Music Spotlight: iLL-Literacy – iB4the1.1 EP

It’s been one of those weeks. But, last weekend was one of the best of the semester for me because myself and the other members of the Black Expression Awareness & Thought Society (B.E.A.T.S) brought back iLL-Literacy, one of the best spoken word and hip hop groups around. This was iLL-Lit’s third time coming to UVA in the past four years and its always a fun time when they come around. For those of you that missed the show, I will have some video up soon from the B.E.A.T.S show but more importantly…iLL-Literacy’s debut album “iB4the1.1” came out this Tuesday!

Now you know Rev only puts you on with the BEST music out right now so I need everyone to go to iLL-Literacy’s website and download your, FREE & LEGAL copy! Check after the jump for more details about iLL-Lit’s first album.

iLL-Literacy Press Release:

Visionary, Hyper-Creative iLL-Literacy Crew Prepared to Change The Way You Listen to Music

iLL-Literacy Releases First Chapter Of Three-Part iB4the1

Short on attention span but long in ultra-creative, psychedelic rhymes, Oakland trio iLL-Literacy has some ambitious plans for the next few months. iLL-Lit is aiming to reshape not only the way that music is made but the way it’s distributed. Emcees Drizzleton, Dahlak, and N.I.C. are gearing up for the first of three release dates for their new album iB4the1.1 (pronounced I Before The 1, Chapter 1). Confused? Don’t be. It’s just the future.

iLL-Literacy will be releasing iB4the1 in three chapters. The first, Chapter 1, will be released on November 17. Because iLL-Literacy believes that traditional means of marketing and distribution have become obsolete, they are releasing all three chapters for free on their website ( In an effort to further obliterate the mold, iLL-Lit has partnered with street fashion legend C+ Jewelry to create USBiLL (pronounced “Us Be iLL”), a line of custom limited edition flash drives. A convenient and reusable alternative to CDs, USBiLL will be the primary physical form of the complete iB4the1 trilogy of releases.

iB4the1 may be their debut “album,” but the members of iLL-Literacy have known each other since birth and it shines through on their tracks. They boast a fully formed vision and aesthetic that few groups, especially young groups, can match. When asked about iB4the1, Drizzleton described it as an epic. He postulates that the ideal listening context for Chapter 1 would be on “either a short car drive…or upon the back of a spiny-toothed wombat in Africa, while watching Planet Earth on mute.”

In case you were somehow still worried that the iLL-Literate trio was lacking in ambition, allow Dahlak to describe Chapter 1: “Despite its brevity, .1 is grand in its effort to bridge sampled voice and original instrumentation, experimental music and hip-hop narrative. The sound of iLL-Literacy draws character from an unusual blend of influences, spanning funk, afro beat, alternative, soul and of course hip-hop. This is iLL-Lit before the start. The prequel to the saga. iLL-Lit before the One. Take that how you want.”


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