The time has finally come. After years of touring and building buzz, iLL-literacy is preparing the release their debut musical effort, IB4the1 (“I Before The One”). The album will be released in three separate pieces, which the group refers to as “chapters.” Each chapter will be released for free online six months apart. With the first chapter, IB4the1.1, quickly approaching, iLL-Literacy is proud to release the lead single, “Gentlemans Kool-Aid,” a sample-inspired, bass-driven, electro-gospel-funk track reminiscent of a ‘shroom trip in audio form. Although the beat is enough to distract the mind, the lyricism of the trio arms the record. With strongly implanted roots in the spoken word community, iLL-Literacy are not ones to be overlooked lyrically. The trio skillfully flows at a fast pace over the beat, akin to a Twista meets Andre 3000 meets Cee-Lo mash-up. The group elaborates on what it means to be a “Gentleman” nowadays and issues that come along with that, sarcasm included, “They never give a g to a gent, a gem for a g, drop a jewel and then youâ€™re done for good, for good is dumb.” Lines lsuch as, “Top flight gentlemen, not quite Benjamin, Andre then again, watch my etiquette, on my Edison, spot like center then, Mach 5 enter then.” show and prove the creativity the group has for not only lyrics, but for unique, inventive, and entertaining delivery. Be on the look out for the debut chapter, IB4the1.1, from iLL-Literacy, which will be available late fall 2009.
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.” 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. Toggling between daydream and full-blown hallucination, the result is iLL-Literacyâ€™s first record, iB4the1 (“I Before The One”). 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 shroom-trip 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. IB4the1.1 will be available late fall 2009