Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota - also known as the Twin Cities, has its own unique sound board of music. The diverse tone of the TC sets itself apart from any other Midwestern city. From Funk, to Soul to Hip Hop, the Land of 10,000 Lakes has birthed many incredible talents including Prince, The Time, Mint Condition; to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. It must be something in the water….
Insert Envy and Fancy, the Hip Hop and R&B duo known as iLLism. The pair stand to one day be among the most influential artists to come from the North Star state alongside their predecessors who left incredible legacies before them. The husband and wife duo are setting their own precedence when it comes to their sound, "Our Music. Our Rules." So much so, that during their performance at Super Bowl Live, an event curated by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, iLLism proclaimed themselves as being heirs to the “Minneapolis Sound.” A bold claim, and title whose torch was carried by Prince himself, in which they fully intend to rebirth.
The pair has already captured nods from the house of Paisley Park (Prince’s famous royal domain) after having competed in the “Musicology Battle of the Bands” competition and placing in the top three out of the 150 bands who entered. Donna Grantis and guitar player of Prince’s assembled band 3rd Eye Girl, later applauded them on their incredible performance and “Killer arrangements.”
In the studio, iLLism demonstrates an incredible amount of talent. Creativity being a staple of their truth, their essence and independence, the twosome’s first full length album, Love and Loyalty, embodies just that. Love and Loyalty has received major acknowledgments since its release in August of 2017. In October 2017, the album debuted at #13 on the NACC (North American College & Community Radio) Top 30 hip hop chart. In November the album moved to the #12 position and later peaked at #5. By January 2018, the album found its spot on the NACC top 200 radio chart peaking at the #124 position in week one and #159 on week two. Insight News proclaimed the pair as one of Minnesota’s best new hip hop artists of 2018 claiming, “Their sound has a lot of replay value and throwback appeal.” WLUR 95.1 FM called the album “brilliant.”
From their live shows, to their one of a kind sound of captivating narratives and melodic inflection, iLLism continues to grow in their own predominant role in music's ever changing trends and still never compromising who they are as artists. Summed up in 4 simple words as iLLism puts it, “We are 100% music.”