One thing that I do not like about the hip hop and rap music scenes is that most artists think their voice is the only instrument and never learn how to play a real musical instrument. When I see a full band playing the music that a lot of their competitors just use preprogrammed backing tracks for it really turns my head. One such band that I was introduced to recently is The Ill Funk Ensemble.
The Albany, NY based collective is 5 members that can truly handle their instruments in a genre known for the opposite. Their fast and fun beats stand out even with amazing flow and lyrics that are touching and not just screamed at the listener. They tell me they have shocked audiences when they set up all their equipment in a dim club with sticky floors and then explode their full sound on the unsuspecting crowd. I can only imagine watching the jaws drop.
Their music is also quite different than a lot of the genre while remaining similar enough to draw fans from many different sub-genres of the hip hop scene. The Ill Funk Ensemble is set to release their full length album The Duality on August 24th. The record is a 12 song collection of sweet and happy rap/funk songs that sets them ahead of competitors by a mile. The opener ‘She’s Fearless’ sets you up for what is to come with a funky drum beat, vocals reminiscent of Adam Levine from Maroon 5, and a strong chorus celebrating female power. The next song ‘Afraid of Heights’ switches gears to a full on freestyle flow that is amazing. The lyrics mixed with an almost creepy keyboard line create a song that is sure to turn heads. There is even an impressive guitar solo in there. The ill Funk Ensemble is breaking molds here. The band is not embarrassed to show their love for the ladies in sweet songs such as ‘Amazing’ and ‘Hot Crazy Good Love’ as well.
Bottom Line: The Ill Funk Ensemble is about to change the face of hip hop music with their genre mashup that will separate them from the pretenders in the scene as soon as people hear it. Go be the first of your friends to hear it at: