Illproductionz - Beatdownsyndrome [self-released - 2002]Illproductionz is a fairly young hip-hop trio from The Netherlands, who some time ago released this CD which is actually some kind of demo by themselves. The release recently won a local prize for best artwork for this disc, but it is not the design I'm impressed with. It's the content.
Illproductionz consists of Ill Pro (lyrics), Optimus (cuts) and Skillz 1 (beats). They've established quite a good live reputation already and will soon be opening for Osdorp Posse, which is without a doubt one of the most popular outfits in the "nederhop" scene. Illproductionz stick to the English tongue tough, and they do it good too. The lyrics are in the usual hip-hop style, but if you take a closer look and the rhymes and schemes you'll notice a very talented rapper is at work here. The way he brings forth the texts in fearful speed is original and so are the methods, referrals and ideas used, which is a big plus where every rapper sounds like another. Especially in tracks like Zero Tolerance, Yo!, Neva Go Home and Allupinyoface Ill Pro shows the best of himself, easily competing with the celebrities from hip-hop.
Unlike the rhymes, the music isn't that special, tough fitting and certainly with hints that there's talent present in production skills. Mostly simple piano or classical background tunes are used to support the beats and raps, and although not being very original, it works out good enough. Ok, this isn't Definitive Jux, and on Beatdownsyndrome I'm too often looking for more fat beats, or at least they could be more prominent in the mix. But that's maybe another point I give them the benefit of the doubt. They state themselves that this demo was recorded on a digital 8-track recorder "we still don't know shit about", and that's probably why doesn't sound too good. It's very quietly recorded and you'll have to pump up the volume big time to actually hear it on the level it's supposed to be. Also, there are too many differences in production during the thirteen tracks, failing to create a coherent image.
The level of talent in this group is enormous, so this "criticism" mentioned above is only meant to be constructive. I think if these guys were able to get the opportunity to do this in a professional way, we'll have a masterpiece in our hands. I guess we'll just have to wait for that, and in the mean time we can enjoy their live shows. For more info e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.Justin Faase