iLLism: iLLuminate Review
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Sub-Genres: #funk, #pop, #jazz, #synth
Non-Airable Tracks: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13
“iLLism” were featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Tour last summer, which should speak volumes to their musicianship and originality. They mix elements of R&B, hip-hop, funk, and jazz, and are usually supported a live band.
This all being said, I didn’t enjoy the majority of this album. Songs like “Life” sounded a bit juvenile, and lacked smoothness. I thought the lyrics were average, “Welcome to Life” being repeated over and over again over some strange beats. It feels a little bit like they are trying too hard to be Wu-Tang Clan but are sounding more like a Kidz Bop cover of them. Similarly, while I enjoyed the music in “Dope S***,” the lyrics and overall execution fell flat for me. “Post and Chill” was the only song where I felt like the jazz/funk elements worked really well together. The two songs that probably fit most categorically into hip-hop as we know it today are “New Money” and “Bet,” but I don’t think I would listen to these songs on the daily.
Overall, I really did try to enjoy the album but I didn’t as much as I hoped to. Something about the production seemed unrefined, and I think these artists still have some growth to do, both lyrically and musically.
Sounds Like: Wu Tang Clan, Noname, The Internet
7. Post ‘N’ Chill
Reviewer’s Name: Arielle Devorah
Date of Review: 11 February 2019