Willy Preston Wheatley III, age 12, says he’s a “hard mothafugga.”
“Yeah, I try not to brag, but I run shit at FAMS,” said Wheatley of his involvement at Franklin Avenue Middle School in Franklin Lakes, N.J.
Wheatley stands five feet tall, has platinum blonde hair and deep blue eyes.
“I don’t really care what you say, because I’m 10 times more gangster than Tupac,” Wheatley said. “I mean, look where he ended up.”
Franklin Lakes is no stranger to outlandish residents—this affluent North Jersey suburb is the filming location for Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey. In 2007, MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 also recorded a borough resident’s six-figure birthday party. Now, in 2011, Wheatley is stealing the spotlight with his groundbreaking announcement.
“I’m an ‘OG,’” Wheatley said as he showed off his walk-in-closet full of Southpole and Enyce clothing. “Our housekeeper Consuela is ironing my favorite Ed Hardy shirt for tomorrow.”
At FAMS, Wheatley is no stranger to disciplinary measures. Although the school’s administrators declined several attempts for an interview, Wheatley was more than willing to discuss his rap sheet.
“Yeah, this dumb bitch was talking too much in math class, so I threw a textbook at her. See if I care. I don’t,” he said. “Yesterday, I covered my Language Arts’ teacher’s car in graffiti. He deserved it.”
Billy’s father, William Jr., is on the board of directors at Goldman Sachs in New York City. A secretary responded to the interview query by saying the behavior is not acceptable and that his mother and/or Consuela would deal with it.
“I don’t really know where his ghetto attitude comes from,” said his mother, Lisa, in between her weekly nail appointment and tennis game. “Frankly, none of his therapists have been able to get to the root of the cause.”
“When [FAMS students] see me rollin’ up in the morning, I can sense their fear,” Wheatley said. “If these dumb people from my school don’t, like, respect me, I’ll pop a cap in their ass. See if I care. I don’t. One time Consuela dropped me off at school, and she threw up a gang sign before leaving. She’s so hood.”
Wheatley’s two best friends only agreed to be interviewed anonymously, both claiming their parents did not want others knowing they were thugs.
“I didn’t ask to be born into money,” Alex* said. “I’d rather be straight from the hood, yo. Billy helps me forget that I’m the son of a plastic surgeon.”
“We get mad chicks,” Robert* said. “Billy taught me how to grind with a girl without my bling getting in the way.”
During the day, Wheatley tries his best to initiate rap battles in the school’s cafeteria.
“Yo—let’s get this battle crunked!” declared the pint-sized gangster at lunch last Thursday. No response was elicited from the lily-white audience.
“Betta move ova/I’ll crush you with a Range Rova’/Get on my level/They call me da Flakes Devil,” Wheatley free-verse rapped.
Popular girl Victoria Miller then reportedly kicked off her Ugg boots and stood on her lunch table. “You’re the biggest loser ever,” the 13-year-old girl yelled. The cafeteria erupted in laughter.
“Oh you think you’re so cool/you go to this school/Well your mom cheats on your dad/I would think you’d be mad,” an unfazed Wheatley rapped back.
Soon thereafter, school administrators grabbed Wheatley by the collar of his shirt and dragged him to the front office.
“His rap battles are usually weak, but this one was especially poor,” 12-year-old Peter James said. “Last month was his best; he rhymed ‘Country Club Killa’ with ‘Ben Stiller.’”
After school, Wheatley and his friends tend to loiter around Franklin Crossings Shopping Center to harass shoppers at the grocery store and the local sushi restaurant.
“Bitches be crazy. I keep it real classy. I swear,” said Wheatley as he pounded his chest in the popular “Thug Love” fashion.
“I’m like, embarrassed for my little brother,” said Wheatley’s 18-year-old sister Christine. “Whenever my girls want to chill, they never want to come over to my house. Billy thinks he’s their age and tries to hit on them. As if.”
“Those are some fine-ass mami’s,” Wheatley said in his best gangster accent. “They’re just playin’ hard to get. They can’t resist this charm.”
Wheatley opened up a folder of saved iChat conversations on his MacBook Pro.
“Yo, I gotta get my cyberbully on, you know? See this conversation? I threatened to club this kid’s kneecaps if he didn’t do my social studies homework,” Wheatley said with a laugh.
While textbook “Original Gangsters” were known for their street violence, love affairs and hate crimes, Wheatley keeps it real in his own way. He steals stop signs, annoys girls on Formspring and breaks his neighbors’ mailboxes with a metal baseball bat.
Wheatley’s obsession with gangsters and violence might be a result of his affinity for gang movies and programs. DVDs in his collection include American Gangster, Scarface, Gang Wars and The Sopranos.
Psychologist Adam R. Banks believes these gangster movies represent what Adam wants.
“As white and suburban Franklin Lakes may be, Wheatley will try his hardest to emulate what he sees,” Banks said.
For now, Wheatley will go back to terrorizing his schoolyard with infantile threats that he perceives as gangster.
“Are you done yet? I have to go hit some idiot with a sock full of Legos.”
Marc Phillips is a sophomore IMC major who is more OG than that Ice-T song. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.