Phoenix City Councilman Michael Johnson Honors Willy Northpole as "Friend of the City"

Phoenix-born hip-hop artist Willy Northpole can add another accolade to his growing resume of accomplishments on Monday, June 22, as Phoenix District 8 Councilman Michael E. Johnson honors Northpole as an official "Friend of the City."

Northpole grew up in central Phoenix, where he spent his formative years freestyle battling on the streets and became involved with the Broadway Gangstas gang. He did some time in jail for armed robbery, and emerged with a new vision: to clean up his act, and really make some moves as a hip-hop artist.

He's done just that, getting signed by Ludacris to the hip-hop star's Disturbing Tha Peace imprint on Def Jam and preparing for the release of his debut album, Tha Connect, on June 23.

Councilman Johnson says Northpole is his nephew, and so he's known the rapper his whole life. "I think Willy's been an excellent role model for young people, especially showing kids who've been through a lot of problems and struggles that they can overcome those things and go on to be successful," Johnson says. "He stresses the importance of education, listening to your parents, and putting down gang violence. He's a good example of someone who's been through it and overcome it."

Johnson will be present to honor Northpole as a "Friend of the City" at Doc's Place on June 22. The event is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and will also include "a surprise DTP guest" (we're not sure who that is, but we do know that Ludacris is in town to help Northpole promote Tha Connect).

Northpole will also be featured on the television program "Good Morning Arizona" on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23 and 24, when anchor Tara Hitchcock will try his workout routine.

To hear tracks from Tha Connect, visit Willy Northpole's MySpace page.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea