Ill Poetic, unfortunately for me, fell victim to being a CD that I received towards the end of a year as Music Director for my school’s radio station. I say victim because by the end of last school year I couldn?t get excited by damn near anything even if it was a new rap record from the label Dove Ink, started by one of my favorite (and most under rated emcees) Illogic, plus said label had delivered us a few records the year before and they were all fire ? why wasn?t I checking this joint?
For whatever reason I wasn?t and then I started seeing some talk on the blog circuit (shout out to Eric @ W.T.R.). By this point I had all but forgotten about the album sitting on the shelf at the radio station. It was during one of my shows that I finally came across it again and due to the praise it was receiving I threw on a track ? only then did I realized how much of a loss I had fallen victim to.
As an emcee he fits the mold of his local (Cincinnati) and status as an underground artist. His topics range in depth from his passion for music, his home town, the societal ills he has seen and how he can remedy these situations and of course some of that good old braggadocio rap that any self respecting emcee has to deliver!
His voice isn?t the most powerful you have ever heard, it definitely won?t grab you like Chuck D (but few do) but it will hold your attention, probably because his beats bring out the tone in his voice. The beats also disguise the weakness in his flow.
On songs like ?Cincilluminati? he bobs and weaves with the beat?s spaced out keys (what is that sample, man?!) and a simple drum beat and then he switches it up and goes double time for the first 16 of his last verse before flipping the beat back to the original to finish the song out. But at other times, sporadic but still present, it feels like he is forcing the lines and that has to be one of the worst things one can ever hear an emcee do ? if the words don?t fit go back to the notepad.
Along with holding down the majority of the rhymes on the album (there are a couple guest spots ? all of which only add to the enjoyment of this record) Ill Poetic also produces his own beats, which would explain why he sounds so good over them ? he knows what suits him! And he does a great job of digging up knocking drums and some dope loops that have yet to be chopped.
From those loops that have yet to be unearthed to a title like The World Is Ours Ill Poetic created an incredibly optimistic Hip Hop album in a genre that generally seems to fear anything happy. He found the perfect sound to deliver a message of hope, but just like the Hip Hop before him he only gives you that hope thanks to the ugliness of the reality we live:
?This world ain?t beautiful/I?m seein bullet holes in 2 year olds?
The world is ours and if Hip Hop doesn?t stand up now all that we have achieved will be for nothing. Ill Poetic is standing up ? are you?