One thing that you have to do as a hip hop head is to always be aware of the noise being made on the underground scene. Everyday there are new spitters, new hungry artists and new rappers that are trying to come in the rap game and takeover the slots.
The art of competition however has deteriorated over the past couple of years and instead of competing with who has to best rhymes, Its been about who has the most money, most ringtones and most bitches. It seems that every artist from there followed that blueprint and treated hip hop as a cash cow instead of a artform.
Late last year I got hit to this Brooklyn dude whom goes by the name of the Illa Sandman. He’s a real honest dude and I could tell that he’s passionate when it comes to the music so when I first heard some of this dudes music, It was what was missing in not only hip hop but that NY rap scene. That straight up raw hip hop shit and this dude got bars!
So after grinding and releasing street videos. Ila finally released his first mixtape/album titled the First Strike which lets alot of up and comers know that he’s hungry and he’s ready to come for everybody’s head pieces. If you’re expecting a bunch of autotune, songs about popping cris, or alot of up beat flo rida style tracks then this isn’t for you but if you’re into bars mixed with solid hard hitting production then this is for you.
ILA puts the game on notice that he can spit and that despite being a rookie that he’s ready to go against the vets. Song’s such as Shaokahn Barz, Remember Me, Machine, and the already mentioned Sandman dance are examples of dude being able to show that he can spit and not just like alot of these half way spitters getting signed.
The best track is actually my favorite titled Six Letter word which Ila R DaSandman takes on the topics of different type of Cancers and how it killed many of humanity. Its the first time I’ve heard a emcee talk about cancer in that type of context. It definitely shows originality in content.
There are also tracks where it seems that Ila is just having fun out there recording and those tracks actually come out sounding pretty good. Marsh Music, Henny Friday, and Roll Up are pretty solid even though I prefer the hard hitting stuff much more, It also shows a fun side of Ila and sometimes artists have to let themselves go and actually enjoy what their producing.
Overall This was a very well produced and it flowed like a album instead of just a bunch of piled up freestyles. You get to see different styles he’s experimenting with here along with showcasing his bars showing that NY still have some hope left. Looking forward to the next album!
8.5 outta 10