5 & Done: ILLClinton
(AllHipHop Features) The city of Atlanta is the epicenter to some of the most accomplished Hip Hop acts in history like OutKast, T.I., Goodie Mob, Ludacris, and Young Jeezy. One set of siblings from “The A” is looking to add their name to that illustrious list in the future.
22-year-old emcee/producer Brennan and 24-year-old producer Blake of North Atlanta’s ILLClinton draw inspiration from their musical influences Kanye West, No I.D., 9th Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Jay Z, OutKast, and The Pharcyde. The former Alabama A&M University students were raised by a mother who spent two decades as a chorus teacher, and they participated in band and orchestra programs in high school, so music has been ingrained in their life since infancy.
The duo jumped into the rap music world when they began making beats in 2007, but it was not until last year that they decided to go beyond just producing tracks to actually crafted a career as the Hip Hop group ILLClinton. After dropping their debut mixtape ILLANTA earlier this year, Brennan and Blake recently released the Scion AV hosted EP The ILL Experiment. AllHipHop spoke with the buzzing brothers to discuss the project, what makes them different from other Atlanta rap acts, and whether they think Hip Hop is dead.
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AllHipHop: What’s the meaning behind your group’s name?
Brennan: ILLClinton is like a play on words. You know of course Bill Clinton. The real meaning behind it is we just feel like we’re the illest of an era. We grew up in the 90′s which you can call the Bill Clinton Era. We just think we’re like the illest of the era that we grew up in.
AllHipHop: How did you connect with pro skater Sal Barbier to work on your “New Alexandria” video?
Brennan: That was kind of a hook up through Scion. We never actually got up with Sal. He’s just kind of a creative director for the video. He just gave a blueprint of an idea that was cool with the theme, content of the song. It ended up being real cool. He’s a nice guy. We spoke with him a few times over the phone.
AllHipHop: On your EP you have a track called “Hip Hop” where you say, “if Hip Hop’s dead then we gonna resurrect this s**t.” What’s your opinion of the current state of Hip Hop?
Brennan: I actually think that Hip Hop is in a pretty good state. I feel like it’s coming back. I feel like it’s a lot of new talent that is bringing a resurgence of Hip Hop. I feel for awhile it kind of strayed away from what it’s roots were. But with “if Hip Hop’s dead, then we gonna resurrect this s**t,” it was more of a statement like if you think it’s dead, it’s not dead at all. We’re not gonna let that happen.
AllHipHop: Atlanta is a real hotbed for rap music. What makes ILLClinton stand out from other rising acts from the city?
Blake: I feel with music everything is its own entity, so we just want to create our own lane that doesn’t really sound like everyone else in Atlanta. We just wanted to create something that will be our own and not sound like everyone else.
Brennan: I’m real big on lyricism. I feel like content is everything. I want to be able to spread messages through the things that I’m saying. If you can do that in a city like Atlanta, where it’s a big music influence down here, it’s a big platform for people to hear when you say something.
AllHipHop: Do you guys have any plans on releasing a full album?
Brennan: A full studio album is definitely in the future. We’re probably going to start working on another project before that. Just to get some content out. We released our first project back in February of this year, so we’re still kind grinding away at the underground route. But definitely in the near future we’ll probably drop an album in 2014.
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ILLClinton will be performing at the Scion AV Open Mic event in Brooklyn on October 9th.
Stream/Download ILLClinton’s Scion A/V Presents: The ILL Experiment EP below.