Gig Seeker Pro



Band Hip Hop EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Darkroom Review"

Although he’s often seen tearing up local open mics, Chicago’s Gilead 7 is no mere battle MC. You can, however, judge him by his looks. His skinny, bespectacled frame fully betray the highly intelligent, well-read, and quick-thinking/spitting personality that lies within. After years of hand-to-hand self-made CD slanging, Gilead has hooked up with Chicago indie Reserved and dropped a proper album that will hopefully put the world up on what old boy’s got. On “Fly on the Wall,” he opens with the line, “Do you remember Organized Konfusion?” If you don’t, it’s okay because Gilead will fill you in, traffics in the same sort of lyrically hefty, street-level scientifics that Monche and Prince Po did. His dense, complex rhymes are littered with lofty references to ancient scrolls and biblical texts, but he delivers them with enough confidence and swagger to prevent his album from turning into an annoying, overintellectual backpacker nerd-out. In fact, his compositional scope is impressive. On “The Message” he critiques religion, while he ruminates on a bad open mic night on “Devestation Diary.” “Art Institute” is a semiautobiographical cut full of lush art-related imagery, “El Train” places his creative process in the context of the titular mode of urban transportation. “Flower Child Neo Hippie” is a hypnotic groove in 6/8, as is “Solinari”which lumbers along until exploding into an atmospheric drum and bass roll. The production is equally good on all fronts. “Rules of Darkroom,” produced by Gwillikaz, stomps with huge drums and a sick bagpipe loop. The especially wonderful “El Train” is layered with soundtracky drama loops, and the self-produced “Festival of Sacrilege” hits hard with stuttery drums and a cut-up, medieval lute (?) sample. Those are only a few of the highlights. Heavy and substantial while staying clever and nimble, The Darkroom is a satisfying hip-hop excursion that’s heavy on evocative thought-fodder and light on irony and pretention.
- DJ Verb

source: by DJ Verb; 1/10/06, added: Feb 02, 2006
- Groundlift Magazine (

"Death Penalty Shots Review"

It is interesting to note how rote Hip Hop music’s current output has become. At one time, believe it or not, Hip Hop artists dared to push sonic envelopes and introduce varying levels of innovation. Now, at least in the mainstream, it has rendered itself to a redundant mockery of what it once was. With so many rap artists becoming more and more prevalent than in any other time, how can those artists who wish to step to the left of the current makeup of the genre really impact the scene? With his 2nd release, Chicago’s Gilead7 hopes to do just that with the LP Death Penalty Shots. After a rambling intro speaking to his struggles in music, things get going with “War of Images” featuring Elevation. A haunting track from Switzerland’s Ruedi Snare offers just enough space for Gilead7’s extremely wordy cadence. At first listen it all appears to be battle rap gibberish, but with patience the eventual jewels do appear. The next track “A Song Called Hate” from producer Sean the Pawn begins with a sparse guitar loop then becomes suddenly chaotic once the scattering drums are added. However, Gilead7’s metaphorically heavy rhyme style shines brightly here. “Save”, a self produced track featuring Chaka, is a welcome slowdown but Gilead7’s overly syllabic flow doesn’t add anything to the song. The title track, again self produced, is easily the LP’s best song overall. There exists in this track an obvious spoken word influence coupled with the loose styling often associated with freestyle rhyming.

Gilead7’s most impressive feat, however, is his collegiate career – he intends to begin his PhD coursework in theology this coming fall. That makes Gilead7’s stark and heavy imagery compelling alone, but the style that he employs repeatedly wears on the ears after a while. Perhaps if Gilead7 took fewer risks lyrically, maybe the messages he wishes to inject would actually have some manner of effect. As it stands, this is a decent listen for what it is.

source: Okayplayer, added: Nov 23, 2008

"Gilead7 Interview"

Nach einigen Anlaufschwierigkeiten haben wir es nun endlich geschafft, uns einmal in aller Ruhe mit Gilead7 zu unterhalten. Der Rapper und Produzent aus Chicago entpuppte sich als äußerst interessanter Interviewpartner mit vielen guten Gedanken - sein aktuelles Werk trägt dementsprechend auch den bedeutungsschweren Titel "The Darkroom: The Abandonment of Christendom". Ein Einblick.

It might be interesting to get an explanation of your stage name
'Gilead7' first.

Gilead7 comes from two sources. One being my last name, which is "Gill." The other being the Bible lessons that I studied in grade school chapel classes. These two sources converge. In our Old Testament Scripture readings, we would come across the name "Gilead," which happened to be the name of a city in Israel, as well as the name of various people. Since "Gill" was my last name, along with the frequency of the name "Gilead" in our school lessons, the name "Gilead" was ascribed to me as a nickname by a childhood friend Jerome Thigpen (RIP). As I searched for a rap alias, this name naturally came to mind. The Gilead represents the two natures of me and of all people, good and evil, for which the city of Gilead was known. The "7" represents spiritual completion, and spirituality in general, an element that greatly colors my Emceeing.

You're music is charaterized by a wide spectrum of different musical styles - please name the different pieces of the puzzle that set up your style.

As far as styles of music: man, that could take half a century to list! Everything I listen to or have listened to has a point of culmination in my hip-hop. As a child, I was exposed to jazz, gospel and opera. My teen years saw me listening to classic and some modern rock, and later on I began to enjoy Celtic such as Susan McKeown, Gypsy Soul, Cherish the Ladies, and Iona, and electronica in its various forms (techno, drum and bass, trip-hop, etc). I see myself as one who reinterprets these genres through hip-hop. The music I'm doing now consists of drum and bass, Celtic, classic rock, and folk all articulated through the tongue and ear of a seasoned hip-hop MC. My CD consists of all of these things, and you're liable to attend a Gilead7 show and hear soundclips of R.E.M. or Plumb before I go into drum and bass chants over old school Metalheadz tracks followed by an original chopped up composition of Celtic abstracts over a break I created myself. This is a melting pot, and I ensure that the listener burns along with the audio presented.

Your new album "The Darkroom" is due to be released in a few weeks. What do you want to express with the subtitle "The abandonement of christendom"?

"The Darkroom: The Abandonment of Christendom" deals a lot with who I am musically and personally. All of the hip-hop that I have done has in some form or fashion been connected with Christianity. I began emceeing with the desire to be a Christian rapper of sorts, and have always had my feet halfway in that realm. My music was not intended to be Bible thumping, but was supposed to exemplify good hip-hop that came from a person of Christian faith. Through years of conflict with being a Christian and wanting to do hip-hop that was not necessarily trying to convert the world as well as wanting to touch on subjects that many "Christian hip-hoppers" viewed as non-Christian, I chose to leave that realm alone for the most part, and got some acceptance from the underground community of Chicago and abroad. The subtitle: "The Abandonment of Christendom" is a by product of the bad experiences I've had in the world of Christian music, if there even is a such thing as "Christian music." I wrote this album from the perspective of a person that had fath but has lost it, now indulging in a life off limits to him when bound by his Christianity. He does whatever the hell he wants to do in this state. You will find hot sex, jealousy, fierce badmouthing of substandard emcees, middle fingers to my former god, the god of Scripture, pain, fantasy, reminiscing, and other things. I do what I will in this "darkroom," for no deity will tell me how to conduct my life, which automatically frees my artistic licence, a thing that was restrained to me while in my phaze of "Christian music." In this album, I am in a state of "darkroom," rapidly and slowly "developing into something that I was not before.

What will you offer to the audience musically?

Musically, I offer a different approach to all that you have ever heard before. The sound of the album took a while to craft, because I wanted to make sure it was what I needed to convey my thoughts. I think one thing that I give to the listeners is a blatant appreciation of the genres that have influenced me. The first track has a Scottish feel with the bagpipes and Scottish vocals that producer GWillakuz crafted for it. Flower Child Neo-Hippie, a track produced by me, is an ode to classic rock and the 60s music movements that inspired me - UGRAP.DE

"Review of Death Penalty Shots"

Label: Reserved Rec.
Release: 2007

1. Intro
2. War Of Images feat. Elevation
3. A Song Called Hate
4. Save feat. Chaka
5. Assassin
6. Death Penalty Shots
7. Scat Preaching (Outro)
8. The Nice Guy
9. Invincible

Gilead 7
Death Penalty Shots
Das Schöne an den Alben von Gilead 7 ist, dass der Kopf dabei nie untätig bleibt. Wo wir auf "The Darkroom: The Abandonment Of Christendom" Zeugen einer religiösen Standortbestimmung werden durften, setzt sich der Emcee aus Chicago diesmal abseits der gängigen Schablonen mit seiner Situation als Rapkünstler auseinander. Death Penalty Shots" ist ein nachdenkliches, zuweilen kritisches aber nie besserwisserisches Album geworden - und gehört mit einiger Sicherheit zu den anspruchsvollsten Releases, die es in den letzten Jahren aus der Metropole am Michigansee zu hören gab.

Gleich im Opener "War Of Images" begibt man sich gemeinsam mit Elevation auf einen beißend ironischen Rundgang über den rapindustriellen Jahrmarkt der Eitelkeiten, der schwere, dunkle Beat des Schweizer Produzenten Ruedi Snare rundet die tadellose Vorstellung ab. Nicht minder schwer fallen die lyrischen Hammerschläge im straff, vielleicht ein wenig zu verschachtelt produzierten "Assassin" und dem von süffigen Gitarren getragenen Titeltrack. In der gleichen Schiene liegt das noch einen Tick pathetischere "The Nice Guy", in dem Gilead flowwise seine stärksten Momente auf diesem Kurzalbum hat.

Unter dem Strich wieder eine sehr überzeugende Vorstellung von Gilead 7, der es sich in "Scat Preaching" (von Beatmakin Troopa aus Island (!) produziert) nicht nehmen lässt, noch ein paar Gedanken zum Vorgängerrelease nachzuschieben. Wohl nur ein weiterer Beleg dafür, wieviel Persönliches der Mann in seinen Songs formuliert, wie Musik und Leben hier zu einem Ganzen verwachsen sind, so dass der Reflektionsprozess sich mitunter auch über mehrere Releases hinzieht. Auch "Death Penalty Shots" bietet genügend Anknüpfungspunkte - bleibt zu hoffen, dass sich G7 schon bald wieder zu Wort meldet. - UGRAP.DE

"Aphire Interview with Gilead7"

What’s the science behind the name Gilead7?

Well, this is kinda crazy. I went to a Christian school from elementary through high-school (kindergarden too). During scripture readings, the name Gilead would always come up. My last name is Gill, and eventually the name “Gilead” was attached to me because it sounded like my last name. I had forgotten about this until college, when I hosted a hip-hop show and was looking for a DJ alias. This soon after became an MC alias, with the 7 added in the near future due to its spiritual significance as completion.

How did you begin rapping and who was your inspiration?

I kinda got into rapping when I heard Vanilla Ice, but don’t start dissin’ ‘cus it don’t stop there! After a while I realized that there was better stuff to listen to. It was this station here called “The Rap Radio” 950 AM. All they played was real stuff like KRS 1, Eric B. and Rakim, Common, Das Efx, Brand Nubian, etc. There were no coastal biases though, ‘cus you heard as much Cube and Cypress as the East Coast material. I was 11 or 12 then. I kinda left hip-hop alone and immersed myself in the Classic Rock culture, and I did that until I was 16, almost 17 actually. During that period, I learned about the Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience to give all the members credit), Peter Paul and Mary, and all that other good stuff. I was about 16 and a half when Tunnel Rats came out, and that introduced me to hip-hop again. I still love that “Experience” album, the first Future Shock, and all the original Tunnel Rat products. They’ve deviated from the primary formula, but they’re still doing their thing (Underground Rise was really good in my opinion). Soon after that, I started rhyming. I was really bad. This was High School. I s met Wordz, who was then called Zion, in college (actually at a church function a while back). He had been doing shows with T-Bone, Grapetree artists and other artists. Watching him inspired me to continue. That’s when I really began to be serious about it.

How did you hook up with ReServed Records?

Wordz introduced me to Deftone in like ’98 when I started going to Judson. I stuttered all over myself when I met him (I have a stuttering problem, and I was a bit nervous). I asked him about some beats, and he told me that he’d help me out. Well, I would always accompany Wordz to shows, so of course I’d see Deftone all the time. I had done a few tapes and CDs and would always give them to Deftone to gather his opinions (which is always a hard thing if you know how he is). Time and time again, I’d ask Wordz to put me on some shows, but he never would. I started getting on my own two feet and getting my own sets, and would still run across the ReServed camp at shows we both had been booked at. I started recording at the ReServed studio in 2002, and Deftone talked to me about doing a ReServed album in 2003, and I was like “Sure.” So in summary, ReServed had been family for a while, but just closer family as of recent.

What is the logic behind the title of your release " The Darkroom: An Abandonment of Christianity "?

My releases in the past have been written from the perspective of a spiritual giant. Even Stories of Sorcery, this EP I put out in ’03 (available at , had the intent of casting me as a religious critic judging and showing holes in particular traditions. “The Darkroom: An Abandonment of Christendom” is the story of a Christian who has lost his faith due to hardships in life, and has adapted a moral code that lets him basically do whatever he wants to. This is displayed in battle rhymes, insults to God, ascetic views of art, stories, bad moods, etc. The CD is an attempt to give an overview of real life situations without any easy answers like “Oh, just hang in there, God’s gonna get you out of trouble.” No, you’re gonna deal with real life head on this one. “The Darkroom” is many things, but the connection of all of these parts is that life contains people that lose faith daily and have questions as to why things have to be the way that some religious book or religious person says they should be. As of now, I’m one of those people…

What will listeners hear on this release?

Actually, listeners will hear the Listener of Deepspace 5, Wordz, Verbal, Metamo (of the underground legendary crew Rubberroon for those who know the mystery), and Malakh. Production credits have been given to Maker (of Qwel and Glue fame), Deftone, Thaione Davis, 5th Element of Wu-Tang, Avarice of Sound Merchants, Andrew Stewart on bass, Two 1, myself, and some other cats you don’t know, but you will soon enough.

What do you feel is your favorite track off the album?

This one track I did entitled “Festival of Sacrilege” is my favorite. It sums up the Darkroom concept. Any questions about the intentions of the release are answered there. “Flower Child-Neo Hippie” is probably -


Explosions (1999)
The Calm EP (2000)
Reflections (2001)
Invincible (single, 2002)
Stories of Sorcery (2003)
The Darkroom (2005)
Death Penalty Shots (2007)
"Movers and Shakas 7' vinyl single (Feat Thaione Davis, Nizm, Skech 185, GQ Tha Teacha, and Tall Black Guy)
The Darkroom: The Abandonment of Christendom (to be released in the summer of '05)



Gilead7's music is a testament to free spirited thinking on religion, the world, and art. Hailing from Chicago, this PhD seminary student/MC/producer began his musical journey attempting to do Christian rap. His early basement tapes were grounded in battle rap, MC conceptual skills, and an almost common articulation of the Judeo Christian faith. However, this box of "Christian" rap was too small and had too many rules to hold his burgeoning musical craft. Now, he performs his excommunicated rap and instrumentals to pagans, Jesus enthusiasts, and anyone in between, rhyming theological philosophy over porno moans or Simon and Garfunkel chopped but not screwed. You may even catch him with a guitar singing Hopi mantras about love and unity, performing alongside everyone from GRITS and Mars ILL to Psalm One (Rhymesayers) and Qwel. It just depends on the day and how the "Spirit" leads him.

Because the "box" of Christian rap was way to small for the creativity Gilead7 possessed by blood (coming from a family of accomplished artists), Gilead took his religious convictions to the gritty underground hip-hop scene of Chicago, touching some of the same stages and going through the same ranks as the infamous Typical Cats, Thaione Davis, the Molemen (Juice, Rhymefest), and countless other household names in the the subterranean regions of the culture. Here, he sharpened his rhymes on basement tapes he would sell hand to hand and in the underground shops, doing all from the rhyming to the beatmaking and mixing. Around such impeccable and indelible hip hop talent, he had no choice but to perfect his craft or get out. Perfect it he did, collecting more and more acclaim with each effort.

After the basement tapes, he partnered with another MC by the name of Henchmen, and they both formed the crew "Transparent Frequency," a duo focusing on excellent rhyming and a committment to Christianity. The group performed for many packed audiences in the Chicagoland area, from university student organization sponsored events to youth groups. With this outlet, Gilead was able to gain both faith based and secular audiences. In 2001, TF did a compilation entitled "Reflections," which featured solo songs from Henchman and G7, as well as some other guests such as JJ (also added to TF), and JSmoove. This CD was played and promoted on Chicago's legendary WHPK 88.5, and the internet, with good responses.

Gilead then did a battle single CD entitled "Invincible," with a second track, "Stylistic Expressions RMX," featuring Jenny Thornton. This release was self-produced. He then created a fantasy role playing game like EP entitled "Stories of Sorcery," no doubt influenced by his ever evolving interest in Dungeons and Dragons, Dragon Lance, Lord of the Rings, and the like. It featured Wordz of ReServed Records, a well-respected MC in the Christian/secular hip-hop arena. This release still is talked about to this day, with several requests to release it as a digital album.

After being aquainted with Chicago label ReServed Records (partly founded by Overflo, the founder of Birthwrite Records, bringing you Psalm One and Thaione Davis), Deftone, the owner, asked Gilead about doing a proper full-length release. "The Darkroom: The Abandonment of Christendom" was born. In "The Darkroom," Gilead stepped away from his moderate content and painted the picture of a person who had directly and indirectly turned from Christianity. He utilized fierce and seemingly blasphemous battle raps, talked about conversions to Satanism and Hinduism, and was candid about his sex life. It featured Listener (Mush Records, Deepspace 5), Lord 360 (heard on several releases by the Opus), Malakh El, and Christian rapper (the only one on the release) Evan G. ReServed ( released the album in the fall of 2005, and it was received well by the hip-hop listeners, but stirred controversy in the Christian hip-hop world, causing him to lose the ear of some of this genre. "The Darkroom" received great album reviews (, but was also picked apart by Christian hip-hop reviewers ( In 2007, ReServed released what Gilead7 called "an excursion into the art of conceptual battle rapping." "Death Penalty Shots" was born, and demonstrated a boastful and risque G7 on his own production as well as that of Switzerland's Ruedi Snare, and Chicago's Sean The Pawn (of Iron Vagina Records). DPS is full of gory war metaphors, sexual references, and struggles to be a success in music. Okayplayer gave the EP 3 out of 4 in their review section, and Chicago's own Sun Times newspaper ran an article on him and the album right around the time of its release.

Wanting to give rhyming a rest, Gilead plunged into production, perfecting his instrumental style of obscure Celtic samples, strange and hard drum patterns, and melodic synths and basslines. In the