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INTELL  
[The Boy Wonder (Interview)]


Interview Date: 28th January 2012

Conducted By: Dark 7 Invader, The Reccollectah

Notes:
Special thanks to INTell for his input and cooperation. 


Interview

Intell

Born with a silver spoon? better yet born with a Wu imprint, INTell aka Dontae Hawkins was Born & Raised in Staten Island, NY. Anyone and everyone deep into Wu-Tang by now would know INtell is the son of U-God, one of the founding members of legendary Wu-Tang Clan. So Dontae has an automatic passage and access to music and the Wu fans one would say, he didn’t get into music right away, infact it may come as a surprise to some but U-God was not initially keen on his son following his footstep in the rap game and did very little to encourage him, but if it is in your DNA what more can you do? First album he actually did listen to Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter the 36 Chambers" and this was not even given to him by his dad but a friend. Around 2005, INTell's best friend and fellow group member DruGunn$ approached him about doing music, leading to numerous random freestyles with friends to late night studio sessions in Brooklyn. Upon practicing and perfecting his craft iNTeLL decided to take the craft seriously and started putting out several mixtapes around 2006.

Around that same time, he was studying and majoring in film production, and he begun to show off his skills as a cinematographer and editor, directing an editing his own music videos as well as a few other artists. While the likes of Young Justice (GZA's son), SunGod (Ghostface Killah's son), Boy Jones (O'l Dirty Bastard's son) and a few more have had the opportunity to shine and be seen via collaboration and features on released Wu-Tang projects, INTell's recognition obviously includes the fact that he is the son of U-God but this mainly comes from his hard work, likeable and unique style and his continued growth lyrically with the projects he has been putting out for free over the years which by now amounts to 6 - 10 releases.  

INTell's reason for doing music is simple, for respect and love for the artform, he would probably accept a record if offered to him but speaking to him it was obvious his primary goal is making it big in the film industry as far as directing, producing and doing it in Hollywood, music is still part of the picture for him as he still plans on doing it regardless of how far Hollywood takes him.

In order to find out more about this intelligent young man, Wu-International got in touch with INTell in this exclusive interview as he tells us of his humble beginnings, Wu-Tang, being the song of U-God, music, life, aspirations and what have you, Enjoy!


I like to say thanks first and foremost for taking the time to answer these questions, highly appreciated, and will also point out that nothing will be altered, edited or changed when this is published online.

Wu-International: Peace INTeLL, how are you?
INTell:  I'm Good Im Good, On my college grind tryna get my degree, same shit different day and some new flows ya meen?

Wu-International: I am sure most already know who you are but kindly introduce yourself to the site readers as in who you are, where you are from and currently living etc?
INTell:  The people call me iNTeLL … Da i-N-T-e-Double-L im from Staten Island New York Aka Shaolin island birthplace of the Wu.

Wu-International:  Are you U-God’s firstborn and how does it feel to be the son of a member of hip-hop’s greatest legacy?
INTell:  Yeah I'im the first born, I got a little brother named Malik, that dude funny as hell, but yea it’s a great feeling. Most people’s dads can be great fathers and get love & respect from family and friends, but my pops gets that and he gets love and respect from around the world and some of that occasionally trickles down to me when people hear my Lyrics and my sound. So yeah it’s pretty dope being a descendant of that legacy, and Wu-Tang wasn’t just another rap group like Dip-set or Young Money, Wu-Tang is A movement that goes beyond music and will last for generations.

Wu-International: Ok, boring stuff first; how did you fall into your respective craft (emceeing)?
INTell: Nah the origin story never gets boring lol, it was the summer of 06 and my best friend at the time, and still to this day, confronted me about making music. He knew that I wrote poetry and stuff like that and he had been freestyling since he was like 8yrs old, so we just started finding instrumentals to rap over and recorded mixtapes ghetto style in my livin groom with no mic lol and the rest is history.

Wu-International: So when and why did you decide to pick the mic and take this art form seriously?
INTell:  It wasn’t until I put out my Mixtape entitled “STRAiGHT oFF Dai Phone: Vol.1” that I realized I had what it takes to do music. I got a lot of positive feedback from my friends, family, strangers, and even my pops and Uncle Mef. After that I decided to take it more seriously and actually apply meaning to my lyrics and started writing actual songs and not just tracks to put out

Wu-International: Who would you say your influences are both lyrically and style wise as an MC?
INTell:
 It took me awhile to really find my lane, I mean I can rap about anything and use a bunch of different flows and concepts and apply them to different beats. However what I think is the best material from me is when im storytelling or talking about whats going on in the real world while trying to educated and entertain lyrically. Growing up I listened to Eminem, Big pun, Biggie, Pac, Nas, Jay-z, immortal Technique, The list goes on But basically I bumped real hip hop. Now I been gravitating towards Lupe Fiasco’s music, cuz I feel like the way he puts his words together and how he educates you is quite dope. So lately I been trying to perfect my style as kinda like a Wu-Tang Lupe, if that makes any sense, like I want that Wu-Tang sound, but I wan my lyrics to be up to date and I want you to have really think hard to understand what im saying.

Wu-International: Obviously it will be logical to assume your father has been an inspiration musically, if your father was not an MC say he was a singer, do you think you still would have followed this path of emceeing, and why?
INTell: That’s a good question, I mean if he was a singer and I could also sing? Then hell fuckin yea lol when you not famous but you can sing girls stil be droppin panties for you. If you rap and u aint famous you getting love from the ladies like that, But honestly im not sure cuz sometimes I do feel like I rap cuz its in my DNA like beats talk to me and then I respond.

Wu-International: Did your father encourage your ambitions as an mc right away?
INTell: He know what I was doing, but he wasn’t over my shoulder coaching me, and then when I got serious he frowned upon it cuz he wanted me to do the college thing plus he aint want me to go thru the trials and tribulations that music industry put him thru, but then I got nice and he got people hittin him up talking bout all thy fly shit I’m doing bymyself so he acknowledges that no matter what music is gunna be a apart of my life. And keep ya ears open when his next album “The KeyNote Speaker” drops, cuz you may or may not hear a verse from ya boii.  

Wu-International: Thanks for those answers, can you please explain the reasoning behind your name?
INTell: I call my self iNTeLL cuz my brain is like a computer. The way I analyze a rhyme or rhyme scheme. How I count the syllables and cadences in my verses to make sure everything flows smoothly so im very calculated with how I write, like a computer chip or intel processor. And I spell it the way I do to differentiate it from the company and it’s the Prefix of intelligent, intellectual, intelligence and intellect.

Wu-International: How did the name come about, did you make it up yourself or did someone bless you with it?
INTell: At first my name was intelligent Black cuz that’s how I was rhyming, but then my peoples said thass too long so I shortened it to Da Young intell then I turned 18 and now its jus iNTeLL, now since every song I make isn’t on some teaching the youth educational conscious rap I stop using that as the meaning behind my name.

Wu-International: It is a common thing to have various names and aliases in the hip-hop game, do you go by any other names?
INTell: Yeah you gotta change it up to keep things spicy, biggie had the Notorious BIG, Eminem got Slim Shady, Jay-Z has HOV, even my pops has 4bar killer, SupaNigga, GoldenArms, so yea you gotta do that to keep yaself interesting. Some people call me Da i-N-T-e-Double-L or young U-God or young intelligent.

Wu-International:  Thanks, so let talk about your projects, you have a lot of mixtapes, EPs, street albums floating around as free download, how many mixtapes, EPs, or street albums have you put out to date?
INTell:
All available on Datpiff.com;
[MIXTAPE] - STRAiGHT oFF Da iPhone: VoL.1 - (02/01/10)
[MIXTAPE] - juST B.A.R.S - (05/30/10)
[EP] - JuST For The Record - (08/28/10)
[MIXTAPE] - SHAOLiN SOLDiER - (11/26/10)
[MIXTAPE] - S.A.R.S - (2/01/11)
[EP] - HipHopLives - (5/01/11)
[MIXTAPE] - Y.F.R.F.R. - (7/01/11)
[MIXTAPE] - IM NOT FAMOUS [YET] - (11/17/11)

Intell

Wu-International: That’s a lot of work, is there any reason you have focused mainly on giving out free music when you could easily have put out a debut album by now?

INTell: I wouldn’t say easily since I never had access to all the necessary resources for a real album. I made music however I could going to $10 an our studios tryna find the best quality I could for a good price but after a while I came to the realization that im not famous and even tho I feel like my music is worth buying im not gunna make people buy my music when they don’t know me cuz that’s a turnoff, its like “who is the guy?” so I put it out for free and build my fan base so that when I need them to buy … then they will buy

Wu-International: Where can fans get or download these freebies?
INTell: I got all my projects on Datpiff.com but you can find my music on soundcloud, bandcamp, hotnewhiphop, vimeo and I got a shit load of stuff on YouTube Just search iNTeLL or Google iNTeLL U-Gods son and my shit should pop up

Wu-International: For those readers who have yet to check out your mixtapes, which one would you recommend them to start with and why that one?
INTell:  I feel like my best work to date is my “HipHopLives:EP” it sounds like an album, it has all original beats made my my team of iLL beatMakers, its me at my most original. When you have a blank canvas of original beats it allows you to stop being a rapper and start being an artist. Don’t get me wrong my other joints is fire but this particular one gives you a peak at who I really am as a Hip Hop artist and what my debut album would most likely sound like

Wu-International: Which song are you most proud of writing from your extensive list of songs and why?
INTell:
Wowwwww that’s a dam good question lol hold up lemme think….. imma have to say “Thinkin Bout You [Prod. By Jay-L]” off my HipHopLives:EP
That song just makes me feel like Imma legend already like from the beat to the concept to my flow to the lyrics that’s just a song a could play over and over again. And the video is dope too.

Wu-International: I enjoyed a number of songs off your mixtape, especially “Boy Wonder” where you addressed being shot at a tender age of 6 or 8? Can you please tell us more about this incident and your overall thoughts on the whole experience?
INTell:
  Actually I was 2 years old at the time and I was unfortunate enough to live in a not so safe neighborhood. And on March 13Th 1994 I fell victim to a stray bullet from a crossfire shootout. The bullet tore through my hand, kidney and lower back tapping my spinal fluid, I lost a lot of blood but luckily I got to the hospital in time for doctors to save my life. I had to have my kidney removed and due to the spinal damage I was paralyzed from the waist down, doctors said I would never walk again. However through god and determination I learned how to walk again and I found the courage to grow and escape the negativity of my environment. Now I’m in college trying to make sure my future remains a bright one, I want to make sure my life amounts to something because I believe it was saved for a reason.

Wu-International: Thanks, when recording a song, do you usually go into the studio with pre-written lyrics or do it on the spot?
INTell:
If im working on something for me, always pre-written I'mma very organized person I make sure all my verses are in order and I know everything I want to get done before I go to the studio, and I Recite my verses to the beats over and over again to make sure I get the flow exactly how I want it. Now if I jus swing thru the studio to chill and then somebody wants a verse then I might put together a quick lil iLL dart on the spot depending on the beat or topic

Wu-International: How hard do you work on a verse? Does the verse go through many changes before you decide on the final version?
INTell:  Again that depends on the beat, what flow I'm using, and what the topic is about. Like if its just a track about general shit on somebody else’s beat I can bang out a hot verse in like 20minutes, but if its an original beat and there’s a specific topic or flow then I take my time and slowly build that verse from the ground up. Once im done writing a verse I may go over it a few times swopping out words that have too many or not enough syllables. Longest I ever took to write a verse I think was 2 days.

Wu-International: Do you have access to constant producers or do you make your own beats as well outside the mixtape?
INTell: Nahhhh I tried to make beats but idk I just couldn’t take what I heard in my head and make it come alive, that’s probably cuz I don’t play any instruments which is a good skill to have when you tryna make beats. I have a good 10 dudes that just send me original beats for free cuz they believe in my music and they respect what im doing for HipHop and the Legacy I represent. The main dudes in my Producer camp are Miverson, Jay-L and Q.iVory.

Wu-International: It seems you chose to concentrate on working at your skills in the studio. Have you already performed live as well, perhaps with U-God?
INTell: I did a few small performances at my school at talent shows and poetry slams, but most recently I performed at my schools Pep Ralley infront of Like 500+ people and I felt that was a stepping-stone. If I got love from a crowd that size that don’t know who I am, imagine what would happen infront of a crowd of diehard Wu-Tang fans. I Would love to perform with my pops, but first we gotta have a song to perform.

Wu-International: Thanks, with all that material out, when can we expect you to drop a studio album?
INTell:
When I get a record deal lol I mean until then its just mixtapes and EP’s cuz I don’t have money to pay the people that support me with ArtWork and Beats and studio time so until I can pay them I aint tryna get paid ya mean?

Wu-International: So when you decide to work on one, do you already have an idea or concept, number of songs that you would want on the album and title?
INTell:
I haven’t really been working on that cuz I need music first, I got a couple song & hook concepts but nothing really written for that. I do know that if I do get a chance to make a relbum its gunna be called “On My Own”.

Wu-International: And who would you like to be feautured on it as artists and producers?
INTell: I mean I would love to get beats from RZA, Just Blaze, Dr. Dre and Kanye West but we’ll see lol and as far as features I would love to have a track with all the Wu on it, and then verses from Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, Common, JayZ and of course my PartNa in Rhyme DruGunn$.

Wu-International: How will you be looking to put this out?
INTell: However I can, whenever I can.

Wu-International: How involved will your dad be with your debute, or rather how much would you like your dad invovled on it?
INTell:
 I'm not sure, once me and him do a song I’ll see how things go from there cuz that might make or break me.


Wu-International: I asked above question as to date the fans have not had the pleasure of hearing you and your dad together, from outside looking in, it seems you have consciously and purposely gone out of your way to do things all by yourself so people do not credit any of your success due to your dad’s position within the rap game but merely on your own credits, how true is this?


INTell: 
100% True, like I said he doesn’t want me to be a rapper, but he respects what I do and acknowledges my skill. I didn’t even start mentioning my Wu affiliation in my music until Wu-Tang blogs started to notice me. I don’t want anybody saying I'm like Diggy Simmons and my pops waved a magic wand and put me on. Now if him and me do a song that will legitimately be the first time he has helped me in anyway shape or form as far as my music is concerned

Intell

Wu-International: The fans automatically put you under the Wu banner being U-God’s son, a position a lot of people would love to be under, how do you see yourself in this regards?
INTell:  I'm His son in every sense of the Word, I originated from his Nutsack and he been there for me whenever I needed him to be. I may not be the Super Gangster that he is cuz I grew up differently but since I was young he’s been dropping precious jewels in my ear that have shaped me into who I am as a man.

Wu-International: If there was any reference to the Wu link, it would have to be your “Shaolin soldier” mixtape. Did you feel it was inevitable for you to drop a tape of you going at classic Wu beats?
INTell:  Yeah at some point I felt I had to do that either to show what I could do with em or just to get some recognition from the Wu-Tang community

Wu-International: How involved are you really with Wu, as in how close are you with the generals, killa beez etc?
INTell: I’ve met and conversed with em all at countless shows, some give me props on my music some just say Peace and stuff like that, but mostly I just see my father and my Uncle Mef.

Wu-International: Unlce Meth, how so?
INTell: Yes, Method Man's married to my mother's sister, so he is my uncle in that sense.

Wu-International: Ok, didnt know that, so within the Clan outside of your father, who would you say your favorite MC is and why?
INTell: Inspecktah Deck …. His Triumph Verse was the first verse I heard that made me rewind like a thousand times, I think I was like 11 and I was bumpin 36Chambers on my sony walkman and when he started goin off I was like holy shit! And then as I got older I noticed that dam near every Wu track he’s on he just kills it with the way he puts his words together…
“It's only natural, actual facts are thrown at you The impact'll blow trees back and crack statues” ….Like his wordplay just sounds so dope to me.

Wu-International: You are paired up and compared most of the time to the likes of say Boy Jones (ODB’s son), Young Justice (GZA’s son), Sun God (Ghost’s son) and others, do you know them personally and have you worked or plan to work with them sometime now or in the future?
INTell: I Met Boy Jones like 2years ago he approached me about doing like a new young Wu-Tang or something like that, I didnt know how serious that proposal was tho so I was just like aight, but he’s a cool dude he doing his thing much respect to all his success. I never met Justice or SunGod but if they ever reached out to me I would deff like to link and build wit them, maybe do a track I think that would be dope.

Wu-International: ActuallyA song was posted to me to list on our page and it was called "School of the gifted” with you and Boy Jones on it, how did that collabo come about?
INTell: I'm actually a little confused because me and him was supposed to collab way back when, and I think I sent him some vocals, but I don’t remember cuz he never sent any finished product back to me so I assume he scraped the project, but I never heard this track so if you have it send it too me I’m curious to see what I said lol

Wu-International: Don't have it, just heard the snippet, can send it to you?
INTell:
 Yeah i remember now, But i Dont Remember Boy Jones being Apart of the song, I recorded it for Shaka Amazulu, he hit me up about it and after i sent him my vocals I am yet to hear the finished product.

Wu-International: I think a project between you and Boy Jones would be dope, especially as you have both thought of it, you should go on to do it myabe feature the other sons as well? Is this something you would be done to do 100%? 
INTell:   Hell yeah, if they Wit it im Wit it ... Just Point me to The Booth!

Wu-International: I do not know how active you are online and if you check Wu forums such as Wu Corp, the fans have greeted your music with open arms and good feedback, have you seen this and how does that make you feel?
INTell:
 Yeah I check it out every once and awhile see what the people be saying about me. Just like any artist putting music out there I got supporters and I got haters. I Love em both tho cuz they both taking time out to devout some emotions to my existence ya meen, like its all love to me, Im just happy that my recognition is building and that people respect my music even tho its not an exact duplicate of Wu sounding Music. 

Wu-International: Boy Jones for example has been very active within the Wu affairs and music, as seen on features and tours, and Ghost and GZA feature their sons on their project, is your dad working on an album and will you be featured on it?
INTell: Yeah he’s working on his next album called “KeyNote Speaker” and all I can say is I may or may not be on it, ya goin have to cop it to find out.

Wu-International: Thank you, Is there any artists out there in and out of Wu that you would say you relate to?
INTell:
Ummm not really I mean I relate to other artists music sometimes but not really to anybody specific cuz I'm different wit mines and we all pretty much got our own style yano?

Wu-International: You mentioned DruGunn$ as a group member? can you please expand on this and tell us more about your group if any?
INTell:
Yeah Once Me And My Best Friend Andrew Cole Aka DruGunn$ Started Rapping, Shortly After That My Other Best Friend George Carter Aka Chief Started To Write & Record With us And We Figured We'd Start a Group. And None of Us Could Think of a Name So i Just Ran With Shaolinz Finest. Then Later on i started workin wit an old friend From HighSchool, Joe Rivera Aka TakeOver ..... And I Liked His Rapstyle and i thought he was Nice so i asked Him to Join. Now i be focused heavy on my Solo Shit cuz its hard doin the Group thing when everybody got different shit they workin on or schedule conflicts plus distance, But Regardless Those is My Brothers, The Four of Us Make Up Shaolinz Finest And if one of Us Make it We All Make it.

Wu-International: People often complain rap today is in a coma and ruled by money resulting in very crappy music. How do you look at today’s hip hop as a young artist?
INTell:
I feel like there’s very little Hip Hop left in the mainstream, I’d say like 90% of Real True Hip Hop is Underground or independent, these Major Labels Water it down so much its hard to really decipher what’s Pop & What’s Techno & What’s Hip Hop when it comes to mainstream music or music that the masses make popular. And the reason why certain music is popular is because the labels suppress real Hip Hop and then the masses forget so they jus adapt to the new shit. I have a Wu-Tang tattoo on the back of my neck, now I know Wu-Tang was bigger in the 90’s but still people shouldn’t ask me “what’s that symbol” I mean shit I wasn’t alive when LL Cool J started his career but I know and respect his music cuz real Hip Hop is Timeless, so there’s no excuse that these young kids don’t know real Hip Hop!

Wu-International: what would you say you are trying to achieve with your music?
INTell:
 Respect and recognition, If I never get a deal that’s fine, but I just want the Hip Hop community to be like dam, that boy iNTeLL was one of the iLLest to ever do it, and I wanna let people know that when they said Wu-Tang Forever they meant that shit.

Wu-International: If unfortunately a career in music shouldn’t work out, do you have some sort of backup plan or other interests you would focus on then?
INTell: I’ll be graduating with a B.F.A degree in Filmmaking, that’s my main focus right now anyway so I'mma go places with that.

Wu-International: Is there any artists that you would love to work with out there that has not happened yet?
INTell:
lI'll Work with whoever wanna work with me, lets build ya meen?

Wu-International: Thanks very much for the answers, before we round up, can you let fans know how and where to get updates from you please?
INTell:
 My face book fan page INTeLL (Official Fan Page) or follow me on twitter @iNTeLL_ I keep people pretty up to date on whats going on with me thru those two mediums right there.

Intell & Method man

Wu-International: Do you have any last words, shout outs or add on to something we might have missed?

INTell: I just Want to shout out Wu international for being interested in me and for taking the time out to connect with me and let me speak on a few things, also I just wanna shout out and say thank you to anybody that supports me and what I do in anything I do And keep ya ears open for my Fathers next album, its goin be some shit you never heard before.

Thanks and best of luck with your projects we will be keeping an eye on your progress and updates.


Keep up to date with Bronze  
Intell @ Facebook
Intell @ Twitter



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