His group, Non Phixion, broke up. He started a family and switched record companies. And, says the Brooklyn MC (real name William Braunstein), he felt a need to “get a lot of (stuff) off my chest.”
“I wanted to make a mature album,” explains Ill Bill, 36. “I wanted to tie up a lot of loose ends, to clarify some things, to just make a balanced, entertaining album.
“At the end of the day, it’s entertainment, y’know? I didn’t want to beat people over the head too much or kick too much knowledge or ... be preachy or anything like that. There are a lot more personal (songs) on this album, but I wanted to balance the scale, too.”
“Hour of Reprisal” features guest appearances by Everlast, Cypress Hill’s B Real, Max Cavalera of the heavy metal band Soulfly, HR from Bad Brains, Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage and fellow rapper Tech N9ne.
On board for production are Ill Bill’s brother Necro, as well as DJ Muggs, DJ Premier and DJ Lethal of House of Pain and Limp Bizkit.
And while he’s justifiably proud of his new album, Ill Bill also is looking forward to his next project — La Coka Nostra, a rap “supergroup” featuring all three members from House of Pain, Slain of Special Teamz and Big Left from Underground Professionalz. The sextet plans to release a debut album in early 2009 and tour, though Ill Bill doesn’t feel like he’ll have to relegate his solo career to the back burner in deference to the group.
“What’s cool is the wavelength of the music is kind of similar to my solo stuff,” he explains. “It’s some real hardcore hip-hop, kind of like House of Pain picking up where they left off and mixing it with a little bit of Non Phixion.
“So while I’m on tour with La Coka, I can see me doing solo stuff during the shows and still pushing (‘House of Reprisal’) as well, like a double bill kind of thing.”
Ill Bill, Sean Price, Verbal Kent and others preform Saturday (Nov. 1) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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