Weigh In – Should ILLZ Quit His Day Job?
ILLZ was born in the town of Jarabacoa located in La Vega Province, Dominican Republic. He was raised in Hudson County, New Jersey by his mother and stepfather. His mother came to the United States when ILLZ was only 2 years old. When he turned 4 she had finally acquired the proper paperwork to bring him into the country.
Around the age of 12 he began listening to rap music to the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, AZ and Mobb Deep. It was around this time that he first began experimenting with rap music. He would record short freestyles over his favorite beats on his friends personal computer. While all his friends did it for fun, he would soon realize that he felt something for music that no one around him could emulate.
At the age of 16, after cutting his first demo, ILLZ was approached by an independent label from his area. Though a record deal never came to fruition from this encounter, the experience and artistic development that ILLZ gained would be priceless. Here he also met his producer and friend ILLtal. Together they would form an artist/producer bond similar to Guru & DJ Premier or Peter Rock & CL Smooth. Around this time ILLZ began to work on perfecting his craft through his first solo mixtape entitled ‘Change The Game’. The project would serve as a frustrating lesson and turning point for ILLZ. During the final recording stretch of this mixtape he began to fall out of love with the direction that his music was heading in. This warranted a contemplating pause on his music career for the next year to come.
During his break from writing music he began listening to bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Radiohead, People in Planes and many more. This sparked a new fire in ILLZ, giving him new creative life. This lead to the June 29, 2009 release of‘This is…(The W.C.A Sessions EP)’ which was a 7 song EP that blends Alternative Rock and Hip-Hop music. The project was released digitally and was met with rave reviews gaining ILLZ a heavy presence on over 40 blog, websites, and radio stations. With this EP he finally gained the amount of recognition and fan base that is sure to catapult him to stardom.
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