Willie D (born Willie James Dennis; November 1, 1966, Houston, Texas) is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, and advice columnist who gained fame as the lead member of the pioneering rap group from Houston, Geto Boys.
Willie took up boxing at the age of 11. In 1985 he became the Golden Gloves Champion for the State of Texas. Rather than become a professional boxer, he decided to become a rap music MC. He attended Forest Brook High School but in 1986, two months prior to his scheduled graduation, he was expelled for fighting. He never returned to school.
His 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 who later became Marvelous Basey through marriage (died February 14, 1994) was born in Houston, Texas. She named him after his maternal grandfather, Willie Dennis. She was a cafeteria cook for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for several years. His father, Alfred Deboest (died May 17, 1998), was 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 City, Texas. They have two children, a daughter, Caen (pronounced Cain), who was born April 26, 1995, and a son, Blake, born July 8, 1999. They were divorced in 2010. Willie D has four siblings, Karen Williams (half), Warren Vann (half), Ernestine Dennis, and Isaac Dennis (half).
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions|
|1992||I'm Goin' Out Lika Soldier||88||27|
|1994||Play Witcha Mama||–||31|
|2000||Loved by Few, Hated by Many||124||25|
- 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|