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Band Hip Hop R&B


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The best kept secret in music


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"Upstage Mixtape Vol. 1" - 2003; Independant
"Call It What U Want" - Summer 2007; Upstage Ent.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Right now, hip hop is in a state of confusion. The music that started in the ghettos as an artistic reaction to oppression has evolved into the most popular and most lucrative form of popular music in the world. Because of this, the art form has been bastardized by some of America’s most money hungry corporations, and raped of its innocence. Now the public is forced to listen to the uninspired, cookie-cutter sounds of corporate America.

Enter Illistic.

“They wanna know why I wear the suit”, says Illistic, or ‘Illi’ as he likes to be called, referring to the fact that he does his performances in business-like attire. “It’s because I’m taking it upon myself to bring a level of professionalism to hip hop culture and lead the next generation into a new era, with an elevated mind state and self-image; trying to encourage more creative hip hop music.” Heroic words, coming from a 19-year-old rapper/producer from Toronto, Ontario, whose song catalogue includes titles like “No Ugly Girls” and “No Ugly Girls Pt II”.

“I’m not tryna say that I’m perfect”, Illi says, smiling. “My rhymes can be a little sexist, even egotistical sometimes. But those thoughts are equally as valid as my songs about interracial relationships, or about my feelings towards my father, which I write about as well. In reality, they’re all musical representations of real emotions, and that's what is missing from hip hop right now.”

One would assume that a young man with aspirations to single-handedly change a culture would produce music for the ‘underground’ hip hop scene, but Illi’s radio-friendly tunes beg to differ. “You can ‘call it what you want’ but at the end of the day, I still want people to dance”, Illi explains. "I’m tryna prove you don't have to be ‘gangsta’ to be cool. You can use music to say how you really feel as a human being and still be the man-- and make it a club banger at the same time. It's possible, watch me.”

Growing up listening to up-tempo, club-based hip hop and soul, Illi’s music is a reflection of just that. His upcoming, self-produced album, entitled “Call It What U Want”, is sure to be an instant classic. Being released under Illi’s own Upstage Entertainment, the 6-year long project has finally been completed and will be available in the summer of 2007. “All I want is for the next generation of hip hop artists to stop trying to be what the media tells them is cool, and just be themselves on the mic. So I decided to lead by example”.

In his music, Illi combines his own tight production with his creative, humorous lyrics and a contagious flow, and the outcome is nothing short of beautiful. At only 19 years of age with over 100 songs under his belt and hours of experience on stage, this young workaholic is ready to take the music industry by storm. Currently a student at Trebas Institute studying audio engineering and recorded music production, he is constantly expanding his knowledge and taking his music to the next level. With his unwavering passion for music, in combination with his unparalleled drive to succeed, and shier musical talent, only the sky is the limit for Illistic.