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  • August 14, 2018


ILL CONSCIOUS - THE PREREQUISITE LP ReviewBy SUNEZ #SkillastratorLOThere be a skillet of suspensions cooking on a flat earthSo lost at sea, how did those lone everyman from every land cartographers get home?

Only the coast to see, the mind travels the untraversed distances it plots

And when the math is supreme, the inner to outer bear fruit to the cipher

So trust the paper, the warred pen and the calculations in rounded calligraphy do take you home

Or return them to the essence.


A drum chime was coming with words in my mind when I first heard the God Ill Conscious rhyme. It went:

Made Baltimore more than a chore

Surviving hell with words to explore

Wonder how the wire conspire

When 120 bearers transpire…

See, I’m saddened to say so many standards have been lowered that it seems to the superficial I hate. And I do motherfucker! That is, if it’s to despise the average on plush mountains and the caricatures colored past the outlines of humanity, then I will its demise mightily. But it’s really to hear some love again. Someone that respects the heartiness of the drum, the ones who dug in the righteous crates throughout the savage bins of the city. For plus lessons to a knowledge of self or arrows into other sounds that unknown genres were found. So we salute the MC’s, Master of Ceremonies, that manipulated the chaos and maneuver with craft to entertain in the expertise of technique and inform with confrontational thoughts.

These poetical rhythms are addictive to the consumers that don’t even need the message or the new warriors. I ain’t one of those cuties. So no need to cure the rhyme of its sicknesses of talking tough on the ruling whiteys, the fooling ten percent and all the Black and Brown melanosomes that stain the LPs. I love hearing my younger brothers do these revolutions per minute.


And Ill Conscious is a warrior you have to sit and listen to.  These tracks may even cheat you into laziness for years. A Boom Bap that hits with all of its ideal relics.  Whether it’s TooNorth’s high snare gavel smack snare through a vocal snip balladeering the title name on “Everyday,” the low horn around a bass thud and a brushed drum working like a beach’s summer wave on Hi Cee’s “Foreign Relations,”  the Latino polyrhythmic isolation into a background of a expertly thickened and slowed impeach-the-prez on Wisdom Beats’ “Vibe Vibrations,” or the guitar twang that surfs the bulky and slowed drums where the wails water into Ill’s words.  And there’s more from the high, long cymbal crash snare off the thudding bump drums that Marshtini wields on “Clyde Drexler,” or Marshtini ripping it again with a long-held siren on bass drums and sharp DJ Grazzhoppa cuts for “Capital Investments,” then to “so consistent” ideal Boom Bap over keys that nicely reloads the drums and isolates at the end of bars occasionally that Eyedee bangs together on “The Narrative.”  

See I sang with Etta that I’d rather go blind

Then to see my song string me to a wrong

Cause being bled into a family of fame the funerals sho to be in flames

#RespectFAKE world, an ill conscious is an #InvisibleRenaissance

And it’s an aberration to cherish a principle performed

Broadcasting from the Savior Street station,

I say I gots to be measured by the money I refuse to make from my culture

Word is bond.

Once, if ever, the beat addiction stops, the ears to words turn this LP to a listening record.  I’d say Ill Conscious is just beginning to find his complete character on wax but his insights and absolute mastery of techniques is extremely advanced.  Techs so advanced I gotta build a little on it. The Prerequisite would not cause a butterfly effect if I had found this in a record shop in 96.  It doesn’t even seem as a real debut as such a perfected Boom Bap record. There are absolutely no flaws in pacing, despite the sped up double time and punctuated slowdowns to the end of the bar he constantly employs.  Nothing is chased, all the writing space in the break is employed, his clarity is never compromised or vocals overpowered by the track. This is vocal dexterity that when we do the joyous work of listening is well coupled with a worthy lyrical content.

The knowledge of self as God as a foundation is so deliberately overlooked by whitewashing media, the blatant metaphysical portraits to the mission of “Everyday” to the embrace of all the indigenous–all the Original people–is more than refreshing. It cannot be and will not be swept under the rug unless you want to talk about breaks and snares or fast rhyming as the power of this LP.  It isn’t. It is having a brother from Baltimore show us how empowered he has become through these many hells by this knowledge of self. “Everyday” filled with the shifting imagery where the time is now because the time has become fluid in the mind of all his history and peoples merging, “Rocking Kemitic rings/still as live as them riders in Medellin/rising angelically/I’m touching it live….beretta squeeze/making them shots fly through the mezzanine/rest of discrepancy/build with Nepalese and the Japanese/so my mind on a different level genetically/blowing the evergreen/flex on the white supremacy…reporting live where they force to desensitize us/in this war of disproportionate corporate enterprises/revolution is calling us glorious improvisers…” And “Foreign Relations” continues this, “…on a private island eating papayas from the Guatemalans/my title the highest like I’m Akhenaton/my mind is Moroccan/noble like I studied the Moorish science before inspiring the natural correspondence/terminate negativity/knowledge’ll permeate all of your brain/I’m planted the seed to germinate…”

It leads to a stream of conscious that never loses its deeper conscious offering photographic commentary on the struggle he struggles to artistically bring light to. As “Vibe Vibrations” proves, the bars using internal rhyme schemes, couplets and wonderful transitions to weave in and out of snapshots and insights, “This for the bums in the underpass/ searching for crumbs/ slums and the cul de sacs/  we marching the way with the drums to the cardiac/blowing the marley and sipping the rum in the cognac/beaming to being in tune until I’m one with the almanac/acting impulsive never slumber with insomniacs/skeptics of the truth until I summon the artifacts/give them a heart attack and they plummet and falling back/when I’m feeling the carpal tunnel I’m done with the autographs/my nigga just whippin a rugged pontiac/and I’m rocking without a budget/the love is just all I have/overdrafting accounts, ponder where the commas at/food desserts got me just wondering where the farmers at/and in the midst of the losing I view the bogus/niggas is bacteria moving like Pseudomonas…”
His mission statement with autobio capsules rides through “The Testament” whilst “Clyde Drexler” re-emphasizes how the bars are to swing open bars in any way.  The Prerequisite is an exercise of catching Ill Conscious’ dynamic similes and metaphors, crucial commentaries and amazing tech displays, a warrior’s edutainment.  Ill Conscious is an MC that can rhyme beyond this beloved Boom Bap palette into more varied tempos and sample emphasis (and I don’t mean fucking sellout) or give us verses in entirely different patterning and sequences and still engage us.  With The Prerequisite, he’s already shown he can create an impeccable and anthemic warrior Boom Bap.  [Buy CD HERE]

Vultures lie on drum takes

Fuse honey and sly treasure to climb

Fickle and furious, builds been in decline

Prerequisite use to be phind the golden ratio

Exiled skunks of the planet scatter from the degree

And gauge your sense by the capstone that won’t empart fumes



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