Ill Bill: The Sound and the Fury

What’s wrong with Bill? The kid just ain’t right. As one third of Brooklyn’s heavy hitters Non Phixion, Ill Bill has carved his name in blood with his rugged, rapid-fire spray of rhymes and his dominating presence. Non Phixion’s debut; The Future is Now was an instant underground classic, and while everyone is awaiting the […]

What’s wrong with Bill? The kid just ain’t right. As one third of Brooklyn’s heavy hitters Non Phixion, Ill Bill has carved his name in blood with his rugged, rapid-fire spray of rhymes and his dominating presence. Non Phixion’s debut; The Future is Now was an instant underground classic, and while everyone is awaiting the release of their sophomore effort, Bill offers up the first (of many) solo joints set to jump off from the entire Uncle Howie Record’s camp. If you are already familiar with the Non Phixion style, then Bill’s solo record will be nothing new for you; just that same rugged, melt-your-face-with-bangers-type joints. The only surprises that come are some of Necro’s beats; there are times when the kid really elevates his game to the point where you might not recognize his bloody handprints on some of the tracks. By teaming up with his equally sick-minded brother (who produces the entire album) and enlisting the help of his extended NP/Uncle Howie brethren, Ill Bill cooks up a forceful and harrowing debut. What’s Wrong with Bill? is set to drop on Necro’s Psycho+Logical Records on May 4 and Bill promises that it is the answer to all that watered-down crap that is clogging up the airways right now… So you got this solo joint about to drop, why don’t you go ahead and gives us an idea as far as 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 s**t you got coming out; all that so-called “hardcore rap” right now, that s**t is soft to me, too. Right now I’m doing that punch-you-in-the-face rap, that new s**t; adrenaline rap. 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 s**t 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 f**kin’ with me. Aside from dudes like Scarface or Jay-Z or Ghost and a handful of others, Most of the s**t that’s coming out right now…C’mon kid, that s**t is retard rap. Y’all deserve more than that. I’m dropping this album to save y’all from the m#### 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 s**t y’all have been starving for. 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 s**t . 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. 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. 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 s**t. 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 s**t and that’s not really normal with a rap group. 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 s**t 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 s**t. At that point that was pop. It was already in the mainstream. But I would see Iron Maiden T-shirts, Metallica T-shirts… the s**t 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 s**t and it made me curious cause I’ve always been into really extreme s**t . The s**t 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 s**t 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. How dope was it to work entirely with Necro?

Ill Bill: It’s just something that we always wanted to do. I was always a big fan of groups like Cypress Hill and Mobb Deep where you’d have Havoc handling all the production, or Muggs would be doing the entire Cypress album. I just always liked that dynamic, the same way that Dre did the entire first Snoop album. 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?’ What can you tell us about Non Phixion?

Ill Bill: Well, “Well, first we got The Green CD/DVD dropping, which is a retro release in a way. It’s in a mixtape format and it has a bunch of pre-Future is Now s**t 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 s**t , interviews, plus us just buggin’ out. Something hot that people have been asking about for a minute. That drops on April 6th, so be sure to support and cop that s**t . Then 3 weeks later 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, there’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 s**t ; 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 s**t , and we’re still working on it. 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 s**t is shaping up crazy. His album is gonna’ be bananas. He’s definitely coming with some next s**t . He’s a little something different than the rest of the Uncle Howie camp. Last words?

Ill Bill: I just wanna’ say that, really, people should peep what Uncle Howie and Psycho+Logical are doing right now because we’re laying down the blueprint for what motherf**kers really need to be doing. 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 s**t , or you’re a so-called “gangsta’ rapper” and everything is thuggin’ the f**k 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 s**t . My uncle ruined his life smoking f**king 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 s**t is f**king corny, too. There needs to be a little more versatility in the game right now.