ILL Conscious
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ILL Conscious

Baltimore, MD | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Baltimore, MD | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Hip Hop





A drum chime was coming with words in my mind when I first heard the God Ill Conscious rhyme. It went:

Made Baltimore more than a chore

Surviving hell with words to explore

Wonder how the wire conspire

When 120 bearers transpire…

See, I’m saddened to say so many standards have been lowered that it seems to the superficial I hate. And I do motherfucker! That is, if it’s to despise the average on plush mountains and the caricatures colored past the outlines of humanity, then I will its demise mightily. But it’s really to hear some love again. Someone that respects the heartiness of the drum, the ones who dug in the righteous crates throughout the savage bins of the city. For plus lessons to a knowledge of self or arrows into other sounds that unknown genres were found. So we salute the MC’s, Master of Ceremonies, that manipulated the chaos and maneuver with craft to entertain in the expertise of technique and inform with confrontational thoughts.

These poetical rhythms are addictive to the consumers that don’t even need the message or the new warriors. I ain’t one of those cuties. So no need to cure the rhyme of its sicknesses of talking tough on the ruling whiteys, the fooling ten percent and all the Black and Brown melanosomes that stain the LPs. I love hearing my younger brothers do these revolutions per minute.

And Ill Conscious is a warrior you have to sit and listen to. These tracks may even cheat you into laziness for years. A Boom Bap that hits with all of its ideal relics. Whether it’s TooNorth’s high snare gavel smack snare through a vocal snip balladeering the title name on “Everyday,” the low horn around a bass thud and a brushed drum working like a beach’s summer wave on Hi Cee’s “Foreign Relations,” the Latino polyrhythmic isolation into a background of a expertly thickened and slowed impeach-the-prez on Wisdom Beats’ “Vibe Vibrations,” or the guitar twang that surfs the bulky and slowed drums where the wails water into Ill’s words. And there’s more from the high, long cymbal crash snare off the thudding bump drums that Marshtini wields on “Clyde Drexler,” or Marshtini ripping it again with a long-held siren on bass drums and sharp DJ Grazzhoppa cuts for “Capital Investments,” then to “so consistent” ideal Boom Bap over keys that nicely reloads the drums and isolates at the end of bars occasionally that Eyedee bangs together on “The Narrative.”

See I sang with Etta that I’d rather go blind

Then to see my song string me to a wrong

Cause being bled into a family of fame the funerals sho to be in flames

#RespectFAKE world, an ill conscious is an #InvisibleRenaissance

And it’s an aberration to cherish a principle performed

Broadcasting from the Savior Street station,

I say I gots to be measured by the money I refuse to make from my culture

Word is bond.

Once, if ever, the beat addiction stops, the ears to words turn this LP to a listening record. I’d say Ill Conscious is just beginning to find his complete character on wax but his insights and absolute mastery of techniques is extremely advanced. Techs so advanced I gotta build a little on it. The Prerequisite would not cause a butterfly effect if I had found this in a record shop in 96. It doesn’t even seem as a real debut as such a perfected Boom Bap record. There are absolutely no flaws in pacing, despite the sped up double time and punctuated slowdowns to the end of the bar he constantly employs. Nothing is chased, all the writing space in the break is employed, his clarity is never compromised or vocals overpowered by the track. This is vocal dexterity that when we do the joyous work of listening is well coupled with a worthy lyrical content.

The knowledge of self as God as a foundation is so deliberately overlooked by whitewashing media, the blatant metaphysical portraits to the mission of “Everyday” to the embrace of all the indigenous–all the Original people–is more than refreshing. It cannot be and will not be swept under the rug unless you want to talk about breaks and snares or fast rhyming as the power of this LP. It isn’t. It is having a brother from Baltimore show us how empowered he has become through these many hells by this knowledge of self. “Everyday” filled with the shifting imagery where the time is now because the time has become fluid in the mind of all his history and peoples merging, “Rocking Kemitic rings/still as live as them riders in Medellin/rising angelically/I’m touching it live….beretta squeeze/making them shots fly through the mezzanine/rest of discrepancy/build with Nepalese and the Japanese/so my mind on a different level genetically/blowing the evergreen/flex on the white supremacy…reporting live where they force to desensitize us/in this war of disproportionate corporate enterprises/revolution is calling us glorious improvisers…” And “Foreign Relations” continues this, “…on a private island eating papayas from the Guatemalans/my title the highest like I’m Akhenaton/my mind is Moroccan/noble like I studied the Moorish science before inspiring the natural correspondence/terminate negativity/knowledge’ll permeate all of your brain/I’m planted the seed to germinate…”

It leads to a stream of conscious that never loses its deeper conscious offering photographic commentary on the struggle he struggles to artistically bring light to. As “Vibe Vibrations” proves, the bars using internal rhyme schemes, couplets and wonderful transitions to weave in and out of snapshots and insights, “This for the bums in the underpass/ searching for crumbs/ slums and the cul de sacs/ we marching the way with the drums to the cardiac/blowing the marley and sipping the rum in the cognac/beaming to being in tune until I’m one with the almanac/acting impulsive never slumber with insomniacs/skeptics of the truth until I summon the artifacts/give them a heart attack and they plummet and falling back/when I’m feeling the carpal tunnel I’m done with the autographs/my nigga just whippin a rugged pontiac/and I’m rocking without a budget/the love is just all I have/overdrafting accounts, ponder where the commas at/food desserts got me just wondering where the farmers at/and in the midst of the losing I view the bogus/niggas is bacteria moving like Pseudomonas…”His mission statement with autobio capsules rides through “The Testament” whilst “Clyde Drexler” re-emphasizes how the bars are to swing open bars in any way. The Prerequisite is an exercise of catching Ill Conscious’ dynamic similes and metaphors, crucial commentaries and amazing tech displays, a warrior’s edutainment. Ill Conscious is an MC that can rhyme beyond this beloved Boom Bap palette into more varied tempos and sample emphasis (and I don’t mean fucking sellout) or give us verses in entirely different patterning and sequences and still engage us. With The Prerequisite, he’s already shown he can create an impeccable and anthemic warrior Boom Bap. [Buy CD HERE]

Vultures lie on drum takes

Fuse honey and sly treasure to climb

Fickle and furious, builds been in decline

Prerequisite use to be phind the golden ratio

Exiled skunks of the planet scatter from the degree

And gauge your sense by the capstone that won’t empart fumes


"No Trap. No Mumble Rap. STRICTLY BOOM BAP!"

Posted on March 2, 2018 by SS
Fresh off of his sophomore LP release, “The Prerequisite”, ILL Conscious teams up with Lebanese producer, Hamorabi and DJ Goadman to create the opus known as “Self Savior”. The production is reminiscent of a theatrical triumphant middle eastern rebellion. ILL expresses his disdain for the oppressive American government and subjective society through social and political commentary, all while incorporating witty, metaphoric battle style rhymes. For true fans, the lyrics may be familiar, but the visual introduces a new satirical approach for the viewer. Enjoy!

Verse 1:

Rocking Kemetic rings, still as live as them riders in Medellin
rising angelically, I’m touching the lives of the Lebanese
niggas sweet as papaya, fire at your extremities
Berretta squeeze and nigga them shots fly through the mezzanine
rest the discrepancy, I build with the Nepalese and the Beninese
son my mind on a different level genetically
blowing the evergreen, flex on the white supremacy
fuck America’s house, hawk spit on the nice amenities
reporting live where they’re forced to desensitize us
in this war of disproportionate, corporate enterprises
revolutionists, call us inglorious improvisers
the breath of my ancestors, the story of the advisors
they got our children absorbing and visualizing
the TEL – LIE – VISION and radio from notorious liars
my aura is higher, skin is porous, endorphins ignited
Allah in the wilderness, I’m exploring the fire!

Verse 2:

America terrorize, my people is terrified of the paradigm
and paralyzed, I peep it from Palestine to the Carolines
I clarify, the people ain’t verified but they sterilized
no paradise, rebellion and struggle that’s where the merit lies
reading the glossary, ceasing the mockery
ain’t a piece of democracy in this land of greed and hypocrisy
deceit is in the leaders, but what I’m speaking is scholarly
but in the constitution they still consider me property
what they see is an oddity, but they ain’t stopping the populous
point the glock and its feeling like the apocalypse
40 cal to Trump and I tell him it’s just politics
superman and the dark knight, Gotham and the Metropolis
the flow’s steady boxing em, the hoes steady rocking him
living by the code and 5-0 steady watching him
hmph, the illest novelist, scribing this like the hieroglyphs
Peace to the Gods in case the devils is chiming in.


For “The Testament”, ILL Conscious teams up with French producer Kyo Itachi and Chilean turntablist DJ Audas to create a vivid picture of the upbringing of the Baltimore emcee.

This is the first single off of ILL’s “The Prerequisite” album. On this joint, he recruits West Coast producer Eyedee for the soundscape and fellow Baltimore artist, 1/2 of The Tutelage, Jay Royale with cuts by DJ TMB.

Tags: Hip Hop, Ill Conscious, Self The Prerequisite, Underground Hip HopCategories:Music

A RenaiSSance man. SS strikes again ! View all posts by SS - Shabaam Sahdeeq

"REVIEW: ILL Conscious – The Prerequisite"

REVIEW: ILL Conscious – The Prerequisite

If you are new to the blog, you might be asking “what up with this late ass review?”. I know The Prerequisite dropped February 19th, but the reason is twofold. One, I ain’t cop it til mid-March (I was actually reviewing Jericho Jackson and didn’t drop that til the 16th). And two (the reason why ALL of our reviews drop “late”), because we like to live with each project. On average I probably listen to each LP, EP, or mixtape at least a dozen times front to back (at home on the laptop, in headphones at work and gym, and through car speakers). So now that we are all caught up with how we get down, on to ILL Conscious. The Baltimore native has been active in the game since his first mixtape Bloody Conscious Vol. I in 05. ILL had my curiosity with a few tracks that were sent to me from previous projects, but it was “The Narrative” single off of The Prerequisite that really caught my attention. Off the strength of one single, I was ready for the rest of the album. So how did ILL Conscious do with the remanding 9 tracks? Let’s jump into it.

All emcees should know how to curate an album. In our last podcast, the BITM squad talked about the Black Panther soundtrack. Kendrick Lamar is the perfect example of an emcee that knows how to piece an album together: beginning, middle, and end. And of course, it all starts with the first track. The intro track is just that, the first shot you have to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself to the public. The Marshtini produced track “Capital Investments” sounds like an early Wu joint (especially the last 15 secs), with cuts from DJ Grazzhoppa. ILL hits you with an array of clever metaphors and a sophisticated flow. While the tropes of a “hood/street” track are present, ILL is able to elevate the subject matter with his approach. I said in my review of “The Narrative” track that ILL has an AZ heir about him, mostly in his cadence and a bit in his flow. But the way ILL attacks this track reminds me of a Raekwon, with his seasoned vet-like vocabulary. You are going to hear wordplay that you’ve NEVER heard before. Doing that in a track like this shows not just true talent, but knowledge of self and the culture. ILL Conscious knocked this one out the park. Enough said. Next.

I try to stay away from reviewing featured artists. If you clicked on an artist’s name, I assume you are here for said artist’s review. But ILL gave me no choice. More on that later. The second track “Foreign Relations” is produced by Hi Cee and features DJ Dacel (on the cuts?) and Papitas Freestyle. The jazz-infused track sets the stage for ILL to hit you with conscious and braggadocio bars that solidify his place among the bonafide spitters. Next up is Papitas Freestyle. I’ve NEVER heard of this dude before. The Chilean emcee contributes the hook and the second verse. ALL. IN. SPANISH (and this is why I had to talk about this featured artist). Papitas Freestyle has a Joey Bada$$ flow to him that compliments the track well. Both emcees have verses that are DOPE, but I got to give ILL a tip of the hat. It’s a BOLD move to have your hook and half of your track in another language. The first thing an ILL Conscious fan (the dude that put me on) said to me was, “I have NO idea what this guy was saying”. As someone who understood what Papitas Freestyle was saying, I gotta say this is one of the best Spanish verses I’ve ever heard. And just verse-wise, both these emcees created one of the best tracks on this album.

Speaking of Joey Bada$$, I had to get into this track. “Vibe Vibrations” is produced by Wisdom Beats and samples “Summer Nights” by Lonnie Liston Smith and The Cosmic Echoes. Joey sampled this song for his intro track to 1999, “Summer Knights”. This is another jazz/blues instrumental that fits so well with the overall sound of the album. Yung Miss provides smooth vocals that accompany the mellow track. ILL Conscious is able to find these pockets where he hits these melodic patterns that make your face ugly. This is going to be one of those tracks that you bump in the whip on a perfect spring day. Windows down. Bangin’. Well, that is if we ever get actual normal seasons anymore in the DMV.

I’m not going to get into “The Narrative” joint again. But trust, that is a stand out track. Peep review for it here, and the video below. When I link up with the BITM squad we always discuss the current state of Hip Hop. From the outside looking in, it appears that rappers today need a gimmick. You need the likes, or you need to be trending. You need to Kool-Aid your hair and teeth, tattoo dumb shit on your face, and mumble your way through a strip club beat that your IG followers can turn into memes. It’s almost rare to expect a rapper born in the 90s or oughts to not be a product of this hyper-social media world. But there is one segment of the Hip Hip community that still gives me hope. Whether you call them underground, independent, or local artists, it is this group that might help repopulate the emcee pool. Before Cole or Kendrick dominated the mainstream landscape, they were independent. They didn’t have to go through the marketing team of these conglomerate machines to decide what their image should be. Or what they should say and how they should say it. Hip Hop weeds out the pseudo gangstas and fraudulent personas. ILL Conscious is who he says he is. How do we know this? Listen to the music. He is a clear product of the Golden Era. Specifically that mid-90s New York sound. You don’t get compared to AZ, Raekwon, Pun, or L unless you show and prove (the Chef and Big L comparisons are mines, but I’ve seen others make the AZ and Pun one). The Golden Era had many defining traits, but one that gets overlooked was its intellectualism. These emcees were SMART. They were philosophers. Many were self-taught. You can’t fake that. To carry on that tradition you have to come correct all the time, or don’t come at all. If you hear ILL Conscious, he sounds like he was bred in that environment. But if you listen to him, you see that connection is much deeper. Many people can mimic a cadence, but many can’t structure and string words together to create that authentic track. And we ain’t even talk about the instrumentals. ILL Conscious hand-picked the perfect beats to create a cohesive body of work. The features also compliment his style well and add to the atmosphere created by great production. By this point in the review, I try to see where this artists/project fits in the current climate. I can see ILL Conscious going the way of a Joey Bada$$. There might be a “hit” or two, but most of the music will be for the culture. True Hip Hop heads will support all his movements and ILL will continue to produce authentic timeless music. If ILL continues to pay homage to the great emcees before him, we might be looking at a gang of tracks where he actually teams up with said greats. I’ll let y’all daydream what would be your perfect pairing. But till then, go COP The Prerequisite and support the emcee ILL Conscious.

SOURCE: - Bestinthemix

"The Prerequisite: Real Hip Hop In A Fake World…"


By NoFamous Cosign

Follow him on Instagram at @NoFamousCosigns

RATING 4.5 Mics | Lyrics 5| Production 5| Features 4.5|

Producers: Marshtini | Hi Cees | Math-Mic | B-Sun | Kyo Itachi | TooNorth | Eydee | Wisdom Beats |

Features: DJ Grazzhoppa | DJ TMB| DJ Dacel | DJ Audas | Jay Royale| Guy Grams | Papitas Freestyle | Supreme Cerebral

DNA is a vital thing to all living things, it gives clues to the parentage of everything. Through DNA you can trace where something began. In music, we can use the DNA of an artist to see what their lineage is as well. Strong clues to the major influences that help to create that artist. IllConscious aka illConsciousDaGod is a phenomenal emcee. His DNA includes AZ, Nas, Big L, Talib Kweli, Tek and Steele (Smiff and Wessun). Having noticeable influences from such skilled and in many cases, legendary emcee could be a distraction and detractor, not for DaGod.

The overall soundscape of the album is boom bap classic sound. This album could have as easily come out in the mid-90s or early 2000’s during the Rawkus era. This is an exceptional piece of work. Cohesive is an understatement. If you are of a certain DNA (there’s that word again) then this album will be a welcomed addition to your playlist.


The sophomore album starts off with CAPITAL INVESTMENTS, the haunting relentless beatscape that Marshtini with scratches by Dj Grazzhoppa provides sets the tone for this opus. The flow is multisyllabic and fluid. IllConscious blends perfectly between the samples and scratches, that makes you want to put on a fresh pair of Timbs, a champion hoodie and fatigue pants while rolling a phillie with a 40 oz. of St. Ides next to you. FOREIGN RELATIONS is up a next a jazzy bi-lingual affair with a feature from Papitas Freestyle who absolutely rips the track in Spanish. Hi Cees manages to make the track sound new and vintage at the same time. Ill as a lyricist has managed to develop a style that is lyrical and he plays with words but does not overpower the beat. He never comes off as a rapper trying to fit too many words into a verse.


OVER THE SEAS starts off with this sound like some 96 shit. Indeed, it sounds as if the Large Professor or Pete Rock decided to bless him with the production. That is the highest praise for Math-Mic. Ill lets his words weave in and out of the xylophone with smooth lines that would have a shorty willing to slide wherever he asked her. YOUR MAJESTY is live period, it is the most upbeat aggressive beat so far. Ill Conscious get to get his cocky emcee on, with braggadocios rhymes. However, the guest appearance by Supreme Cerebral helps to amp the track he is slightly offbeat. THE TESTAMENT is a grimy trip through the mind of a man reminiscing on family, friends, and loyalty. But the standout track is THE NARRATIVE where he goes back to back with Jay Royale in a bar fest where they proclaim themselves the rap Avon and Stringer Bell. The references throughout this song range from Bishop keeping a .22 in his 40 Belows to mutant genetics. I would put that song against anything on the market today. They raised each other’s game 10 fold and that’s saying a lot.

VIBE VIBRATIONS is an airy groove provided by Wisdom Beats is perfect for just driving and vining to, it’s a smart sequence after the energy of the previous track. As the album starts to come to a close CREATED APPEAL and CLYDE DREXLER close out the set on strong lyrical notes.

As an emcee rooted heavily in lyricism this is almost flawless and the best selection while closely mirroring each other it’s not overkilled because it creates a cohesive listen. I personally would like to see him over more energetic tracks to show his charisma more on the mic. But finding little to complain about and little fault with The Prerequisite, he avoided the Sophmore Jinx.

Available on Tidal Apple Music, iTunes and anywhere else you like to listen to your music.

Purchase hard copies


Ill Conscious



Gods and Earths



iCosign - NoFamous Cosign


The Essence - 2015
The Prerequisite - 2018
The Underachiever Mixtape - 2018
Represent to the Fullest (7") - 2016
Supreme Soloist (7") - 2017 
Ill Conscious x Mz Boom Bap - Sorcery - 2018



ILL Conscious is a hip-hop artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. With a fresh innovative approach, ILL’s style is still pleasantly reminiscent of the authentic 90’s hip-hop era. Since 2007, ILL has been performing along the east coast, mid-west and has sparred in several battle competitions with other emcees. He has been featured on numerous rap blogs and has been quoted as a mix between a later-in-his-career AZ, a Capital Punishment Big Pun, a Lifestylez ov Da Poor & Dangerous Big L with the ‘consciousness’ of Talib Kweli and the passion/word choice of Tupac. ILL Conscious is mainly recognized for holding his own on tracks with the likes of Conway, Skyzoo, King Magnetic, Ras Kass, Afu-Ra, Guilty Simpson, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Craig G, Dirt Platoon and many more. The Baltimore MC has been making an imprint on the underground hip-hop scene. With a rivaling stage presence, ILL Conscious has opened up for Legends such as Rakim, Redman & Method Man, Kool  G Rap, Scarface, Boot Camp Clik, Lord Finesse, Pharoahe Monch, Planet Asia, Masta Ace, Dead Prez and the list continues. Coming off an impressive debut album The Essence, ILL Conscious embodied his predecessors.

“The Prerequisite” LP is ILL’s sophomore project that is now available on all major digital platforms as well as CD. Vinyl is available. ILL Conscious teamed up in October of 2018 with Portuguese producer, Mz Boom Bap to create the 5 track opus entitled, "Sorcery" now available on all major digital platforms and vinyl. ILL plans to release projects that will furthermore advance his career and make him a household name in the underground circuit.

Band Members