Friday, August 6, 2010

iLL Prophet Interview Oct '08

So I was going through old emails and found this interview from a couple years ago. It's funny going back to read this stuff and seeing how my mind has grown, works, and developed.

BB: First off. What's good?
Ill Prophet: What's up bruh? Everything kosher man. I'm living life and trying to enjoy every moment of it.

BB: Your music has a very unique style and refreshing style. Who are some of your influences you grew up to?
Ill Prophet: Ha. I love this question. Of course the typical Biggie, 2Pac, (ATCQ) A Tribe Called Quest so on and so forth had their influences somewhat here and there, but to be honest if I went through every influence and HOW they influenced me, you would have to dedicate two entire magazines to it, broken down in two parts. I guess the artists that really influenced me to initially say, "Dang, I want to be an artist are Mos Def, Common, The Roots, and Outkast. Let's just say a lot of everything from modern jazz, old school hip hop, and disco to gospel, soul, rock, and reggae played in on my styles. I could seriously name drop my musical influences all day...Curtis Mayfield, Led Zeppelin, Coldplay, Reverend James Cleveland, John P. Kee, Janis Joplin, Kenny G, Fourplay, Santana(Black Magic Woman), and on and on. lol My mom had all these old vinyls she used to play ALLL the time.

BB: What do you think about the current state of hip hop? or music in general?
Ill Prophet: Shoot sometimes I feel like John Kerry when they dug up all his stuff from his congressional term. Really I don't know. Sometimes I feel like THIS IS SOME BULL ISHT WTF IS WRONG WITH THE MUSIC WORLD and then other days...I'm feeling like it's just a different time. The only concern I have and will continue to have until it changes is the people not diversyfing what we listen too and the radio not diversifying the music they're playing. The radio and tv stations will play the music we request if we requested it in masses. On my hip hop stations how come I have NEVER heard Jean Grae? Little Brother? or even local emcees that have blown up such as Wale or Tabi Bonney? I hear Tabi and them in DC now more, but how come not in Baltimore? Why aren't Kanye's singles still being played from Graduation? I still hear Lollipop from Lil Wayne and Ayo Technology from 50? Why isn't Mos or the infamous Jay Electronica getting any play PERIOD. It's starts with the people. But the people can't get the information if they aren't even given the chance to hear it! Man shit, I'm gonna leave that question alone.

BB: Do you feel hip hop can have another golden era?
Ill Prophet: Golden era? Call me a rebel but I sort of feel like the golden era of hip hop may actually be RIGHT NOW! Hip hop music is bigger than it has ever been. Being a lyricist I have always been one to argue the need for better lyrics and music that has true meaning but we forget what our "Golden Era" really consisted of. I hate to burst folks bubble but EVERY SINGLE STYLE of music we have now was out even back then. Even during the 93-94 GOLDEN YEAR of hip hop. Wikipedia puts it best - ()"The artists most often associated with the phase are Public Enemy, KRS-One and his Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Jungle Brothers.[4] Releases by these acts co-existed and successfully competed commercially in this period with those of gangsta rap pioneers Schoolly D and N.W.A, the sex raps of Too $hort, and party-oriented music by acts such as Kid 'n Play, Heavy D, and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.[5]" "Look it up yourself. Keyword is CO-EXISTED. Soulja boy is our Kid N Play, Jazz and Fresh, Heavy D, 50 and, most definitely Game are our N.W.A., Pretty Ricky is our Too Short, Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell and so on are our ATCQ, De La, and so on. There are tons more that we know about but are getting any play. So the era is here. It's right now! It's just up to the people and the media to make it happen like they did back in the 90's. We as artist are delivering the material. !! All day everyday! I'll mail you a cd if you want. My art is free. It's on,, I'm everywhere.

BB: Who are you feeling in hip hop today?
Ill Prophet:...that's rough...Me. Damn. lls. It's a list. There are just a lot of real MC's that deserve some serious shine. I like to follow up with why and I feel emcees don't get to do that often but I can talk all day about some folks. So simply put, COMMON first. He's stayed so true to himself. How can you not respect that? Kanye West, Jay Electronica(Get to know the new Badu Boo Jay Elec = SICK!!), 88Keys(Absolutely amazing and growing producer), Snoop (Now more than ever we see the old man in Snoop and that's some off the wall psychedelic isht that I love), KID CUDI, Q-Tip(Gettin Up is classic), MF Doom, Gnarls Barkley, OutKast(Andre AND Antwan will ALWAYS be OutKast nigga!), Soulja Boy, Pharrell, The Roots(B. Thought is still one of the sickest emcees with brotha ?uesto workin production), WALE, TABI BONNEY. D.C. emcees ALLL day. The list could go on but those are the first that come to mind and I have their albums going in steady rotation on the Zune. LET THE BEAT ROCK!! LET THE BEAT ROCK!!! HaHa!

BB: What have you been working on lately?
Ill Prophet: Everything. I'm networking like crazy. Getting people to know who you are is everything but at the same time I'm continually developing my style. I'm co-working on my mixtape Ill Prophecies and getting in on these shows. Shows are everything to me so if I get nothing but ten minutes on a stage I want to be on that stage. Not open mics but actual hip hop features. I love to perform. Also I'm building up my fanbase. A lot of folks might have 100,000 myspace friends but of that number probably only 20 or 30,000 actually rolling with you. Real true fans. It sucks but that's the nature of people. So I'm trying to hit everybody in every place cause you never know who might be your next biggest fan.

BB: How would you describe your style of music?
Ill Prophet: Ecclectic. Soulful. Heartfelt. IN YOUR FACE. Straight to the point. Off the wall. Hyped. Relaxed. My music is ever-evolving and developing. With that I hope to bring the listener along with me for this journey into greatness. People should be ever-evolving and changing and that's how my music is. To throw the idea in the air, my style of music is like a massive super saiyan spirit bomb, wrapped in Phoenix's flames, submerged in the seas of Atlantis, hidden in the swamps of Naboo. Digest that isht right there. In laymen's terms, it's out of this world.

BB: When can we be expecting an Ill Prophet Lp?
Ill Prophet: When my right brain and left brain decide to stop being anti-social and cooperate. HaHa:) Regardless we're looking at the end of '09 or so. I really want the mixtapes to flow through the streets and the underground before I really let the ball of energy loose. I'm messing around with way too many different sounds and elements to drop something this year. But the mixtapes are coming and as they come, everything else is coming together too. Just stay on the look out. IllaProph never stops moving.

BB: Alright music to the side. Tell us about Ill Prophet's life growing up.
Ill Prophet: Well I was born in D.C. I've lived pretty much all my life in and around different parts of Maryland. It's always just be my mother and me but life was ok. We struggled like I feel most single parent or even two parent households do. I've had the drug heads living right next door to me and my friends getting locked up at 8 for bringing semi-automatics to school and knives and all. That was one moment in my childhood. Then in another part the last roughly ten years of my life before I graduated high school, I lived in a military suburban community. I haven't seen it all but I have seen a lot. It's life. I've had first hand looks into both sides of the economic spectrum. Broke and in hoods you've only scene on t.v. and then where people have money and big houses and three cars and crazy ish like that. I'm well rounded because of it though. I'm prolly missing a lot but that's all I can really think of.

BB: When did you decide to try pick up the mic?
Ill Prophet: When I finally got one. ha. Man I'm geeking. Years ago. Many years ago. I had to have been in maybe 7th or 8th grade. I started writing poetry first. I was spitting other emcees rhymes but the poetry was the first self procreated art. As far as spitting I don't even really know. Must have been the night I saw a rerun of Martin. It was the International Player's ball episode with Jerome. lol OutKast performed at the end of that episode. They moved me soo much and around that time I had saw the video for The Roots - Next Movement. That song/video/lyrics were so raw for me I had to do music. I love everything about The Roots man. No homo but damn. If ya think you know The Roots holla at me. We can go back and Pass The Popcorn with just Tariq and Ahmir hitting the boom boom bip ba boom boom bip. Classic.

BB: At the end of the day, what do you want to do for hip hop and be perceived as?
Ill Prophet: Honestly I don't know. I don't have an agenda for hip-hop. I barely have a real motive or agenda for myself. All I want is for my music to be remembered and live on through time. I don't want to be restricted to just hip hop. Forget that. I want to cross genres. I want to be on Beatles status. Everybodoy knows who the Beatles are no matter if you're black, white, American or Russian. Michael Jackson could quit right now and never release another album, single, ad-lib, or even a breath and his music will be played. From lil Mike J of the Jackson 5 right up to now. His legacy, though clouded by other bull, lives on. Our kid's kids will hear Michael. Even LL Cool J has songs like that. These people will live on through music forever. We still sign Marvin Gaye tracks and he's been passed for over 20 years. I want my music to have that affect on the world and music industry.

BB: Anything else you'd like to add?
Ill Prophet: Support support support. I can't stress it enough. Not just me but all your favorite emcees.
My music is free so there is no reason why a "fan" shouldn't have it. Give it to friends. Spread it around. Tell people about me. Talk about the other hip hop that's out here. Hit me on myspace. WWW.MYSPACE.COM/ILLPROPHECIES I just want to say thanks for the time. I appreciate and have much respect for people that stay true to themselves and strive for what they believe in.

Thanks again,


Ill Prophet Facebook Page Ill Prophet
Ill Prophet Music Page -
Facebook Personal Profile Illyus Prophet

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