William James Adams Jr. (born March 15, 1975), better known as will.i.am, is an American hip-hop musician and founding member of The Black Eyed Peas. Adams is of Jamaican descent. When William was 16 years old, he started rapping in late 1991 under the name "Will-1X" after being discovered by Compton rapper and former N.W.A. leader Eazy-E and signed a deal to Eazy’s Ruthless Records. will.i.am’s first rap song was "Merry Muthafuckin’ Xmas" from Eazy-E’s 1992 EP 5150: Home 4 tha Sick.