Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings
In the early ’90s, Ill Bill‘s Non Phixion helped kick-start the indie-rap movement making him somewhat of an underground rap legend. Earlier this week, the Brooklyn-based artist dropped his latest uncompromising solo project, The Grimy Awards but beyond his hip-hop chops, Bill’s always been big on the rock tip: He has a pre-rap past that includes a spell strumming bass in the hardcore band Injustice and his latest album features input from Bad Brains‘ H.R. Here’s a round-up of Ill Bill’s rock you need to know.
1. “U.B.S. (Unauthorized Biography Of Slayer)”
Putting a raucous spin on Nas‘ “The Unauthorized Biography of Rakim,” Ill Bill showcased his footnote knowledge of thrash-merchants Slayer in this tribute song. The fandom highlight includes Bill detailing how the band hooked up with Rick Rubin and confessing that Reign In Blood “still sends shivers up your spine.”
2. The Goblin Samples
Ill Bill has rhymed over tracks that feature hearty slabs of Italian prog-rockers and frequent Dario Argento soundtrack spars Goblin on two occasions. Courtesy of beats hooked up by his brother Necro, the elder Braunstein’s vocals can be heard lighting up Mr. Hyde’s “Them” and Q-Unique’s “Canarsie Artie’s Brigade.”
3. “Paul Baloff”
Again paying homage to one of his metal icons, Bill’s tribute to the Exodus leader is a key opening moment in The Grimy Awards. Produced by MoSS, the track bangs hard like Black Sabbath drums — which, quite handily, is a line Bill spits in the song.
4. The Sepultura Sample
High dramatic antics are the order of the day here, as a hoarse-voiced Bill expels vitriol over a production that includes cod-operatic wailing and, after around a minute and a half, a blast of Brazilian metal act Sepultura. Hard clashing chaos ensues.
5. “White N****r”
Controversy stoking title to the side, this cut from Ill Bill’s 2008 The Hour of Reprisal project is fired by an amped riff from fantasy-obsessed Brit power metal ensemble DragonForce. It’s a feisty combination.
The Grimy Awards is out now.