Mack Wilds Talks Growing Up in NYC, Realizing His Dream of Music, Wu-Tang, More

Tristan 'Mack' Wilds is a poster boy for hoods, projects, and inner cities around the world. Raised in Staten Island, New York, this gifted actor and singer got his start by making the cast on HBO's hit series "The Wire." From there, he retreated to California where he landed several film roles including the integral character, Dixon, on CW's 90210. During the run of the show, Mack began to show the world pieces of his first love…music. Fast-forward to the present, his dream has come to fruition with his debut album, New York: A Love Story, dropping via Sony. We recently caught up with Mack and he spoke to us on why this project is meaningful, how he linked with members of Wu-Tang, and more.

Growing up in New York (Staten Island): It was fun, it definitely had its dangerous points and its ups and downs, love and lost as the album is about but it was probably the most memorable experiences of my life.

Starting out on The Wire: They had an audition for the character Randy — the character that had the braids; they called him Snitch. I went out for that part, they people said that they liked it, they felt that I was a great actor, but I was too big of a kid to get beat up the way that Randy was gonna get beat up so they said let’s try him for another role…they tried me for Michael…I wound up in Baltimore.

Finally releasing his debut album, ‘New York: A Love Story’: It’s a dream come true. This is my first love before acting and everything so to see this come to fruition the way it did…it feels really good… I would trade this moment for the world.

This is my baby and plus it’s the ode to home…my introduction. Before fully bringing people into my life, I’m showing them who I am. Let me show you where I’m from, let me show you that corner store, let me show you that pizzeria I used to get my dollar slices from, let me bring you back to Stapleton where I cut my knee for the first time, kiss my first girl, fought a guy or two…let me bring you back there so you understand exactly what you’re about to get yourself into for my musical journey.

Working with Legends like Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Havoc, more: It was amazing…It was an honor because of the way we presented it.

Working with members of Wu-Tang: Knowing them since I was like four (4), I’ve known Meth (Method Man) and Rae (Raekwon) since I was a little kid. They used to come to my Dad’s barbershop to get their haircuts before they went on tour so they literally watched me grow up in the neighborhood and even outside the neighborhood while I was coming up in the business, so I would always see them around. For me to be here doing music now, bringing them into the studio and letting them hear what I’m doing…they were excited…they definitely came through and helped out.

Mack wants it to be known that there is a new kid on the block and he’s serious about this music thing.

Gary Gentles

Founder and Creator of and Follow me on Instagram at @gary.gentles.

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