By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
Antoine, You're Grounded
Blondy McColister Williams, age 48, is a familiar figure around Deerfield Beach High School, where she's done everything from work as an on-site security officer to drive a school bus to coach the girls' softball team. A hearty, bluff, good-natured woman, she's most notable nowadays for being the mom of 19-year-old breakout rap artist Antoine McColister. That would be Ace Hood to you. The young rapper's first single, "Cash Flow," featuring T-Pain and Rick Ross, has been hitting South Florida airwaves on 99 Jamz in a big way. Tailpipe cornered her the other day to ask what it was like bringing up a future rap sensation.
"He's been doing it ever since he was in middle school," she said. "I'd get calls saying he was interrupting classes, freestylin'. I'd be, like, 'Turn that music down!' He'd be, like, 'I'm gonna be a millionaire.' I'd say, 'Look, you have to go to college.' He'd say 'Mom, I'm gonna keep pursuing my dream.' I said, 'Antoine, you can be a rapper and get an education.' He just kept going to the clubs, he kept proceeding, until he got to this point... Everybody can't believe right now that he can get out there and perform because he's so shy. I said, 'You don't even talk!'
"He used to write a lot. Poems. He'd make cards for us — and it would be like, 'Wow, this is something out of Hallmark... ' He did a song for me. Oh, it's nice — about how once he made it big, how he was gonna take care of me and put me in a million-dollar home, he was sayin' 'My mother isn't gonna have to work again or cry anymore... ' It's so touching. Last year, I had surgery. It was serious. Nothing this major ever went down. They were like, 'You have to have it right away.' My finances weren't where they were supposed to be. I was like, 'Oh my God, am I gonna lose my home?' And I was, like, scared. He said, 'Mama, don't worry. You gonna be OK.' He went into the room and started praying to God. He said 'I never want to see my mama cry again about finances — never.' So once he made it big and signed on, he said 'From this day on, you're never going to have to worry about a bill again.'
"He works crazy hours now. I get up in the morning at quarter to six, I'm getting ready for work, and he's just coming in. But he's still a mama's boy. He always wonder where mama at. What mama doing. 'Mom, you need to dress me.' So he want me to be there with him. He keeps telling me, 'Mom, you gotta call me Ace.' I say 'I didn't name you Ace, I'm gonna call you Antoine.' He says 'They'll never know who you're talking about.' I said, 'You wanna bet? When I finish they're gonna know that you're Antoine.'
"He says to me, 'We're going to get you a home.' I'm looking out in the Parkland area. He did surprise me on Valentine's Day, he purchased me a Louis Vuitton purse — and it had $5,000 on the inside of it. Hundred-dollar bills. I'm like, 'Oh my God, oh my God!'
"Personally, I don't like that other stuff that rappers use. I was like, 'God, please keep it clean.' Once I heard 'Cash Flow' on the radio I was like, 'OK, good, good.' There wasn't lots of profanity in there. But there's a club version and it has two or three profanities. I just stood up and looked up to heaven... I hope it don't get no worse than that. I'll choke him! I encourage him to never use bad language. You're only 19 years old, you don't want to disrespect the females, you don't want to get into that hard stuff, you know? That single is with Rick Ross and T-Pain. Rick Ross, you know, he's a hard-baller.
"I told Rick Ross, 'First of all, I don't know you that well. But just keep it nice.' He said... 'We got love for Ace, we got love for Ace.' He's got such a deep voice! They've all been extremely good to Antoine, they really have. They love him like a brother. But I told Antoine, 'What they do, that don't mean for you to do.' Because first of all, they older than him. We talking about dealing with a 19-year-old and you're dealing with men that are in their 30s. Normally, they take him under their wings, you know. I really just pray that they doing well with him.
I told Antoine, 'Just because Rick Ross uses the language that he does doesn't mean that it's OK for you to use it, or that I'll accept it.' I mean, Rick Ross is all curse.
"Thank God they play the clean one on the radio station."
Lay Me Down