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iLLism: iLLuminate Review

Updated: Sep 28, 2020


Album: iLLuminate

Artist: iLLism

Genre: #Hiphop

Sub-Genres: #funk, #pop, #jazz, #synth

Label: iLLism

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

Recommended Tracks: 

7. Post ‘N’ Chill

14. Bet

Reviewer’s Name: Arielle Devorah

Date of Review: 11 February 2019

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