I heard some noise that Ill Hill Society is focused on killing shit this summer. Are you aware of this rumor?
Who said that? Fuckin snitches. Lol. But seriously, we are definitely focused and definitely going to be do some killing in the summertime. The good kind.
How did you guys link up?
A little history on Ill Hill, I was doing some recording for Kwalified and one day while we were recording, I told him I wrote a verse to this Blue Scholars beat. I had never rapped before in my life, so I spit my verse to him and he thought it was dope, and we ended up recording it. It was supposed to be on some Lightsleepers X Blue Scholars collab that never happened. Around that time, Rockza would come over and I would record him singing with his ukulele for some You Tube video thing. I told him how I was thinking about rapping and cooked up this beat. He ended up writing a verse for it to and had it recorded. I came up with the idea about starting a crew, and Ill Hill was born. A lot of people ask about the name "Ill Hill", so I'll just squash it right now. It was just a temporary name I had come up with while brainstorming as kind of a joke. Me and Rockza both lived on hills, we thought we we're pretty ill, and society is such a nice sounding word. But as soon as we started telling people, it stuck. No deep meaning or nothing. Shit just sounds cool.
"Villianous" gave people a small taste of the new album. Speaketh on the new project and the creativity that people are in store for.
Our first mixtape "On Beats We Wish We Made..." was pretty much just us having fun and making songs for girls. The new project which we decided to call "Rap Better" is pretty much us growing up, knowing more, and "rapping better", while of course still having fun. People can expect a lot more personality in this album since we're all working very closely with each other on this project. All 3 of us are in the studio whenever we do work, writing and coming up with ideas. I do all of the recording, and most of the production is done by me, and I always take the input of the team whenever they have something to say, so this next drop is definitely going to be pure Ill Hill. We're also working with a new upcoming beatmaker by the name of Winzel McFly. Shit, maybe we'll finally hear Kwalified cuss on a track. He never swears in his music.
You told me you are inspired by three things: the student, the teacher, and the people can you elaborate on this a bit?
I believe that in any artform, you need to be a student at all times. There is always something new to learn, and knowledge is power. Knowing that there is always something new out there to add to your existence inspires me. When you know enough, you can start to share this knowledge with your peers, other students, and having this ability to share knowledge and learn more inspires me. So, there is this infinite cypher or cycle that occurs between a student and a teacher. But in order for this cycle to stay balanced, the teacher has to always remain a student, because once you stop being a student, the cypher stops. Word to Paulskee for this one. The people are summed up by the unity I feel when I'm DJing or performing on stage. The feeling of connecting with hundreds of strangers, people who I don't personally know, and to see them react to what I do is an inspiration in itself. It drives me to perfect my craft so that I can connect or reconnect with people on a higher level. Always a student.
Are you planning on showing "Mama Cozy" the Spinzone article?
Probably. Haha. I like showing her proof that I do shit.
So you got inspired to scratch from a Linken Park video?
I was in middle school, and the music video for "Crawling" by Linkin Park was playing. I was into punk, rock, alternative, and all that shit when I was in middle school so I bought the album after seeing the video. It was fucking dope. It's funny cus I don't think there was even any scratching heard in the video. It's just the DJ rockin the tables for a split second and I thought it looked cool. But, on the album there's this track of Mr. Hahn, the DJ, scratching called "Cure For The Itch" that's this fuckin ill melancholy instrumental with a dope scratch segment. After hearing that I was like damn, I gotta get into this. So I did my research, found out about turntablists like Q-Bert and D-Styles, and I was on my way.
The state of Hawaii Hip Hop: should people be celebrating or complaining?
When you put it that way, celebrating sounds a lot more fun than complaining. But is there anything to celebrate about? Fuck yeah. When you look at Hawaii Hip-Hop culture as a whole and not just on one element, so much progress has been made. Mighty4 has been killing it with the b-boy jams recently, and the b-boys and b-girls have definitely been stepping it up, at least from what I've seen. Freestyle Session is coming to Hawaii at the end of the month, and that is one of the biggest battles in the world. As for the emcees, a lot of new faces are coming out. When I got into the scene, I felt like I was like the youngest cat coming out to hip-hop shows and Bone's event at Tropics. I'd be by myself most of the time too. But now, the younger cats today like Prie and the Broke Mokes are out at shows more than I am, killing it on the mic. I'm not too keen on the graff scene, but I definitely think the DJ element of Hawaii needs to get on the same level as the other elements. The DJ is the foundation of this entire culture. I could go on and on about this subject, but all I'm going to say is on the real...we need more students.