Frontrunners of the new Minneapolis Sound, hip-hop group iLLism (www.illismmusic.com) returns with a new album, “Illuminate.”
The new 15-track sophomore release follows up 2017’s “Love and Loyalty” album. The married duo of soul singer Fancy and rapper Envy balance R&B grooves with introspective bars and soulful beats.
The group describes the new album as “a reflection of their personal and musical journeys … evok(ing) passion and emotions that listeners all over the globe can connect with.”
Standout cuts include “Outta My Head” where Envy raps, “it ain’t good to feel weak in the place I grew up, where the men here are taught to be tough.” Fancy later sings, “I have a tendency to overthink things, that destroys all the good in me.” The song touches on the anxieties of personal growth from a male and female perspective.
The production on the album is a step in the right direction building off of the momentum of past projects. “Illuminate” blends live elements with traditional hip-hop studio production. Producers Blu Majic, Dope Boyz, Dreamlife, Illuid Haller and Tone Jonez join the iLLism band in shaping their signature sound. A perfect example of this is “Who You Loving” with the dreamy saxophone accompaniment of Willie Moore.
Illism has accomplished a lot in the past few years including being a top three finalists in Paisley Park’s Battle of the Bands, performances at Super Bowl Live and NPR’s Tiny Desk, and charting on the North American College and Community Radio chart and coming in at No. 34 on The Current’s Top 89 local of 2017.
The duo says, “this album is using full music form. It’s our blood, sweat, tears and heartbeats. That’s how special it is. It’s therapeutic. It’s a release. It’s a celebration.”