Influences ranging from Nas to Bob Marley, Biggie to Bob Dylan, and the newest addition to the Obese Records Family, Melbourne MC Illy is blowing up to say the least!
With regular JJJ airtime, and an up coming tour with Phrase, the 23 year old brings a diverse sound, with a massive variety of subject matter, from the summer inspired sing along “Full Tank”, to the politically driven hard hitting “Generation Y” Illy brings an aural experience like none other.
I recently caught up with him for a chat, here's how it went!
For those who haven't heard of you, can you tell us a bit
Well my names illy, an MC from Melbourne, Frankston train line, which is South of the city. Been at the hiphop shit for about 10 years, signed with obese records at the start of this year and put my debut album Long Story Short out in may.
How much of an effect has where you grew up had on your music?
It has been hugely influential. I can't imagine my music would sound the same if I didn't have my experiences to draw on. I love Melbourne and have always had a strong group of mates, within music and outside of it, and yea, I definitely feel I owe a lot of where I'm at musically to Melbourne and the mighty Frankston line in particular.
What is in your pockets right now?
My blackberry case, keys, wallet, lighter and a pass from the gig in did in sydney with hyjak and torcha a fortnight ago.
Whats been cranking through your speakers lately?
Hiphop wise i've been smashing Hilltops new one, the Gully Platoon album, a few tracks off m-phazes soon to be released album (its sick), and a couple of random tracks (check chiddy bang – kids, so ill) and some shit I'm working on.
Phrase and Illy
Favourite place to chill out and relax?
Probably my place with some mates a load of drinks a cranking bbq and a bunch of playstation games.
No doubt shit gets a bit loose on tour, what’s the best way
to bounce back after a massive night?
Sleep in! That's the upside of staying at ghetto ass hotels or at the venues you play at – no kick out at 10, you can sleep til midday.. Other than that, valium haha
How does a day in the life of Illy unfold, when you're not behind the mic?
Generally wake up around midday, sort my emails, then do some study, some playstation, eat.. Usual shit man, pretty cruisy.
In Generation Y you talk about some pretty real issues, it's rad to see more people starting to get a grip on reality, what are your views on firstly Australia and its governing bodies, and secondly, the state of the world?
I think Australia is the best country in the world. A few people have taken exception to the fact that I am unapologetic about being a proud Australian, but I couldn't care less about bleeding hearts. With half my family being Maori, I see the pride they have for their country and think its a shame that sometimes our culture almost tries to shy away from being patriotic for fear of being deemed racist. Like I say in 'our country' “I'm ashamed as the next man by the race riots/ but I bleed aussie.. So I'm a proud motherfucker with my flag raised high” I think that sums it up.
Our governing bodies do what they do. I do wish that pollies would act less in their own interest and more for the greater good but that's never going to happen. There's too much to say about it all, but as regards the state of the world, the young people seem to see the world in a much different way to the people older than us, its really inspiring, and hopefully we can do some big things in the coming decades.
What first attracted you to Hip-Hop?
I think it was just the rebellious nature of the music. I heard it through mates older brothers and sort of fell in love with it from there.
In Long Story Short you speak about writing graff, have you always been involved the broader Hip-Hop scene?
I talk about attempting to write haha, but I never could do it. I was shit as and liked the musical side of hiphop more. I'm a big fan of dope writers, and its a really underappreciated artform, but its not something i've been actively involved in. Same deal with djs, big fan but I'm fucking useless on decks!
Now days there seem to be as many kids out there blasting beats as there are listening to rock, what do you think about the state of Aussie Hip Hop?
I think its great. You've got a broad broad spectrum now, really is something for everyone. You've got your underground acts, mainstream acts, acts like nine high and polo club who are pushing new sounds, producers like m-phazes who are getting love from the likes of premo and battlecat, and a lot of young acts like myself getting opportunities that mc's wouldn't dream of a decade ago. So I think the state of it is good, and there's no fucking around about it, its the support, particluarly from younger people, that has given artists the chance to make shit happen.
Anything in the mix that you can tell us about?
Yea, I'm on tour with obese and phrase for their tours in September, October and November. You can check the dates and locations on myspace.com/illyal.
Word association, you know the deal, say the first thing
that comes to your mind when you read the word.
Biggie Baybeh! haha no shit that was first thing!
My album Long Story Short, is available on itunes and in jb hifis australia wide. My songs pictures and generation y are currently on high rotation on triple j, check them out on myspace.com/illyal and if you like please send a request to 19757555.
Thanks so much for your time man!
All good man peace!
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Recently UK rapper Motley came through town, we caught up with him for a few words after the gig, here’s what he had to say!
You probably know him from his appearance in Bliss n Eso’s hit single, “Party At My Place” but there is alot more to the lad from Manchester than most would think.
First things first, whats crackin?
nothing much just stratching my balls, i think i got an s.t.d… nah wait my undies are just tight.
For those people living under a rock, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
im 5’8″…male, and brown. my eye colour is also brown as is the colour of my poo.
How was it growing up in Manchester, and what influence has it had on yourself as a person and your music?
manchester is grey and cold, which turned me into a bitter twisted individual, Although, it IS a great destination for holiday seekers world wide. i stongly advise you to visit manchester at least once in your life. manchester is home to one of the greatest football teams in the world…i however do not like football. my music has an obvious mancunian tone and witt, but i try to keep the subject matter rather universal (as not to alienate my global audience). my music is ever evolving…boobies.
You say you started DJ’ing at 14, that’s fuckin’ young man, how did you to get into it so young, and what lead you to first start rapping?
DJing: my cousin Barry Hellier.
Rapping: my mate; Ashleigh McConckey
this story could take a while.. but these two are the main reasons why i started doing what i do.. blame them guys!
What is in your pockets right now?
a hole, in the other pocket i have a skype phone and a blackberry phone and in my buttock pocket a wallet. oh and my house keys.
Who/what inspires you as an artist/musician?
busta rhymes, redman, eminem, dj scratch, dj premier, reggae music, and caribbean lifestyle and just life in general..like when i broke up with my bitchy ex girlfriend.. oh wait travelling and movies with seth rogan, jack black especially.
You seem to be out here in Aus a lot, what keeps bringing you back?
You must spend a lot of time in Airports and no doubt have the ipod cranking to pass the time, what’s have you been pumping through the headphones lately?
ludacris’s new album “theatre of the mind”, the lonely planet album “incredibad”, and some old school reggae, and soul… oh and of course MY SHIT! gotta keep rehearsing!
You’ve done a bit of travelling, what’s your favourite place to kick it?
it depends what im “kicking”, europe is great for seeing things and the culture, but nothing beats relaxing in the caribbean…i need a holiday…oh yeh australia is awesome too.
No doubt shit gets a bit loose on tour, what’s the best way to bounce back after a massive night?
personally i like to soak in a hot bath with radox and candles whilst listening to enya.
How are the Aussie ladies treating you?
one of them is in the bath with me right now, massaging my back. so i guess you could say i’m being looked after…”hey bitch turn that enya up!”.
When you’re off tour, how does a day in the life of Motley unfold?
after the bath, i replied to this email. after this interview i shall go shopping for a nintendo wii. after i go shopping i will play on the “said” nintendo wii. after i play on the wii, i will do a wee, then i shall eat and rest like a lion (king of the jungle).
You touch on some pretty real issues in your song about Man, for those who haven’t heard the song, can you give us a bit of a run down on what inspired it and what it is about?
i just feel that alot of people aren’t really aware of alot of things that are going on in the world in which we live, and as somebody that is in the “public eye” it becomes my job to “word em up”. i get inspiration from real life, documentary’s, movies, the news and just doing my own research online… alls i’m doing is turning the information into a more ‘digestable format’. im like an old school town cryer up in this bitch “hear ye hear ye some news is happening, check me lyrics”.
Word association, you know the deal, say the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the word.
Hip Hop reminscing
The Queen who?
although is doesn’t seem like it, ive grown up a little bit now, so the next album is going to be something different. stay in touch mrmotley.com..burrrches…ps: schwangalang!
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