Muay Thai boxer Charles Williams isn't the only pro athlete to try to make it in hip-hop.
"Roy Jones Jr. was a great boxer who came out with an album," says Williams. "It wasn't that good.... [Deion Sanders] also came out with an album. But he should stick to what he does best. They try to rap just because they can."
Billed as Joint Response, Williams and partner DJ Shag have performed at Brick by Brick, Tio Leo's, and Buster Daly's. The duo has released a 16-song CD and a three-song 12-inch disc.
"It's on colored vinyl," says Williams. "It's orange with red streaks. When you have live shows, it's good to have wax.... Financially, I wasn't able to get a lot of copies made," so Joint Response is out of CDs and records.
Williams, who lives in Santee, was raised in southeast San Diego.
"I have been training since I was 13. I got into [martial arts] because of Bruce Lee movies."
Does the kickboxing ever hinder his music making?
"Only if I get beat up real bad and have to do a show the next day.... The worst I had was a black eye and bruises.... I've seen people get knocked out where they had to be carried out on stretchers. I saw guys going into seizures."
He says muay Thai is an art form, unlike ultimate fighting "...where anything goes.... A lot of people just call [muay Thai] kickboxing. You use your shins, knees, elbows, and hands." His last paid fight was April 1,2005 in Denver, Colorado. "That was my K-1 debut. The K-1 organization is the highest level of muay Thai."
Williams, born in 1974 (the same year "Kung Fu Fighting" was a number-one hit), says he hasn't written any kickboxing tunes. "I'd like to connect the two, but I don't want it to be corny. I would rather come out as an MC and have people say, 'Oh, he's a kickboxer too.'"
-- "Blurt," 4-27-05