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by
18 May, 2004@12:00 am
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Something about the kid Bill just ain’t right. As one third of Brooklyn’s Non Phixion, the world got a long, hard look at the warped mind that is Ill Bill through his searing lines on NP’s classic debut, The Future is Now. No doubt, Bill is one of those people that just don’t give a fuck. Lyrically he’s vicious; his verses are often violent outbursts of pure energy laced with a gritty realism that only comes from having walked the walk. Fuck with Bill, or any member of his team for that matter, and just see how real it can become. Musically, everything the kid touches is fire. From Non Phixion to his solo joint, one thing Bill is about is bringing a kind of raw energy that is something like a wild riot that’s gone way out of control. Whether he’s speaking on government conspiracies or narrating through a cleverly designed concept song or when he’s on some straight gutter shit, Ill Bill consistently bruises everything with this serious energy he creates every time he steps up. This time he’s teamed up with the demented genius of brother Necro to put out a record that is part introspective, almost diary-like admissions and part murder and mayhem. Bill’s album is the first of a trilogy of solo records from all three Non Phixion members to drop on Necro’s Psycho+Logical-Records, and already the praise is unanimous. With production duties handled entirely by Necro, it’s the kind of collaboration Non Phixion fans have been fiending for since day one, and it definitely does not disappoint. The kid just comes with the heat, and he’s lyrically relentless.

HHS: So your solo debut just dropped, why don’t you give us an idea of what we can expect.

Ill Bill: The album’s called What’s Wrong with Bill? This album is my answer to all the “happy rap” out there right now, all the fruit-flavored shit you got coming out; all that so-called “hardcore rap” right now, that shit is soft to me, too. Right now I’m doing that punch-you-in-the-face rap, that new shit; adrenaline rap. If you’re into that soft, cornball rap you’re not gonna’ wanna’ check what I’m doing, it’s really not for you. I don’t wanna’ say that it’s on some throwback shit because we’re doing it so we’re giving you that 2004 goon-ism, you know what I’m saying? And beat-wise, the only dude in Necro’s league right now is Dre. So stay stupid if you want, keep sleeping, but Necro’s making the hardest beats in the game right now and ain’t nobody as hungry for success as we are right now. That’s what this album is about. I’m putting everybody on blast, nobody in the game is as ill as my team, nobody. Ninety percent of the rappers out right now are trash. Either they on some gay shit or they think they hardcore. Every rapper is either sucking 50 Cent or Cam’ron’s dick, trying to sound like G-Unit, Dipset….and even those dude ain’t fuckin’ with me. Aside from dudes like Scarface or Jay-Z or Ghost and a handful of others, most of the shit that’s coming out right now…. C’mon kid, that shit is retard rap. Y’all deserve more than that. I’m dropping this album to save y’all from the moron music that’s coming out right now. Not all hip-hop is boring, hip-hop is alive and well. We lacing you with that grimy shit y’all have been starving for.

HHS: Lyrically you get a little deeper on this album than you have a chance to when recording as one member of a three-man unit. Like in the title track where you delve into some pretty heavy shit. Is this something you strove for as far as why you are doing a solo joint?

Ill Bill: That first joint, What’s Wrong? that’s just about my life growing up, I speak about my grandmother, women in my life, to my moms, to my girl…. just the stress that I deal with on the day to day. I really felt I needed to let people see what was going on in my life and get things across as an artist, not as being a part of a group. Being in a group you’re not really able to express as much in sixteen bars on a track. You gotta’ deal with other people’s ideas and concepts and it’s hard to get as personal as I was able to get on this album. Non Phixon is three MC’s and we all have different ideas and we want to get them across, that’s why we’re all doing solo albums right now because we want to let people have a little more insight into us as individuals.

HHS: What kind of mind-state were you in while writing this album?

ILL Bill: I just wanna’ get things across what I’ve never really been able to get across on a record before, because I always try to touch on something different. I don’t want to talk about the same things on every song. That’s probably the most important thing that I have in mind when I write. As far as working on a solo album, it’s something different because I’m used to being in a group. But, it was kind of easier, in a way, to make this album because if I had an idea I could just drop it. I didn’t really have to deal with anybody’s opinion, I could do exactly what I wanted and conceptually I was just able to go off and spit, and not have to condense all my ideas into a smaller space.

HHS: So being a solo artist, you experienced more freedom to do what you want. On the flipside, did you feel any added pressure to carry a whole album yourself? Usually, like with Non Phixion, you got two other people to carry the weight with you, to fuel you up creatively and such. Do you put that kind of pressure on yourself that you gotta’ come better because it’s all you?

Ill Bill: There’s definitely more pressure, but at the same time, overall, doing a solo record was long overdue. I feel like I can stand on my own two as a solo artist and make a record that speaks for itself.

HHS: Definitely. A lot of people in the game just can’t hold down an entire solo record. I think one of the biggest reasons you pull it off so easily is because you got Necro creating those tracks. How dope was it to do an entire record over his beats?

Ill Bill: I thought it would be interesting to do, and me and Necro were talking about it and we knew that certain people would probably think that being that Necro has a certain sound, a certain style that people automatically associate with him, and that was going to be something that was gonna’ come across on the album. That’s why we were very conscious when we chose the beats for the album. We wanted to make sure that a lot of the beats, when people heard them, would be like ‘Word? Necro made that beat?’  It was bugged out, because of the kind of vibe that we are able to create. That’s just something that goes back to when we were kids. His production just fits perfectly with what I’m doing lyrically. More so than any other producer I’ve ever worked with. The way I look at it is; if it ain’t broke then why really try to fix it? That’s why we set out to do the whole album together. That’s my brother, so it’s a natural thing. For us to work together made sense and I think a lot of people may have heard Necro production of an entire album on his projects, but I think this is something that’s gonna’ establish him as a producer in terms of being able to produce an entire album for someone other than himself.

HHS: Yeah, Necro is definitely slept on by too many heads. What do you think it’s gonna take for people to finally recognize?

Ill Bill: Doing exactly what we’re doing is gonna’ show people. This is what we do, and really we haven’t released that much music up until this point. We’re gonna’ be releasing more music this year than we ever have before so it’s just a matter of grinding and getting the music out there. That’s how people are gonna’ see. To me, he’s the nicest producer in the game right now. We have our favorites, everyone from Dre to Primo, to Large Professor, people like that are legends in the game. Necro is the new blood. Everything he’s doing is on par, on the same level with what our favorite producers did. He’s just continuing what people like Dre and Primo and RZA have done. He’s the next step.

HHS: When you guys approach a track together, how does it work, is it on some telepathic-type shit?

Ill Bill: Yeah, it’s exactly like that, telepathic and shit. There really isn’t any formula to how we do it; it’s different every time. It’s just a matter of me listening to a bunch of beats and picking out whichever ones I’m feeling at the time. I just listen to a bunch of beats that I like and as soon as one grabs me to the point where I start writing to it, it just goes from there. It makes itself happen, it just kind of takes over.

HHS: Is there ever any kind of sibling rivalry between you two, do you find yourselves trying to outdo one another as far as how creative and how bugged out you can get?

Ill Bill: You gotta’ understand, we’re brothers, you know? There’s always gonna’ be some kind of a competition between us. I think. But, at the same time it’s kind of like a double-edged sword. because although we do have that competitive nature, at the same time us being brothers, us being blood, it allows us to connect in way that we really can’t connect with anybody else. You gotta’ peep it from the angle that we grew up in the same house together, we listened to the same music, we were influenced by the same things, we’ve experienced a lot of the same things. There’s some personal shit that we’ve experienced in our lives that will link us together forever, regardless if we make music or not. There’s a lot of levels that my brother and me connect on, so that’s gonna shine through in the music. Sometimes he just makes a beat, man, and it’s just perfect.

HHS: Non Phixion has always been known for bringing tracks that are just straight energy, and you keep that same feel throughout your solo album. How do you maintain such a high level of frenzy?

Ill Bill: Any kind of music that I’ve always been into, I’ve always been into music that gets my adrenaline up. Not only with hip-hop, but I also listen to a lot of hardcore and a lot of metal and that has an influence on me in just how I deliver my rhymes and how we perform when we do shows, whether it’s Non Phixion, or if I’m solo or I’m out on the road with Q-Unique… we’re just on some real, next level shit. I look at a group like Rage Against the Machine and the energy they have on stage or even Slayer, you know? Groups like that have the kind of energy that we want to put into our shit and that’s not really normal with a rap group.

HHS: How is it that growing up in the housing projects of Brooklyn you were ever exposed to hardcore and metal?

Ill Bill: When I was growing up everything was about hip-hop, it was all about hip-hop. I’d go to school and see kids rocking T-shirts of different bands and what not, and I was exposed to it. I grew up on KISS; you know what I’m saying? I was up on that; I was always a big KISS fan as a little kid. But KISS was more mainstream, anyway. It wasn’t like I was really exposed to shit yet. It was all about hip-hop and I had to really go out of my way to really peep metal. I seen like Twisted Sister videos on TV, you know. But that wasn’t the real shit. At that point that was pop. It was already in the mainstream. But I would see Iron Maiden T-shirts, Metallica T-shirts…. the shit that really caught me was the “Metal up Your Ass” T-shirt with the toilet bowl with the knife sticking out of it, I seen that shit and it made me curious cause I’ve always been into really extreme shit. The shit that was like next level. I was always a big comic book collector. The artwork on a lot of metal T Shirts always grabbed me and made me curious about what the shit sounded like. I went out of my way to find it. And that was definitely against what was going on in my ‘hood because out of every window and every car you’d be hearing Roxanne Shante battling UTFO; LL Cool J and Beastie Boys and RUN D.M.C. Ain’t nobody in the hood was really listening to metal and hip-hop, except for my man Weenie-Ween. That was my homeboy, he was always a few years older than us. He was the dude; he was like the Rick Rubin of the projects. He’d walk around in a bubble goose with a King Diamond T-shirt; he had all the Red Alert and Marley tapes and everything. That was the only dude who rocked like that. Then Goretex moved in to Glenwood (projects) and he was the same way, man. He had the same mind frame. We would all hang out: me, Goretex, Necro and bug out listening to everything from Rakim to Celtic Frost.

HHS: What can you tell us about Non Phixion?

Ill Bill: We just dropped The Green CD/DVD which is a retro release in a way. We’re real happy with the way it came out, but more so we’re real happy with the response it’s gotten. It’s in a mixtape format and it has a bunch of pre-Future is Now shit on it: demos, freestyles and whatnot. There’s some brand new joints on there as well. Plus it comes with a bonus 2 hour DVD with everything you’d wanna’ see on Non Phixion. Mad live footage, backstage and tour shit, interviews, plus us just buggin’ out. Something hot that people have been asking about for a minute. Then we’re re-releasing The Future Is Now in a platinum edition 2 CD set, so you get the original version plus an extra instrumental disc as well. We’re also working on a new album right now, the Nuclear Truth album, that’s a new record we’ll be putting out this fall and we’re about 4 or 5 songs deep. And at the same time we’re all putting out solo albums this year. My album comes May 4th, Sabac’s solo joint; Sabacalypse drops June 3rd. Goretex’s shit; The Art of Dying, that’s coming in September. All of us putting out albums: Hyde’s putting out an album, Q-Unique’s putting out an album, his album drops in August. Q’s album is bananas. Necro’s doing like half the album, Q did beats on it. We got Beatnuts doing shit, and we’re still working on it.

HHS: What’s up with Stephen King?

Ill Bill: He’s working on stuff right now as well. He’s gonna’ put a single together. E-Dot’s gonna’ be the next one to come out with an album on Uncle Howie after Q. E-Dot’s shit is shaping up crazy. His album is gonna’ be bananas. He’s definitely coming with some next shit. He’s a little something different than the rest of the Uncle Howie camp.

HHS: Aiight, all this music shit is fine and good and all, but let’s get to the real shit. There can’t be an Ill Bill interview without hitting the most important topic: PORN. Do you have an all-time favorite porn star?

Ill Bill: Ha, yeah, word to porn. Necro put out his first film, we’re all about porn. We would definitely like to explore more aspects of the porn industry, but like everything else, man, it takes time. A lot of time and right now we are just focused on this music thing. As far as a favorite porn star, nah, I don’t really have a favorite. You know why? The porn stars be getting old to me and I be moving on. We was watching Ginger Lynn movies, Vanessa Del Rio, the real wild bitches, ugly bitches like Sharon Mitchell… I gotta’ give props to the ugly bitches, they work harder. The old school shit is the nastiest. It’s hard to watch those old movies without laughing. Big shout out to Joey Silvera, a porn legend. that’s my homeboy.

HHS: Last words?

Ill Bill: I just wanna’ say that, really, people should peep what Uncle Howie and Psycho+Logical-Records are doing right now because we’re laying down the blueprint for what motherfuckers really need to be doing. I know people been waiting a long time for new music from us and we givin’ it to you. This is it. This is the fuckin’ nuclear reactor about to explode, you know what I’m saying? To me, I don’t feel people are really being very creative right now. Everything is one-sided and stale. Either you’re a conscious rapper and you’re on some goody-two-shoes shit, or you’re a so-called “gangsta’ rapper” and everything is thuggin’ the fuck out and “…yo, I’m from the ‘hood…” I’m from the ‘hood too, I ain’t had no father in my house, drug dealing, all of that shit. My uncle ruined his life smoking fucking krills. I’m from the projects; you know what I’m saying? But I’m not scared to leave the ‘hood. Not every song has to be about the ‘hood, the ‘hood, the ‘hood. I’m not saying to make Dungeons and Dragons albums, that shit is fucking corny, too. There needs to be a little more versatility in the game right now.

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