In the Field With Bandz Danero
Bandz Danero, real name Willie Wright, is a hip-hop artist hailing from Harford, Connecticut. He began writing music and performing seriously in 1997. He released Dime and Gunz, which went on to sell thousands of units independently.
The rapper's career came to a grinding halt after he was named in a drug-related indictment, along with 30 other people. Bandz Danero was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
He came home in 2014 and started Huntzone Entertainment with his childhood friend and manager, Anthony "Sal" Mickens. Huntzone is a full-fledged independent label and production company.
Currently, Bandz Danero is hard at work on his next project, Bag Talk 2, set to feature some of the biggest names in the industry. He recently shot 11 videos and will begin releasing them every two weeks.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. The interview aired in its entirety on February 22, 2021, on 91.3 FM WVKR. Tune in every Monday at 10 PM EST. Outside the area? Listen via the TuneIn or Simple Radio app by searching WVKR.
Erin Boogie: Are you from Connecticut, or are you from New York?
Bandz Danero: I'm from Hartford, Connecticut. People always say that to me. I grew up listening to that Nas, that Jay Z, that Wu-Tang. That KRS. All the music started in New York, so I'm right there. I'm like an hour away. It ain't too far from Connecticut. We like a lost borough, actually. We in tune with what's going on, and we love style, so a lot of times, we used to drive out to New York and go shopping. 5th Avenue. Now, it's different. You could go online; you could go all across the world. Everybody be wearing the same so you gotta do something different.
Lady D: Would you want to sign to a label? If so, who?
Bandz Danero: I mean, I been doing music so long. Shout out to man, Awesome Life. That's my big bro. Chubby Baby, he got a record coming. I don't know if I would sign to him or if he would even sign me, but I always… because I'm with him no matter what. If I sign a piece of paper, it's because I love what he doing, and I love the artist that he got over there. Salute to my bro Casper over there. He doing his thing. Meechi too. We working. I would rather go as far as I can on my own, and then if a record company, not one, but a lot of them is like "we love what you doing." Then I could show off my numbers that I pushed for to show them that I'm worthy enough to get a check that makes sense. To take my family away from any pressures financially, yes, I would go with a major because that's the way to go. Why wouldn't I? With a big company like Roc Nation management or something like that, if I got it going on my own? Huntzone, that's what I own. I actually got some oomph behind. I'm doing records and standing next to the guys that people been idolizing for years.
Lady D: Anybody newer that you would want to work with?
Bandz Danero: I like all the new artists right now. I was thinking about getting this record with Rowdy Rebel. I would love to work with him. But I still got people on my bucket list like Fab. I like spitters. Fab, and they still hot to me. I don't give a f*ck what nobody say. That dude still fire. I'm still shootin' for dudes like that. I'm waiting on a Styles P verse right now. I'm trying to get Raekwon. The best of the best. AZ, salute to the God. I just did a record with Cooks from upstate. Stove God Cooks. Upstate New York. From Syracuse. Salute to my bro, Stove. Salute 38 Special since we upstate New York. Rochester, New York. Salute. Buffalo. Salute. Schenectady. All of that. Albany.
Lady D: I like that you switch your flow up sometimes. Like, you be spittin', but then you put the effect on and get a little melodic.
Bandz Danero: I make records. I got an R&B album out. It's on Datpiff.com. You got to put in Bandz Danero. I got seven mixtapes on there since I been out. But when I came home, I didn't know about distributing my own music. I wasn't really aware of it. So I'm trying to pull all these tapes down now to stream them on all platforms. It's like seven tapes. Y'all got to go get in tune with me. The R&B tape is called Cuffin Season. All the records is written by me. I'm a songwriter too. I'll write for Beyonce. If I ever get a chance, I'm giving B a hit. And RiRi. I got a hit for RiRi too. And then we gonna make some new RiRi's and some new Beyonce's because they looking for somebody younger to step up and get in their space. My pen is ready to do whatever it need to do as well.
Lady D: You'd be a great mentor.
Bandz Danero: I work with a lot of artists now. Shouts out to my artist Spari. Salute to that kid. Moving. I Am Spari.
Lady D: You said new videos are coming out. How many videos?
Bandz Danero: Right now, I got 11 videos done—a lot of videos done right now. I'm amped right now. I'm on geek mode 'cause you see I'm smiling. I can't even hold it in. You see my little dimple? I'm in rare form. I was just with DJ Drama. He doing my tape. Gangsta Grillz. It's big for New England, Connecticut, and all over. I feel like I'm a part of the culture. This the reason why I dug back and got with DJ Drama. Because I felt like I had to get with Dram to touch that core, street base. So sonically, I think you gonna love the music. I got 11 vids; the tape is called Bag Talk 2. If you go on DatPiff, you donna see Bag Talk 1. Like I said, it's not on all platforms. It was only streaming on DatPiff. Like I said, I didn't really know what I was doing at the time. But now I'm putting this one out on all platforms, the right way. I'm actually in talks with distribution companies now, seeing which way I want to take it to put the right push behind the project. So I don't have a date on the project. I just know it's going to be right when the Summer hit. Or Spring. I'm waiting on my merch and everything to come in—Bag Talk 2 merch. I'm waiting on Benny The Butcher right now. Benny got a verse for me.
Lady D: What can we expect next?
Bandz Danero: 11 videos. They all coming out. Every two weeks, I'm gonna drop a video. Gear up for at least next month for me to start dropping some vids.