Alonzo Williams Godfather of West Coast Hip Hop

By Charles Jackson

There are not many men like Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams. Lonzo is known as the Godfather of West Coast Hip Hop. He is the Barry Gordy of Compton. Lonzo was a leader in an era where young men went from rags to riches and never looked back.  Lonzo is a rare breed because he was successful in the music industry but stayed in his community. He did what he liked to do and he did it in the music and entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles, California

Lonzo started out as a young party DJ from Compton promoting and mentoring teenagers who eventually achieved overnight success. He got Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy E, Michel’le, Warren G, and many more started. But Lonzo is different because he made his living bringing entertainment to the hood. Not many were still doing that. Black music and live nightclub entertainment were moving to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Valley. Dootos, Jefty’s, Eve After Dark, these were legendary nightspots in Compton and Lonzo managed to keep them popping for years.

Lonzo started out as a young party DJ from Compton promoting and mentoring teenagers who eventually achieved overnight success. He got Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy E, Michel’le, Warren G, and many more started. But Lonzo is different because he made his living bringing entertainment to the hood. Not many were still doing that. Black music and live nightclub entertainment were moving to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Valley. Dootos, Jefty’s, Eve After Dark, these were legendary nightspots in Compton and Lonzo managed to keep them popping for years.

Lonzo started his career in the hood and never wavered. For over 40 years he managed and promoted at least a half dozen nightclubs. From the swank supper clubs to the nitty-gritty dingy speakeasies, Lonzo was right there and well known for his clubs and mega dance shows.

Lonzo started his career in the hood and never wavered. For over 40 years he managed and promoted at least a half dozen nightclubs. From the swank supper clubs to the nitty-gritty dingy speakeasies, Lonzo was right there and well known for his clubs and mega dance shows.

In his book Not Without Alonzo, Lonzo tells his story of his exploits with members of the World Class Wrecking Cru and the notorious NWA. The movie, Straight Out of Compton, depicts his character as the promoter that launched the NWA to worldwide fame. In the movie Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge and Me,he is also portrayed as the person who discovered the young singer Michel’le, who joined the World Class Wrecking Cru as a female vocalist.

The nightclub management, music management, and recording launched a unique profession for Lonzo. He was an extraordinary promoter because he had his own venues and didn’t have to hustle and scape for places to hold his events. He built his own recording studio so he had an attraction for the young artist in the hood. Just like Barry Gordy, Lonzo built his business because he had his own studio and clubs.

Today, Lonzo is going in a different direction. Because of his concern for the gang violence and the Black-on-Black crime, Lonzo has launched a Hood Peace movement. Through his organization called Lyrical Revolution, he is uniting the community together to work out solutions to stop the violence and increase the peace in the neighborhoods. He is looking to take Hood Peace across the country and bring national awareness to this cause. Lonzo stated “I want to promote peace like I am promoting a presidential or mayoral candidate or like a product or even a bad habit like smoking or drugs. Peace needs to be promoted and we are going to sell t-shirts and put posters all over and begin programs that will change the mindset of our young people. I want our community to do better and I have committed to help make a change “.

Working to promote peace in the communities is nothing new for Lonzo. For over two decades he has been right there with organizations like the Cease Fire Coalition, Second Call, and Justice for Murdered Children. Lonzo has been right there organizing Peace Rides and Peace Rallies with the late Vickie Lindsey of Project Cry No More, Tony Muhammad, Skip Townsend, Ben “Taco” Owens, Angelo”Barefoot Pookie” White, and many more who have dedicated their lives to bring peace to the community and intervention of gang violence.

The murders in Compton and Los Angeles have seen a big increase in 2020 and many in the community are concerned about the increased danger in the Black and Mexican neighborhoods. Community members are begging for an end to gang violence.

The rash of shootings and murders is of great concern to the citizens of that community.  The vision for Lonzo is to publicize peace to the point that the community takes action to put mechanisms in place that will prevent violence and murders in the community.

Hopefully, he gets support from the many hip-hop artists, movie stars, and professional athletes that come from these communities. They should be able to rally together and start putting money into their community that will create jobs and businesses. Compton and LA can again become places where everyone has a stake in the community and will work to keep it clean and safe.

There are many artists that make songs and raps about the community and even encourage violence. So many have made millions of dollars depicting the hardcore ghetto image but very few have offered to help clean up the mess that they help create.Not many have even come to the schools to talk and encourage the students there.

What if artists like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube would join in with Lonzo? They could start programs in the schools and churches that would help change the mindset of the young men and women growing up in these violent and tough environments. Wouldn’t that be a great way to make a positive change in our communities?

The inner-city communities need help from many directions including government and corporations to create jobs, provide housing, and build infrastructures. But any plan to make our communities safer have to include gun control and an end to self-hate lyrics from hip hop artist that incite deadly violence. Lonzo cried out “For some reason, it is somehow more acceptable in our community when we are killing our own. Why is that? Why is it that the music in our communities is geared toward violence against each other and hurting one another?”

Lonzo tells the story of a minister called White Mike who was curious about the music trend and went to a radio station program director. He asked him “ If they promoted music about people killing puppies would that be okay? They said, ” No, the PETA people would be all over us.” White Mike asked “How about accepting music about violence against gays?” The program director said, ” That is not acceptable the LGBTQ community would yell and scream.” White Mike asks “Why is it okay to promote music of Black people killing each other? The program director replied, “That’s okay because that’s marketable, that makes money.”  Lonzo went further to say, “So the people in the community have allowed their kids to be exposed to genocidal music, homicidal music, suicidal music, and pornographic music, and because somebody is making money, people turn their heads. So I ask, is all money good money? The fact is some people have become millionaires selling out a whole generation by promoting a lifestyle that is not conducive to this society.”

Lonzo Williams has been in the heart of the Compton community and has contributed a great deal to the community. He should be recognized for the work he has done. Many men like Lonzo aren’t recognized for the lives they help change, the jobs that they create, the business that they manage, and the issues that they support. Lonzo is a big part of what is good about Compton. Even though he groomed young men that made millions in exploiting the Black experience, Lonzo stayed true to his community. He didn’t join in with helping to destroy his community, he stayed and helped to build and provide activities that gave people a place to go in their own community.

The best way for Lonzo to succeed is for business people and successful individuals to invest with him and join together to clean up the community and provide jobs, businesses, and activities that young people and their families can be proud to be a part of. There is no future in gangs, drugs, domestic violence, and modern-day slavery, it always leads to death and destruction.

Cities like Compton have to step up and catch up with the rest of the world and they need men like Lonzo to come together and devise projects that provide young men and women a brighter future.

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