements, touring as a poet and author. In the near future, you can expect my 6th opus, “Quarter-Life Crisis”, my first book (“Mr. Write”) and my 2nd stage play entitled “The S.H.A.F.T. Project”.
Do you consider yourself just a writer? a rapper? just a lyricist or more?
I receive all of those titles. The titles that I like the most are: Writer, Poet, and MC.
Who are your top five favorite artists?
OutKast, Eminem, Kanye West, Phonte, and Joe Budden. In no particular order.
To date, what would you say has been your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment had to have been my first stageplay, “The Yard: An Acapella Hip-Hop Musical”. I wrote, acted in, and produced it in 2009 at my alma mater Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.
What advice would you give writers just starting out?
Get your 10,000 hours in! (Look up “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell and you’ll know what I mean) Create, create, create! Fail as much as possible. You learn more from failures than successes. For example, if you shoot a one-handed, full court shot and make it all net, it’s amazing. However, you don’t know how you did it; and in order to become better at shooting one-handed, full court shots, you must miss a ton of them.
Whatever your goal is, you must practice, practice, practice. A wise woman told me that “Practice makes permanent; not perfect!” If you eat an apple once daily, you don’t become perfect at eating an apple, it becomes a habitual, on purpose, part of your routine. Got it? Now, remove “one-handed, full court shot” and “eating an apple” from the previous statement. Now insert your dream. There you go!
What does it take to make it to where you are as a lyricist?
I’m a humble student of the culture. It takes about 10,000 hours. However, you can’t just listen to MCs and poets, you have to write and perform and expand your lexicon. Around freshman year in college is when I recalled a lot of the literary devices that I learned in high school and previous english classes and was able to identify them in my raps and poems. This made me a great lyricist. Doing is one thing, but doing and knowing what you’re doing is what makes one a teacher. Overstanding as opposed to understanding. I’m long-winded. I hope i answered the question well. Lol.
What is your ultimate dream/goal?
To edu-tain. My dream goal is to be an professor/lecturer teaching a lyricism course at an arts institution of higher learning.
What do you do in your free time?
I cook and watch documentaries. I DJ, and I write comedy sketches and jokes.
Is speaking your full time job? if not, where else do you work?
Yes it is! GOD has blessed me enough to sustain a decent quality of living. However, I work part time as a stagehand in Atlanta, GA. This gives me audio, staging, lighting and sound building skill sets that will come in hands when I go to plan a huge tour and when I put on my next stage play.
What gives you the most joy?
Showing love and making others happy. This past 2 years, I’ve experienced first hand why it is truly better to give than to receive.
When you think about the future of music what do you think?
My new motto is: “Ignore it if you think it’s wack, support it if it’s dope, and just leave it at that.” I think the future of music will continue to grow. For that I am satisfied. If it ain’t grown it’s dead, ya dig?.
What are your thoughts on the state of lyrical content in music today?
I think in the mainstream of the hip-hop genre, lyrical content is not as complex as it was in the “golden age of hip-hop” (i.e. The 90s). During the golden age, every artist at the forefront had undeniable talent. Today, I can count on one hand (maybe two) how many mainstream hip-hop artists that have undeniable talent. The talent is most abundant among the independent and underground. For that reason, I wish to remain independent unless the deal makes sense financially and I am able to maintain my creative control.