WKI Magazine Entertainment Article #43
WKI Magazine Interview with
aka The Father of Bay Area Hip-Hop
WKI Magazine: What motivated you to start promoting hip hop and R&B?
Poppa Will: I was motivated to switch from promoting dance parties in San Mateo, Ca. Which I had been doing for six years. I moved to San Jose, Ca. to work with my son and daughter in promoting dance parties. They weren't into dancing but my son was a hip hop artist, so to work with him I switched to live local entertainment. At first it was just Hip Hop & R&B.
WKI Magazine: When was your first show and where?
Poppa Will: The first show we did was at the Catus Club on 2nd and San Fernando in 1997, in the entertaiment disrict of San Jose, Ca.
WKI Magazine: What artists have you worked with?
Poppa Will:Since 1999, I have worked with Brotha Lynch, Rappin 4-Tey, RBL Posse (Black C) Digital Underground 2-Short, Andre Nikatina, San Quinn, Yuk Mouth, Devin Da Dude, E-40, Spice1, Mac Dre, Celli Cell, Sugar Free, Kevin Hart, Sinbad, Mr. F.A.B, Turf Talk, The Wayan Brothers, Steve Harvey, Richy Rich, DMX. I also, worked with many local artists such as China's Cabinet, UTG, Boogieman, Ce7enthapoet, Dy- Verse Productions, Johnny West, David Guardado, Jiggalo, Maze & Beverly, Mz Diamond, Cameo Nelle, KRS1, Method Man, Red Man and many others.
WKI Magazine: What was the biggest show you ever promoted?
Poppa Will: We produced and promoted the biggest show ever called the Police Athletic League presents the Y2K show, where for two days we put on stage over 80 artists.
WKI Magazine: How did your nickname “Father of Bay Area Hip Hop” start? How do you feel about the respect you have earned?
Poppa Will:I think that once I started working with artists in San, Jose, Ca that were from San Francisco, Oakland and Stockton and all around the Northern California Area, some people started referring to me as "The Godfather of Gangsta Rap". In the city they called me "Pops", in Oakland they called me UNK and the East is were they started calling me "The Father of Bay Area Hip-Hop".
As far as respect goes, I have just been helping artists to have something else to do other than commit crimes and spend long terms in prison. I am very humble and I see Y2kAssociates as not being about me but about us and the things that we do. I don't wear Y2KAssociates like a nice car that people should admire and respect, or like a nice home from all the money that I have made doing shows. I just put all the money back into getting another show and helping artists get to the next level.
WKI Magazine: How well known is Y2K Associates and how long have you been in business?
Poppa Will: On December 31, 1999, I went to the Civic building in San Jose, Ca., where I bought the license to be called Y2KAssociates.com and not Will Lyas and Associates, because I didn't want everything to be about me, I wanted something for my son and all of the performers that had been on our stages.
Y2K Associates has been around for over 21 years and we have done more shows and put more artists on stage than any other promoter in the history of the West Coast. We have put on shows with artists from all over the world and our youtube has over 500K views from subscribers from all over the world. We have fans in England, the Middle East, the Far East along with Asia, Russia and the Philippines.
WKI Magazine: When did you expand to Las Vegas?
Poppa Will: In March of 2009, I came to Vegas to expand our market to make it possible for artists in the Bay Area, to get booked here in Vegas. In the 11 years I have been here, we have put on more local shows than any promoter in Las Vegas, NV.
WKI Magazine: What are your plans for the future?
Poppa Will: Our plans are to continue to put on shows in Nevada, as well as California. We plan to work with local artists, promoters, investors, sponsors and continue to promote events that feature local talent. Hopefully our children and grandchildren will want to be a part of this historic promotions and productions company.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to do this interview and we love and respect what you have done to help us along the way for over 15 years. You can find me on Facebook: Will Lyas and on Instagram @ilovethey2kshow.