Skip to content

Lonzo Williams pens ‘(N)ot (W)ithout (A)lonzo,’ talks West Coast hip-hop

Lonzo with Corey actor playing him in N.W.A movie (photo courtesy: Alonzo Williams)

Lonzo with Corey actor playing him in N.W.A. movie (photo courtesy: Alonzo Williams)


What inspired you to write your first book?
My inspiration comes from a love of black music history. The lack of information and the lies told about the roles blacks have played in the music game upsets me. That being said, I decided to write my story and set the record straight.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. I write the way I speak, which is straightforward.

What books have most impacted your life (or life as an author)?
Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success.

What new authors have piqued your interest?
I like author Garry Roberts’ book, Publish and Grow.


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your latest work?
There would only be minor changes, only when I remember something on the folks who were a part of my career.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing or coming up with a concept for your book?
My challenge was not to allow anything to get in my way of finishing this book.

What was the hardest part of completing this project?
The hardest part in completing this project was learning how to refine my thought pattern, as well as to be clear, while simultaneously not leaving out the street talk. These key skills required me to walk a fine line.

What advice would you give other writers?
Be focused and stay focused.

Describe the process of getting published.
The publishing process was nerve racking. I discovered that it was very detailed work.

What were the literary, psychological and/or logistical challenges in bringing your work to life?
Telling a true story about multimillionaires, while their lawyers have told a totally different story can be a challenge.

Everyone’s process for writing is different. Explain yours.
My process is straight from my memory and the facts as I saw them from my perspective.

What are five of your favorite books and why?

  1. The Johnny Cochran Story
  2. Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success
  3. Publish and Grow Rich
  4. Who Moved My Cheese
  5. Millionaire Fast Track … because I like inspirational and self-help books.

Please provide three good to know facts about yourself. Be creative. Tell us about your first job or the inspiration behind your writing.
1. My last job was in 1979 at the Record Shack in Compton. I got fired because I was making more money as a DJ. Plus it didn’t make sense to work 5 days for $162 and 2 days for $450.

2. Someone who influenced me even after I defied him “but never disrespected him.” He still had my back.

3. In every step of my career there was always a Black man waiting to guide me through my new career maze.

What is the mission you set out to accomplish with your voice in this book
My position is that every star had someone behind them, to help them get to where they are. And, no matter how you start off you can make it to the top.

Who are the authors you reread and why?
Steve Harvey, because I can relate to his story.

A great book has what?
A great book has the ability to inspire change.

You develop character and ideas by….
My characters are true-to-life experiences.

Where would you travel if you could to write your next book?

What is the gift of reading and why does it resonate around the world?
The gift of reading allows the reader to escape or reflect depending [upon] the book.