Click To Purchase Illogic’s “Diabolical Fun” ($7.99 for the album and instrumental CD? Not bad, ehhh?)
Lately, it seems as if the current “hotbed” of booming Hip Hop is Detroit. Deservingly so, as most recent releases from talented artists such as Black Milk’s “Tronic”, Buff 1′s “There’s Only One”, Elzhi’s “The Preface” and 14KT’s instrumental opus “The Golden Hour” found themselves near the top of many year-end lists in 2008. In 2009, it doesn’t look like the “D” is letting up, as Slum Village is set to drop yet another album and more recently, Finale is about to blow your mind next week with the release of “A Pipedream And A Promise” (trust me, this emcee is NOT PLAYING!!). However, not far from Detroit is another state that has been quietly making some noise over the last two years or so. Last year, Ohio gave us Blueprint’s innovative masterpiece “Blueprint vs. Funkadelic”, Danger Zone’s “Dangerous Styles” and two ridiculous remix ventures from Ill Poetic (the Joe Budden/Portishead “mash-up”, “MM3rd” and the NIN/Outkast smash, “NINaliens”), one which actually topped it’s original (“MM3rd”). Near the end of 2008/start of 2009 there was another heavily slept-on EP, that quietly made a few waves in blogosphere, Illogic’s “One Bar Left”. Produced in it’s entirety by Ohio’s Ill Poetic, “One Bar Left” left me salivating in anticipation of the reuniting of the “Ills” from Columbus to form a full-length smash that would be comprised of even more “rewind that sh*t” lyrics from Illogic and crispy, neck-snapping production from Ill Poetic. Needless to say, the wait is over and “disappointment” is a word that will never be associated with Illogic’s “Diabolical Fun”. Ladies and Gentleman, your dreams are now about to be fulfilled….get out your seat and let’s get Ill.
Even though Illogic has been steadily cranking out underground classics for a decade, four albums deep (99′s “Unforeseen Shadows”, 02′s “Got Lyrics”, 04′s “Celestial Clockwork” and finally “Write To Death 2″, released in 2005), it wasn’t until Illogic’s scene-stealing verse for “As I See It”, which appeared on my favorite album of the last decade, Ill Poetic’s “The World Is Ours”, and the Ill Poetic-laced remix of “Yellow” from “Write To Death 2″, that truly made me dig a little deeper into Illogic’s discography. “Lyrics? Somebody want lyrics? Look no further, Illogic’s got em’ for days!! There’s very few cats in the game that give me the “O” face when I listen to their music, but Illogic’s one of them. Illogic thrives not only on this wordplay, but his cadence, voice and most importantly wit, are all of the charts as well. Of course all of the aforementioned assets wouldn’t be worth a damn cent if the emcee whom possesses all of those above qualities is lacking confidence and personality. Thankfully, Illogic injects each track with a sense of honesty, humbleness and candor that is truly refreshing, and what Hip-Hop is sorely lacking these days. There’s really not much fault that lies within the lyrics that appear on “Diabolical Fun” as Illoigic flows effortlessly while varying subject matter from straight-up “braggadocio” (the BOOMING “welcome to my got damn album cut”, “What’s My Name”), to addressing the problems in our music today (“What Happened?”), to the extremely danceable, breaker’s anthem “Feel The Beat”, keep the album flowing like Moet and undeniably fresh. Kudos to you Illogic!!
Now, on the production tip? I may very well be Ill Poetic’s biggest advocate, but it’s hard to front on someone that has all the necessary skills to make a name for himself in a day where everyone and their girlfriend is shopping a demo. Ill Po’s production on this album is…..MIND-BLOWING!! With “The World Is Ours”, Ill Poetic delivered a soulful, sample-heavy sound that, reflecting back on the album, was actually somewhat ahead of it’s time. I mean, Jesus…dude took a record “crackle” and made it a snare for “So Good”. Who does that sh*t nowadays? Honestly, Ill Poetic took Lonnie Liston Smith’s “Visions Of A New World”, and freaked it numerous times throughout the album, yet you’d never know it. This time around, after a few listens to “Diabolical Fun” I couldn’t help revert back to the production techniques utilized during the early-mid nineties. Seriously, Ill Poetic’s production for “Diabolical Fun” is what it would sound like if the Bomb Squad’s beats mated with Organized Noize’s production and had a love child. When thinking of a word that is most descriptive for the beats featured on “Diabolical”, I’d have to go with frantic. Your subwoofers are gonna’ get one hell of a cardio session when you play this album in your ride!! From the moment “What’s My Name?” hits your eardrums to the fitting skips of the finale cut, “Walk Into The Sunset”, there’s no letting up as Ill showcases all of his work on the boards with tracks that you can feel in your gut!
Even though, I’ve been tied up the last few weeks, caught up in all the hype that is surrounding my beloved Villanova Wildcats, deciding what album I should bump in my spare time has been fairly easy. Following in a row of outstanding releases from tha Connection and the forthcoming Finale album, it’s easy to see that the race for best album of 2009 is on with the most recent inclusion of this masterpiece from Illogic and Ill Poetic. A DEFINITE MUST COP!!!