iLL-Literacy Explore Their Soft (But Still Eccentric) Side With New Single
DOWNLOAD: iLL-Literacy – Finding Emo
iLL-Literacy, the trio of evolutionary emcees Drizzleton, Dahlak, and Nico, is back at it with the slow jam from their new record IB4the1.1 (pronounced I Before The 1, Chapter 1). The new single, titled “Finding Emo,” manages to maintain their trademark schizophrenic styling (rhyming “Chuck English” with “Chuck Mingus,” for example) while exploring a more, well, emo side.
iLL-Lit are quite aware of what an unexpected move “Finding Emo” is for a group more known for off-the-wall energetic turbo-funk than any sort of introspection. Thankfully, while iLL-Lit are taking themselves a bit more seriously on “Finding Emo,” they haven’t lost their preternatural understanding of the music industry as a whole. iLL-Lit explains their coming to terms with emo thusly: “At one point, the unpredictable and dangerous waters of “taking yourself too seriously” pushed the band of clownfish known as iLL-Literacy to self-seclude in the shallows of electric gospel funk. Paranoid after a nearby planktonic community was swallowed for being too “deep,” iLL-Literacy never let their emotion, popularly known as Emo, beyond the jagged coral of the Great Barrier Reef.”
“With help from this generation’s short-term memory, watch these clever crustaceans snap back at industry sharks in “Finding Emo” – an epic journey to rescue emotional content from the artificial habitat of so many starfish.”
For musicians today, a record deal can be like a used car; it might get you from point A to point B, but most likely the salesman took your money and poured sawdust in the transmission. Fortunately, while the industry is gridlocked in filesharing, the members of iLL-Literacy can teleport. And by teleport, they mean “make music that would inspire passionate love with a Silverback gorilla… if it was socially acceptable.” Enter the world of digitiLL funk – an ever-expanding sonic universe piecemealed together by the ever-shrinking attention span of Oakland trio iLL-Literacy. Members Dahlak, Drizzletron, and N.I.C have known each other since birth, and since then have been mutating words and sounds, invading concert halls, off-Broadway stages, and college arenas throughout North America and Europe and infiltrating networks from HBO, MTV and beyond. Toggling between daydream and full-blown hallucination, the result is iLL-Literacy’s first record, iB4the1 (“I Before The One”). Colliding influences from afrobeat and hip-hop as much as Plato and X-Men, their freshman effort plays more like the soundtrack for a never-ending shroom-trip than a standard rap album. It pays homage to a wide range of inspirations, while constantly reaching for the new. From a record that is political in scope but never heavy-handed to an intersecting live show that can boast life-size Lego-men, iLL-Literacy is both a product of its time, and a defining feature. The first chapter of the forthcoming album, IB4the1, IB4the1.1 is available now.