When Jermaine “Phyzikal” Williams was growing up on the south side of Fort Wayne, he had big dreams. He hoped to become a successful rapper and overcome his rough childhood. From a very young age, Williams was interested in music. Soon after that, his home life became unstable. Williams kept pursuing his goal, but things started to change in the late ’90s. He recalls, “There was a big crack epidemic, due to Detroit coming into Fort Wayne. I was witnessing it coming up, to where I could be involved.”
One thing that hadn’t changed was Williams’ reputation for rapping. In 2002, Williams’ rap group, Colossal Villains, met Corey Lamb, who owned Seven Layer Records. They signed a contract with the label and began working on an album. Soon after, Lamb moved to Atlanta. After the album slowed down, he was lured back to the streets. It was while in prison that Williams made two important decisions. He created his own record label, Ghetto Confinement Entertainment. After he was released, Williams met Fred Rogers, a man who took a real interest in his talent and helped to keep him on the right track. He introduced me to Will Chavis who had a lot of connections in the industry.
Williams split his time between Atlanta, Georgia and Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, he did some work with Daddy Yankee and Echo, but he soon realized that he wasn’t going to get the attention he wanted for his own music there, so he moved back to Atlanta permanently, and hooked up with Jazze Pha. It was the meeting with L.A. Reid that secured his deal with Def Jam.
Phyzikal is expected to be a very high profile artist and not just within the music world. Williams reveals his main goal: to do for Fort Wayne what Nelly did for St. Louis. “I’m trying to put my city on and help build Fort Wayne. If I can do it, anybody can do it. I came from the struggle. My thing is not to street brag, but to motivate my city.”
Mixtapes: Phyzikal City | Paraphernalia | Strickly Biznes | Emancipation