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Ill Bill: Audio Zeitgeist

Submitted by on April 12, 2010 – 7:24 pmNo Comment

Music-Hip-Hop-R&B-9Ill Bill believes our society loves murder, loves bloodshed and loves the scene of an accident where someone’s dead. “When you see a car crash on the highway, everybody slows down to see what happened,” he says. “It’s a morbid curiosity.”

Subconsciously, hip-hop’s underground king reflects, what attracts humans to violence is the one question that piques us all: “It’s like people are trying to find out about the meaning of life and death.”

He raps that violence is more American than apple pie and Soultrain, baseball and cocaine. Violence, gangs and murder are common themes in Bill’s jams. But, he says, outsiders don’t understand that, as he spits on Pain Gang off his sophomore record The Hour of Reprisal, his songs aren’t meant to glorify gang culture.

“I think people get things a little twisted. I like to push buttons; I like to challenge myself; I like to challenge the listener,” he lists. “It’s not a one-dimensional stab at controversy, that’s not where I’m aiming.”

With lines like “capitalism is built on pimps and hoes” and “bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity,” there’s no questioning why pundits and heads alike have tagged Bill a politically-minded rapper. Like an audio version of the 9/11 Truth: Zeitgeist documentary, Bill has a way of opening apathetic ears and waking lethargic eyes.

The Hour of Reprisal, which features appearances from DJ Premier, Raekwon, Max Cavalera of Sepultura, Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage, B-Real and Everlast, includes a smorgasbord of songs that address the political and social issues du jour.

On A Bullet Never Lies Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks spits, “I warned you before about biochips…About the CIA distributing the crack in the streets.” White Nigger sees Bill, a white Jew who grew up in Brooklyn’s Glenwood projects, lament that in “Texas they dream of hunting Jews with ball bats.” On My Uncle, a tune about Uncle Howie’s drug addiction, Bill screams over a rough drum and electric guitar: “My uncle shoots heroin!”

Other than trying to keep his uncle away from needles, and spending time with his wife and daughter, Bill credits a lot of weed and staying home with keeping him hungry and healthy.

“I’m a pretty fuckin’ boring dude these days,” he admits. “I just stay home, smoke my weed, make some beats, write some rhymes and record in the pad. If I’m not on tour, I’m just chilling.”

Remi L. Roy

also appeared in XPress-11/06/2008

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