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
Around that same time, he was
studying and majoring in film production, and
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
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,
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.
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)?
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
So when and why did you decide to pick the mic and take this
art form seriously?
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?
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
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?
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.
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?
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 -
[MIXTAPE] - S.A.R.S - (2/01/11)
[EP] - HipHopLives - (5/01/11)
Y.F.R.F.R. - (7/01/11)
[MIXTAPE] - IM NOT
FAMOUS [YET] - (11/17/11)
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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.
Do you have access to constant producers or do you make your
own beats as well outside the mixtape?
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.
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?
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
Thanks, with all that material out, when can we expect
you to drop a studio album?
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?
Wu-International: And who would you like to be
feautured on it as artists and producers?
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
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?
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?
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
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
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
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?
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
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?
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
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?
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
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?
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
Wu-International: Thank you, Is there any artists out
there in and out of Wu that you would say you relate
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?
mentioned DruGunn$ as a group member? can you please
expand on this and tell us more about your group if
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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.
Do you have any last words,
shout outs or add on to something we might have
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
Intell @ Facebook
<Read Other Interviews>