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28 April, 2003@12:00 am

After the highly anticipated release of his Non-Phixion crew’s The Future is Now LP, Ill Bill  returns with his solo full length Ill Bill is the Future.

Following a mixtape format, the album is a good introduction to those that may have been introduced to Ill Bill by way of his Non Phixion material. Many of the tracks have already been released on other projects, and over half of the album consists of various freestyles that Bill has ripped throughout the years. One of those previously released tracks, “Simian Drugs” gets the LP off to a raucous beginning featuring Ill Bill joining forces with El-P, as their chemistry definitely warrants hitting the playback button a few times. “Circle of Tyrants” is a dope posse cut featuring Ill Bill’s brother Necro, as well as Mr. Hyde, Goretex, and Carnage showcasing the usual guns, drugs, and face-slicing references that the crew has seemingly perfected.

The Scarface influenced “Yae Yo” featuring the Beatnuts and Problemz is a well-produced cut, featuring a dope flute sample and thumping drums that go fit the all-star lineup perfectly. On “Gangsta Rap”, Ill Bill raps about ghetto life and drug hustling. But even if you can’t relate to the subject matter, the production on the track is one of the albums best with a sick piano loop and well-matched horn samples. “Indy 5000 Freestyle” is one of the tracks on the album that you can actually tell is a freestyle, while many of the other “freestyles” on the album feature backup vocals and scratch-choruses which make them more like on-the-spot songs. But either way, each track, freestyle or not, will have your head nodding.

By the last track, all the gun and knife talk gets a little tiring, but there’s no debating that the album does a good job of highlighting Ill Bill’s best solo work. Ill Bill is the Future may disappoint those who may be looking for all new Ill Bill material, but it does serve as a good compilation of tracks and freestyles that will at least hold fans over until that official full-length drops.

  Mixtape D.L.
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