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Ill Skillz In The Hood

Monday, March 31st, 2008

They sound very West Coast. No, not Langebaan. California. They openly call each other ‘dawg’ and hype the crowd with ‘yo’s and yo, you know what, homes? Thank God. That someone’s out there doing what everyday people obviously wanna hear without pretence. Ill Skillz are the newest and hottest jazz-hop act to hit Mother City shores, and damn son, they know how to hit it.

Ill skills in the hood
Ill Skillz in your Neighbourhood (Long St, CT)

Check out the 5fm charts if you wanna see what we’re being fed. At least these guys are keeping it local. With a pair of mikes belonging to upfront rappers Tommy Jinx and Jimmy Flexx. No seriously, the (aptly named) Neighbourhood was the spot to be on Saturday night for a fusion of jazz and hip hop surprisingly mature for a bunch of upstarts from Gugs. Backing up the rhymebusters are sax, bass, keyboards, two ladies on vocals, UCT Scratch Champ DJ Nick Knucklez on turntables. That’s about all there is to say without checking the vids.

Wanna know more? Check the Overtone gig guide for upcoming shows. Also catch the interview we did with Mr Tommy Jenks, and check out the pics below, yo. Peace.



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Interview: Tommy Jinx (Ill-Literate-Skill)

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Ill-Literate-Skill are a down-to-God’s-green-earth hip hop crew from the back streets of Gugulethu in Cape Town. They’re bustin out out the New SA and going to Germany to spread the love.

Ill-Literate-Skill
Ill-Literate Skillz (minus Nic Knucklez) on the pose.

Where you guys from?

I’m from Gugulethu. The entire crew is from Gugulethu, but I’m based here in town. I work around town, I do gigs around town. The crew consists of three members plus a DJ, namely myself (Tommy Jinx), Jimmy Flexx, Fire-Breather and DJ Nic Knucklez (University of Cape Town Scratch DJ Champ). He joined us in 2006 to bring in the live element.

What style?

All three of us are MCs. We all write our own lyrics. Hip hop all the way, but we feature this other crew. They’re also signed under our label called Ill-Skillz. We venture into soul. We just formed a band. It’s gonna be called Ill Skill and friends, trying to portray the jazz click. We got a bass, we got a keyboard player, we got a drummer, we got a sax player and two females to bring the harmony.

You guys off to Germany?

Yeah, absolutely.

From Gugs to Germany. Quite a big step.

We got about an 8-week tour. Might be longer! We got shows in Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart.

Who’s organising this?

Ourselves. Phonecalls, Myspace, Facebook. We’re just trying to take ourselves to another level, on a global scale. We don’t wanna be stagnant here in Cape Town. And I think that’s what’s been happening with other artists. They fail to make a living or do their art without progressing somewhere.

Thinking big, huh?

Definitely.

More future plans?

When we come back in June, we’re gonna have weekly gigs in the Neighbourhood and Zula bar. Push a different feel. We’ve also got a doccie about us that we’re gonna release about how we, as South Africans today’s youth pursue life’s choices and get involved with artforms like hip hop and exploring our talents, yana’umsaying. About how we got here and we come from.

How do you make it, whatever ‘it’ is?

I think artists should look to themselves.

Get involved in the scene that makes the scene. Catch the crew at Zula on Thu 20th of March for R35 before they head off to Europe to spread the love.

  • Get free Illiterate-Skill tracks off their Myspace


    When Who What Where ZAR
    Thu 20 Mar Ill-Literate-Skillz Hip hop Zula Sound Bar R35
    More gigs…
  • Groove Nation With Southpaw
  • Paul van Dyk: Getting Lost in Trancelation
  • What Was DJ QBert Like?
  • Illiterate Skill Myspace
  • KakDuidelik.co.za
  • How Hip Hop Changes The World
  • “I think artists should look to themselves.”



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