Wikipedia says “Ill Conscious has been called a mix between a later-in-his-career AZ, a Capital Punishment Big Pun, with the ‘consciousness’ of Talib Kweli and the passion/word choice of Tupac”, in this interview he tells us about his upcoming South American Tour, his favorite joints and having an international production team..
Peace Ill Conscious, where’s home?
Born Mecca. Baltimore, Md or what most like to call it “the home of the Wire”.
How long have you been emceeing?
Well over 15 years. I actually did my first recordings as early as 03-04.
What’s the underground hip hop scene like in your city?
The underground hip hop scene in my city is very eclectic in terms of the actual talent that is harbored here. However,in that same breath, its extremely divisive with egos that can deter networking relationships and opportunities before they even begin.
Unfortunately, it seems that mentality carries weight here. It can be difficult to maneuver if you are an artist looking to further your career, especially as a “Boom bap”or traditional style of hip hop artist.
Baltimore has always been more of a club based scene and mainstream radio is a prevalent part of the culture here so it is not surprising to see artists thrive that reflect the music of the current mainstream radio. We still have those purists that still appreciate good hip hop in the city.
Who makes your beats? Do you have a team??
I work with several international producers quite often. M.W.P. from Denmark. We are dropping a project this year collectively as “The Genetics”.
Loop.Holes from Norway who has done work on both “The Essence” and The Prerequisite. More recently Mz Boom Bap from Portugal whom I just released the “Sorcery” EP with as well as French, German, Chilean beat makers from all corners of the world. I really work with anyone that is dope and who genuinely wants to create. I don’t necessarily have a team of producers but I do have producers that are my main go tos.
What inspires you to write?
My children. The everyday status of having to work a 9 to 5 while doing this music shit, taking care of the babies, yet finding time to still travel on an international level. Financial freedom inspires me and just wanting better for self and everyone in my cipher.
With so many dope tracks what should someone who’s not familiar with you go check out first?
I honestly have the hardest time answering questions like this lol. But those who are close to me would say “The Testament” – “Everyday” – “Capital Investments” – “Good Morning Baltimore”
Do you do collabs, can artists contact you?
Yes I’m open to collabs for serious inquires only. It is possible for me to collab based on an organic networking connection or through mutual circumstances, but the best way to contact me for work is firstname.lastname@example.org
Any shows coming up? We see your doing a tour in South America how that come about?
March 30th is the first show in Santiago, Chile on my South American tour as well as April 4th & 7th. I’ve been preparing for this for some time now.
Building with Chilean artists, producers and DJs such as Papitas Freestile, Hi-Cees and DJ Dacel who are all on “The Prerequisite” LP has really assisted in enabling my fan base to grow tremendously in their respective countries. Also, DJ Audas who did cuts on “The Testament” and another notable emcee in Chile, Bruto CHR was a collab that really captured the Chilean audience too.
After peeping my year end statistics on Spotify and seeing that Santiago, Chile was the 3rd highest city that listened to my music the most, it just made sense to make this move happen.
Your goals for the rest of 2019?
My goal is to reach multiple countries and cities this year on the ground. Last Year was France and the UK. This year I plan to hit plenty of countries to help get the music out there beginning with Chile.
I have plans to get back to France, Spain and Switzerland in the next coming months. Stay tuned for that. I have two projects dropping this year as well.
One with M.W.P. and another with a very talented producer from Camden, NJ, Mute Won. The goal is to remain steadfast and grind with a continued tenacity. We will get to where we need to be when the time is right.
Last words or shouts??
Peace to my brothers Dirt Platoon, Guy Grams, Jay Royale, Shef Kutz, and Big Marcus. My brothers won’t be able to make it to Chile with me because they will be rocking back home March 31st in Baltimore, MD opening up for the Legendary Ghost and Rae from the Wu Tang Clan and April 4th Dirt Platoon will be rocking with Kool G Rap and Black Sheep.
Go support if you are in the DMV area. Lets see, what else? Go Cop “The Prerequisite” – “Sorcery” and “Parimore” . All projects that you need to get your hands on or stream on all major digital platforms. Vinyl and Cds are available.
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EDITOR: La Mont Reed
IMAGE: ILL Conscious