Nowadays more than ever, we’re living in a digital and social media world. Insert Tillavision, who describes himself as an artist, first and foremost. The digital animator creates immersive experiences, ranging from 3D animations and virtual websites to augmented reality experiences and music, sometimes all of those together.
This past year, the Cleveland, Ohio native has been able to work with artists he’s wanted to work with his entire life. He states, “Not just one or two, but dozens, really. Every week, I’ve been working with a different GOAT, whether that’s Nas, Busta Rhymes, Drake, DJ Khaled, Patrick Mahomes, all these different people. Just this past week I dropped French Montana content and Fresh Prince Bape collab back to back.”
Tilla’s proudest moment to date he reveals was working with DJ Khaled, relating directly to his motto We The Best! Having done the visualizers for “GREECE” and “POPSTAR” featuring Drake, what other cosign do you need? Another vastly proud moment arrives in Cardi B’s “WAP” lyric video, just one layer in his vastly impressive resume.
AllHipHop: Talk about your newest venture with 360 Virtual websites. What are they? Who have you made them for?
Tillavision: The virtual websites is a way to differentiate myself. A lot of people when they see my past work, they think of me as a 3D animation artist. I like to keep moving. That’s one thing Pablo Picasso did. I studied a lot of the great artists in history. By the time you thought you caught up with what Pablo’s working on, he’s already working on the next thing. He was creating Cubism, jumping into Cubist sculptures. I wanted to do the same thing, where oh, you thought that I just do 3D animation? No, I’m doing websites now. Not regular websites, they’re fully immersive.
For Busta Rhymes, we created what we called a Busta Bunker, which is a virtual museum of all of Busta’s iconic moments under one roof. One of my favorite aspects is we created virtual video sets. All of his iconic music videos you instantly recognize like “What’s It Gonna Be?!” or “Gimme Some More,” we created those in 3D completely in 360 degrees. I was able to merge the 3D animation and music video stuff I do with immersive virtual reality websites. We’re adding that extra layer of creativity on top of something that could be very normal like a music video or a website. We want to take it to the next level.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?
Tillavision: So far, this is something fairly new in that not everybody has one of these VR, 360 websites. There’s only really a handful of it I’ve worked on. Juice WRLD was the first. We made the Juice WRLD Garden, then we made the Trippie Redd Pegasus Library, for his new album. We made the biggest and most ambitious virtual reality site to date: the Busta Rhymes Bunker, which is a 5-level, 12-room–virtual museum of Busta’s works. Definitely my proudest achievement in website creation.
AllHipHop: How’d you link with Busta Rhymes?
Tillavision: That DJ Khaled cosign goes a long way. Once Khaled says We The Best and you’ve got that stamp, your reputation grows. Word is getting out around the industry that I do quality work, that I’m going to bring something new to the table that’s engaging. One rule in this business is ‘do good work, and do a lot of it.’ It’s about creating a body of work and letting the streets talk, then making sure you answer your phone when they come calling.
AllHipHop: What makes this different from any other website?
Tillavision: It adds a level of physical immersion, there’s a couple different ways you can experience the website. If you’re on a desktop or your iPad, you can use your finger to look around the room in 360 degrees. If you’re on a mobile phone, you’ll physically move in place to look left, look right, as if you’re in a physical space. Right there, you’re appealing to another one of the human senses of physical movement, as opposed to staring at a scrolling screen. One thing that really makes it stand out is the participation you have to take part in.
The environments we create are no different from the physical world. I’m building an explorable world that the only difference is the physical aspect, but it’s a virtual physical space. When you’re jumping between the 3 different floors in the Busta Rhymes Bunker, we had to architecturally build a 5-floor building, almost as if it were a pitch for an actual museum that we’d build. The sheer scope of that sets it apart from other websites. We’ve been building mini-Disneylands, virtual theme parks except replace Mickey Mouse with your favorite rapper. We’re building these virtual worlds around artists. The fact we can expand those worlds similar to a theme park how they add the new Star Wars section, well that’s Busta Rhymes’ new album. The Bunker can expand with dedicated rooms as new music comes.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite part of the Busta museum?
Tillavision: The trophy room, which is the 5th level. It’s the deepest level of the Bunker. That’s where you see all of Busta’s iconic chains in a display case, which is always cool. You feel like you’re in the Batcave, you’re seeing Batman’s uniform and all of his armor. Seeing Busta’s chains laid out in the displays is super dope. When you enter the studio on the same floor, we put over 60 Platinum records on the wall, of features that he’s done in the past. Seeing the work on the wall, all in front, and you see all these features Busta has, it hits you just what an impact Busta has had on the game and his consistency and delivery. Sometimes you have to gather all that stuff up and put it under one roof to realize the body of work. That’s really the goal of those websites: let’s get it all under one roof!.
AllHipHop: How did you link with French for his new campaign?
Tillavision: The Busta Rhymes virtual site was a great success, Busta loved it. I want to continue building out these virtual spaces for other artists. I’ve been working on the French Montana rollout for his new Coke Boys 5 album. It‘s really been the perfect setup, he showed me his album artwork and it showed all the featured artists on the front cover. They’re in this cartoon world, so we dubbed that Coke World. We’re building out Coke World, which to me is a nod to the 90’s Cool World with Brad Pitt. Replace Brad Pitt with French Montana, and we have Coke World. We’re going to explore Coke World in a virtual 360 environment similar to the Busta Bunker. Hopefully I can provide more examples to see what’s possible with these virtual sites and virtual worlds we can build.
AllHipHop: What’s been your favorite part about working on the CB5 campaign?
Tillavision: French is somebody who’s hands-on with every aspect, at least in my experience. If I’ve had a thought or he’s had a thought, I talk directly with him. An artist with as big an impact as French has had — billions of streams, huge records — it’s always exciting working with artists who have an impact on Hip Hop culture. French is one of those guys. What French wanted to do from the jump, he challenged me to incorporate live-action footage with my animated elements. Which was different, not all artists want to do that. Sometimes they say “yo, give me what you gave the last guy.” French said “no, we have to do something that’ll top what you’ve done for anybody.”
AllHipHop: What’s next for you?
Tillavision: Continuing to challenge myself, I’m really excited. I just released 3 Instagram filters: one with Swae Lee, one with Mulatto, one with Justin Laboy. I have a cryptoart collab that is really exciting in the works.. Of course new animations! I’m helping people develop their digital avatar personas. 2021 is about creating a new type of experience that will be the new wave, that’s my goal.