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Iller Than Theirs Iller Than Theirs Embedded Music • 2007

The sons of Father Ill aka Tone Tank and Kray are Iller Than Theirs ('We’re not better than anyone, we’re just iller') and they’ve just released their self-titled debut album to share their ill music with the world. Interesting of course, in a music genre where 'ill' is such a holy and respected word, to somehow mock and laugh at it but then again I would mean by this they’re not really ill, only laughin at it, and that’s not true either…they just exaggerating a little bit. Listening to this album you’ll find more cynicism, a trademark of the Nuclear Family crew which they descend of.

A recurrent theme throughout the album is the disgust towards conceited egos. The raw guitar, funk break-infested opening song 'Razor Bumps' for instance, where the chorus goes 'Nobody’s that fresh and nobody’s cool, don’t try to front son, we all play the chump, why you coming out ya muthafuckin neck?'. Lyrics reveal adversity in both members’ pasts, having resulted in an overall distrust towards most mankind. In 'The Same' they criticize the commercialization of Brooklyn and how the block is changing ('they doing to us like they did to Manhattan') but then again urge to change your ways if you want to survive. Towards the end of the song, no one else but the Music Man himself, Masta Ace, comes reminiscing along and then suggest to not get lost on memory lane, 'since it won’t ever gonna be the same as it used to, life your life in the present tense the same as I choose to'. All of a sudden memories of listening to Masta Ace’s first album come to mind, where he so effectively described life in the urban inner over drum rolls, flutes and horns.

On the same funk tip continues the amusing 'It Is What It Is' with label mate Cool Calm P (he who seems to suffer from aphthous ulcers all year around) answering to the offer of milk and tab water as follows; 'that means the milk is illin, the tab is chillin, what more can I say ….? My back’s killin..' with later on in the outro a Milk Dee sample actually closing the song. And that’s the stuff you can expect from Embedded Music; fresh lyrics depicting everyday events of this day and age, inspired by the old school rap era. Jazz-funk is 'Girl Song' with a swell piano break, and some singing in the chorus, it could’ve been a Louis Logic and JJ Brown song, but this is a highlight 'Come on shake that intelligence! Work that self-respect, giiiirl!' of a very strong Iller Than Theirs album, which is closed by the existentially atmospheric 'Wash, Rinse, Repeat', 'I don’t wear a mask like Doom, I wear a mask like you, it’s true and everyone else does too '.

Adversity has become their oyster and, as many artists, they have been able to squeeze some heartfelt lyrics and soursweet music out of the bitter. Imagine how dull music would be if everything went right in life…

POSTED ON 08|19|2007 by cpf

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