Dallas-Dwelling Real World Cast Member Marlon Williams Reflects On His Experiences This Past Season.
Back in February — give or take a cool month before MTV got around to it — we introduced you to Marlon Williams. Back then, the former Texas Tech football player was just another Dallas-dwelling, wannabe rapper. But he was on the brink of a pretty special opportunity. Shortly after our piece ran, Williams was officially announced as a cast member on the 28th season of The Real World — this one set in Portland, where, per protocol, he and his new roommates had their lives taped so we could watch what happened when they stopped being polite and started getting real.
Perhaps unfortunately, though, this season of the ground-breaking reality show only featured so much reality. Viewers hoping to see this latest batch of MTV's hand-picked stereotype-fillers keeping it real with the local hipster in the great Northwest set didn't have much luck. Honestly, the only person we recall seeing this season that even resembled a hipster was one of this year's female cast member's boyfriends.
Still, if you were looking for some good ol' drama and volatile personalities, this season of The Real World had you covered. And Williams played his part in that regard, too, revealing relatively early on in the season that, though his female-obsessed persona may have led his roommates believe otherwise, he had, in fact, previously experienced sexual intercourse with another man.
How's this, though, for progress in 2013? Williams' “big reveal” wasn't even that big a deal in the grand scheme of the season. He shared it, his fellow castmates reacted briefly, and then, boom, it was over with.
But, even though his was a mostly drama-filled season, Williams still charmed in his on-air appearances, standing out — rather easily — as the most likable cast member of this season's crop. Which is a good thing, too, as we can expect to see more of him in the near future: Williams has been confirmed as a cast member for the next season of The Challenge.
Earlier this week — in advance of its season finale, which airs tonight on MTV at 9 p.m. — we were fortunate enough to catch up with Williams over the phone to find out about his experiences on this year's version of the show. These days, he's back in Lubbock, pursuing a degree in industrial engineering, but he was still more than willing to share his thoughts on the show, gay rights, racism and his still-hopeful music career.
Did you learn anything from being on The Real World?
I learned a lot about myself from the show. It just really gave me more confidence in the fact that the person I am and think I am is the same.
Care to elaborate on what you learned?
Basically, I'm just just a chill dude. I don't like drama. I feel like it's easier to just talk about an issue, solve it and move on.
You did seem like you were the only one on the show this season that didn't care for confrontation. Was it kind of nerve-racking, knowing that around every corner was either a ticking time bomb or a glass case of emotion? How do you cope in a house with a bunch of eccentric personalities?
Man, it didn't really bother me. I wasn't really in the arguments, so my stress level was at a good zero. Plus, to me, none of the arguments really seemed as bad as they look when you're right there in the middle of it, everyday.
What is the experience like, living these moments in real time and then watching them in an edited form months later?
I mean, it's a little different than what we actually lived. In all, though, I feel people can get a pretty good view on what happened in the house. My only thing is you only get to see a one-sided view of each individual in the house.
During a fight between your roommates Jordan and Nia, Jordan made some insensitive racial remarks. He made monkey noises, drops the n-word and mockingly says something along the lines of “going to get my gat.” As a black man, how did those comments and gestures make you feel?
I was pissed. It's 2013 and people are still ignorant in the fact that, even if they aren't racist, they still look at black people as a stereotype. Then, not only that, but when someone of a different race argues with a black person, the first thing they go to still is racial-driven low-blows.
When another roommate, Anastasia, recalled the incident, she said that Jordan made those comments to “prove a point.” What exactly do you think she meant by this?
I don't know. I mean, whatever the point was, she never explained that to me.
One thing I've noticed and find kind of strange is that the roommates really open up to each other early on, telling one another their deepest and darkest secrets. Is this egged on by producers or are the roommates just extremely open people?
Naw, man. That was, like, after being there at least two to three weeks. You just see it fast on TV 'cause there's only 12 episodes.
You told your roommates that you had anal sex with another man. With your current devotion to Christianity, what are your views on gay rights?
Gays should have rights just like everybody else. Never does it say in my faith that your supposed to take away another person's right to live their own life. That is why God gave us freedom of choice.
Are women still your biggest distraction these days?
I have a lot of distractions. Women are still number one, but my plate has just gotten way bigger these last few months.
Do the producers ever break the fourth wall and interact with you all? Do you think it's right or wrong for them to sit back in the middle of a fight?
They stay out of everything, for the most part. I think they have to stay out. It's not about how we interact with them; it's all focused on us. So, if they step in, it takes away the reality of the show.
What is the deal with Subway? You guys were eating their food constantly. I know y'all don't like Subway that much.
Hey, we had free lunch cards there. You can't beat eating free.
Earlier on, you mentioned your plate being more full these days. In what ways do you mean?
I'm honestly doing a lot more now. I linked up with a model agency in New York. Now I'm getting into the whole fashion world. I've started Wavy Cartel, my clothing line, which is picking up. Also, the music. I mean, I have all these successful things going at once. Now that makes me even more of a wanted guy. Not only that, but I'm getting mad love from females. And the gay community seems to love me, too.
What moves have you made with your music career? What's your inspiration when it comes to music?
I just released my “Thirsty” single and it's been making major buzz. Getting prepared to release an album mid-July. No official date yet. Then, this fall, I'll be releasing another EP. Mainly, my inspiration comes from my life. All the B.S. I've had to go through helps me write. I take the times in life I've been through, and I put them to music.
Check out some of Williams' music, which he offers up under the name Jay Dillinger, below.