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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Hip Hop Funk




"If you haven't heard these 10 Philly bands, you're missing out"


If you caught Flashpoint Theatre’s “Hands Up: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments,” director Joanna Settle used the Doots’ magic to perfection. An eight-deep collective of emcees and musicians, they forge a rather-unfollowed path with hip-hop that goes for the gut with supreme sophistication. What started as three dudes in a dorm is now an engine that’s picking up steam. As they put it, what began with “a curious kid from Boston who played bass and loved J Dilla, an enthusiastic young drummer from Reading, PA, and a rambunctious acting student who kicked freestyle raps on the mic,” is something bigger now. Just listen to “Black Matter”—there’s fire and a future here. - Philadelphia Weekly

"Review: 'Hands Up' is mandatory listening"

'Does it always have to be about race?"

In Hands Up: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments, Flashpoint Theatre's brutal world premiere about institutionalized racism in post-Ferguson America, you'd better believe it.

In 2014, the New York theater organization New Black Fest commissioned six playwrights to respond to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. These short monologues chronicle each author's encounters with the daily indecencies of racial profiling, stop-and-frisk, harassment, and casual racism inflicted by police, media, and society in general.

"Racism hasn't gone away," Brandon J. Pierce tells us while performing Nathan James' "Superiority Fantasy." "White people are just tired of talking about it."

Though humiliation at the hands of police and anger and frustration about Ferguson and subsequent incidents permeate all six works, each author delivers a brutally honest telling of his own experience.

Nathan Yungerberg's "Holes and My Identity" and Eric Holmes' "Walking Next to Michael Brown" both present nuanced responses.

Yungerberg was adopted by a white couple in Wisconsin, and, as an adult, he feels a dearth of preparation for the regular hostility inflicted on urban blacks. Actor Brian Anthony Wilson, a giant of a man, brings great sympathy to the piece, his size no shield against slights seen and unseen.

Holmes' story begins with a rhythm and blues fantasia of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson as a romantic hero reholstering his gun after listening to the calm reasoning of actor EZ Hernandez.

The band ILL DOOTS accompanies all six monologues, here amplifying the sense of terror, there providing light riffs that add humor to Holmes' tale of biracial solidarity with Michael Brown.

Director Joanna Settle modulates the tone of the evening with striking precision, most notably in Glenn Gordon's "Abortion." Unleashing Aaron Bell's best comedic instincts as a father writing a letter of life lessons to his unborn child, she turns it into a roaring, tragic piece of stand-up comedy. With deadpan timing and potent subtlety, Bell works the room with a skill that belies his youth.

Veteran actor Johnnie Hobbs Jr. lends his impressive skills to Idris Goodwin's "They Shootin! Or I Ain't Neva Scared," effortlessly shifting from musings about a bird trapped between two windowpanes to recollecting youthful indiscretions that could have turned tragic.

And rage finds voice in Dennis Allen II's "How I Feel," a middle finger of a piece aimed at the clueless who ask why it always has to be about race when there's a mountain of experiences that would otherwise be dismissed if it weren't.

Go. Listen. Hear. - Philadelphia Inquirer

"The top 10 shows around Philly this week"

1 Ill DOOTS July 23 at Connie’s Ric Rac
The second of the band’s four-week residency features Aiden Connell, Little Brown Chair, Jon Delgado, Ann Marie and who knows who else. - Philadelphia Weekly

"Review of ILL Doots @ Circle Bar, NOLA"

This hip hop collective that began in a dorm room has grown into a fully realized artistic project. Seeing this group build their complex sound in the intimate space of the Circle Bar was truly extraordinary. For ILL DOOTS there is a careful balance between the production of the music and the pageantry of its delivery. Even though the crowd was quite small, the group played as though the house was packed. From the MCs' initial huddle and through the carefully choreographed banter, the collective demonstrated their dedication to their sound and their fans. - Mike Griffith for In Tune

"Feature in Front Magazine"

Listen to them and I guarantee within moments that you'll feel cooler. - Alex Baker for Front Magazine

"Itzme Spotlight: Ill Doots"

“ILL Doots is a unique hip-hop group with great music that needs to be heard everywhere. I personally don’t have a single other act I’d rather see live instead of this group. Check out all their music for timeless entertainment.” - itzdadiabolical

"JUMP Philly: ILL Doots @ Kung Fu Necktie"

“There is a showmanship to their performance and a sense of ease as they dig into their instruments. They have done this before and they will do it again...[emcee] Phantom, has a technical flow that almost sounds like the words are composed for the piece of music, not just added to it.” - Matthew Leister for JUMP Philly

"Sound of Philadelphia-based group ILL Doots tough to categorize"

The Philadelphia-based group Ill Doots is difficult to categorize but easy to enjoy.

“Our lifeblood (and) our purpose is to use the medium of art to enact change. Social change, metaphysical change, personal change and even, hopefully at some point, legislative change.” - Vincent Harris for Herald-Journal

"Eclipse on the Concrete Front Album Review"

“If you’re looking for unique, funky hip hop that eschews today’s cliché-ridden production values for a soulful new take on an old-school MC-fronted funk band look no further, Ill Doots is the real deal.” - Kyle Press


Still working on that hot first release.



ILL DOOTS has always been known as a diverse and expansive tribe, but originally they were nothing more than a few teenagers in a jam session: a curious kid from Boston who played bass and loved J Dilla, an enthusiastic young drummer from Reading, PA , and a rambunctious acting student who kicked freestyle raps on the mic. These humble beginnings built the foundation of collaboration that continues to drive ILL DOOTS forward on their journey as artists.

ILL DOOTS is a group of individuals with different perspectives, from different places who want nothing more than to come together freely, have fun, and make good music with no rules. In 2009 ILL DOOTS began molding its jam session origins into a small dorm room studio project which has since further evolved into a raging live beast of a band featuring: two emcees, two guitarists, a bassist, drummer, percussionist, keyboardist and occasional appearances from a horn section, other emcees, and singers.

ILL DOOTS has proclaimed that their sound is unlike anything ever heard before on Earth, it is a new philosophy: 3EATKRACK. 3EATKRACK is a mindstate, to look within yourself and reconcile raw emotion and refined thought, the coal, the diamonds, and everything in between. For ILL Doots this means mixing elements of jazz, infused with hip hop and funk to give life to their soulful sound. The 8+ piece band’s vibe is organic and raw because the band draws from a diverse range of backgrounds as individuals but maintains a shared musical consciousness. Their live show has become more refined, theatrical, engaging, and challenging with each year of collaboration. ILL DOOTS also strives to collaborate with artists from all disciplines; cross-medium collaboration has been a constant source of inspiration and is a staple of the ILL DOOTS experience.  In reality it’s not just ILL DOOTS, it’s a whole #ILLMOVEMENT.

Band Members