Brooklyn rapper Illa Ghee delivers his most comprehensive, cohesive, & passionate project to date with ‘Illamatic‘, a sprawling 28-track effort composed of recently recorded original tracks & freestyles, as well as hand-picked guest appearances from the past few years.
Right from the jump you know it’s serious with “Eat Glass”, a bully-rap banger produced by Shawneci that displays the raw rap chops of Ghee. And from there, each track blends seamlessly into the next thanks to the turntable talents of fellow Brooklynite, PF Cuttin. He makes it feel and play out like a real mixtape, the kind you’d through in your system and keep on repeat until the damn thing broke.
Illa Ghee is one of those emcees whose music begs for repeated listens anyways, as he’s constantly littering his lyrics with crazy wordplay, and clever turns of phrase. Listing too many of them would spoil half the fun of listening to ‘Illamatic‘, but knowing that he compares his bullets to Rajon Rondo’s long-ass arms should suffice. That being said, it’s not all about witty punchlines on here, as Illa Ghee is just as insightful as he is hilarious.
That’s evident on standouts “Slum” & “Something About You”. The former is a heartbreaking dedication to his close friend, the legendary Sean Price. And it’s only right that P makes two appearances, first on “Gentlemen“, taken from Statik Selektah’s most recently released compilation LP, ‘Lucky 7‘, and later on “Jungle Gym”, featuring Vic Spencer, which was lifted from Vic’s 2015 released, ‘The Cost Of Victory‘ LP. “Something About You” also deals with loss & tragedy, with Illa Ghee contemplating whether he should bring a firearm to his slain friend’s funeral—just in case his killer shows up.
‘Illamatic‘ is a meticulously curated, all-encompassing listen that’s perfect for listeners of all kinds, be they familiar with some of the BK rapper’s work, or completely new to his catalog. And just like the project it’s paying homage to with its name, ‘Illamatic‘ is short on features. It’s all about Illa Ghee here, and he absolutely makes his presence known.
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