Cadence is defined as a modulation or inflection of the voice. That inflection comes from the structure of the words in the verse and the voice delivering them. Busta Rhymes, DMX, Chali 2na, Sticky Fingaz…instantly recognizable the minute they spit. Add Minnesota’s Illab to that list.
Illab wields his baritone like a weapon. Add verbal dexterity to that deadly voice and the result is pure fire. He’s a battle rapper at heart and that ferocity is what makes It’s All Been Said Before, his new EP, so contagious. He raps with an intensity akin to KRS-One. Never content to bomb you line after line with corny metaphors and silly punchlines, Illab enunciates like a professor. But these lectures have nothing to do with theory or method. The EP’s seven tracks are laced with reality and served up with excellent production from Dimitry Killstorm, Mike Frey and Wisdom.
Minnesota hip hop resonates with me because it lacks that familiar mainstream tepidness. The final product is proof positive of the skills. Those skills shine brighter than any of the swaggering and bravado plaguing the genre today. The game simply speaks for itself. Minnesota’s hip hop scene is on fire and Illab is carrying the torch. Check out the EP at www.illab1.bandcamp.com Contribute if you can.