Monday, August 2, 2010

An Interview w/ The ILLZ

What do you see when you look out the nearest window?

Trees and the brick wall of the next building lol.

What do you like most about living in New Jersey?

What I like most about where I live in Jersey is its close proximity to NYC. I love the fact that I am 10 minutes away from NYC with an amazing skyline view. It's great because it offsets that madness in NYC with the calmness of Jersey.

The Pursuit LP starts off with an old school HOV interview. What inspired you to use this piece?

Shouts to my man AR he's the one that got me that interview. One day he was in the crib and he was like "Yo, check this old school rare Jay interview that I found". I was just listening to it and I was astounded by how humble, hopeful, and even nervous Hov was. Obviously those aren't things you think about when you think of Jay-Z. He is like the king of confidence you know. So the more I listened to it I realized how I was at the same point and felt the same way about my music in the respect that right now I just want to be appreciated. That interview took place RIGHT before "Reasonable Doubt" came out so this was before anybody hailed it as a classic or even a good album. This was Jay before releasing the album so something in his voice showed how he was just hungry for appreciation since he put so much into it. Now we can see how he got that and ALOT more from that album.

Can you explain the back story to the song "M.P.A. (My Public Apology)"?

I was dating a young lady at the time. We were friends for a long time but finally decided to take it to another level you know. Everything was great, she was great however it ended badly. It really ended completely out of the blue. I was to blame, I just became scared that I was maybe misleading her and that it wasn't fair to her. One day I just completely disappeared and sank deep into my music, began working out, and just getting my mind right you know. Even though I wanted to reach out to her for some reason I just couldn't so she was in a position where one day everything was all good then the next day she would never hear from me again. I felt like it deserved an apology and a lot more. However the only way I can come to doing it was on a record.

In the music video for M.P.A. it shows you writing on a piece of paper. What were you writing?

I was writing the entire lyrics to the song. The way I wrote this record was more like a letter than an actual song so that's why it made sense to incorporate that into the video.

How do you go about sampling and what attracts you to the style of music you sample?

I don't have a ritual per say. I just come across plenty of records and it has to be something that moves me, something that I can relate to, and something can stir up certain emotions within me. However I am careful in what I sample, sometimes you can ruin a certain song by adding your two cents to it. I always make sure I don't taint it even though I will be taking a different approach.

The song Dreams of Life & Beth samples Beth Gibbons song "Show". How did you discover Beth Gibbons and/or Portishead?

I listen to ALOT of music, as a matter of fact I dedicate a lot of time to finding new music and/or artists on the net. Obviously Portishead I knew about just because they are HUGE, however I wasn't really aware that Beth Gibbons had actually recorded a solo record until months ago. I actually have a new record coming out from the 'In Between Video Series' that uses a Portishead record.

When will you know that your dream is reality?

That's a good question, there can be many indications. Maybe something like selling out my own show, charting on the Billboards, signing a contract. I really don't know, however when that feeling arrives I will be able to recognize it, but I can't say what will spark it.

How do you translate your emotions into words so well?

That's a good question that maybe only the powers that be can answer, I am just very grateful that I can channel and translate them into something that people can relate to it and serve as a mean of therapy for us all.

Your bio states that you're an actor as well. How did you get into acting and what have you acted in?

Inspiring actor is probably a better term. As of now the only work I have done is on my own videos. However acting is as big and important as music is. Something inside of me tells me that I can be great in it and I truly believe that. However everything takes it's time and I am willing to wait.

Normally as an artist you have years of material piled up and it all goes into that first couple projects. How do plan to keep that artistic side of you going for years to come?

I think as time goes on I will only be able to produce a lot more material. All the material I have done so far has been juggled in between regular jobs and the issues you deal with trying to survive and pay bills. I think once that is diminished and I begin to actually make a living off of music I will have the time, inspiration and necessary mental space to take my music not only in volume but also quality to new heights.

If you could change one thing about hip-hop what would it be and why?

I was actually having a great discussion with my man Joe Scudda the other day and we agreed on one thing, we in Hip-Hop have TOOOO many rules and actually box ourselves in. I believe those rules have been breaking down slowly recently with certain artists that are out now. However I think ignorance, immaturity, fear or growth and something different is prevalent in Hip-Hop music and I think it stunts its growth as a genre. I think we're getting there slowly but surely.

1 comment:

Sylvie said...

Bravo! Loved this interview!