2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Lil Ray/Wheels Up


Waltor Ray Simon, better known by his stage name Lil Ray, is an artist, producer, songwriter and label owner from Houston, Texas. Hailing from the same city as industry veterans Scarface, Geto Boys, Chamillionaire, Slim Thug, Z-Ro, and UGK, Lil Ray has carved his own niche in the rap game, gaining notoriety for his crazy wordplay and inimitable delivery, solidifying himself as Houston’s best-kept secret.

Born and raised on the north side of Houston, Lil Ray was heavily involved in sports as a teenager. A top high school athlete, he turned down several scholarships to Division 1 schools to focus on his new love of rapping which he initially started doing for fun. Influenced by UGK, Andre 3000, Bone Thugs -N- Harmony, Three 6 Mafia, Jay-Z, 50/50 Twin and Big L, he began writing songs at age 17. Favorable feedback on his music and the example of his hard working parents that he admired caused him to tenaciously pursue his dreams.

In 2006, using the blueprint of many rap legends before him, he began selling copies of his first mixtape, It’s Lil Ray People, Volume 1, from back of his car trunk throughout Texas and abroad—selling over 20, 000 copies. This garnered him a huge fan base throughout Texas and caught the attention of well-known Houston group, Boss Hogg Outlawz, formed by Slim Thug. He officially became a member of the Boss Hogg Outlawz in 2010, which gave him the privilege of working alongside Slim Thug and traveling and performing in over thirty cities. This also gave him the opportunity to work with Chamillionaire and Killa Keyleon as well as artists from Young Money and Swisha House.

In 2011, Lil Ray released the Don Cannon hosted mixtape, Dopest Shit Ever, produced by Stunt and Dozier. The mixtape received positive reviews and sold favorably online as well as in stores. His latest single, “Purple”, is in heavy rotation in Houston and is creating a huge buzz abroad in addition to his other record, “Cali Texas”. The videos to both “Purple” and “Cali Texas” have been viewed over three million times online. Both are featured songs on his most recent mixtape, The Purple Tape, released on his own label, Wheels Up Entertainment. In August 2013, he was featured in hip hop magazine, XXL.

With the success of Dopest Shit Ever and The Purple Tape, Lil Ray is currently readying the release of his highly anticipated debut album, Lift Off, to be released later this year. He promises that Lift Off will be his best work so far. “My fans can expect a great well put together album from me”, he declares. “Just imagine all of my mixtapes put in one.” Named one of Houston’s hottest new rappers by Chamillionaire, Lil Ray is ready to show the world that he can hold his own as an artist and a boss.

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