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iLL Literacy Biography


8 October 2009 No Comment

For musicians today, a record deal can be like a used car; it might get you from point A to point B, but most likely the salesman took your money and poured sawdust in the transmission. Fortunately, while the industry is gridlocked in filesharing, the members of iLL-Literacy can teleport. And by teleport, they mean “make music that would inspire passionate love with a Silverback gorilla…if it was socially acceptable.” And like any good Silverback gorilla lovemaking, iLL-Literacy’s music somehow recalls our primal past, while leaping forward (and sideways) into a future marked by inter-racial babies and Twitter.

Enter the world of digitiLL funk—an ever-expanding sonic universe piecemealed together by the ever-shrinking attention span of Oakland trio iLL-Literacy. Members Dahlak, Drizzletron and N.I.C have known each other since birth, and since then have been mutating words and sounds, invading concert halls, off-Broadway stages, and college arenas throughout North America and Europe and infiltrating networks from HBO, MTV and beyond.

The group lays claim to the iFunk generation—the post-crack epidemic pre-Obama 80s babies who were prescribed Ritalin because they liked music more than school. Founding member, vocalist and cyber-yogi Drizzletron says, “It’s like I took one step away from my behavioral meds, and George Clinton took two steps toward my imagination!”
Toggling between daydream and full-blown hallucination, the result is iLL-Literacy’s first record, iB4the1. Colliding influences from afrobeat and hip-hop as much as Plato and X-Men, their freshman effort plays more like the soundtrack for a never-ending shroomtrip* than a standard rap album. It pays homage to a wide range of inspirations, while constantly reaching for the new. From a record that is political in scope but never heavy-handed to an intersecting live show that can boast life-size Lego-men, iLL-Literacy is both a product of its time, and a defining feature. Can you digit??

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