April 7, 2017
The Melbourne MC Illy, born Alasdair Murray and former member of the Crooked Eye Crew along with heads like M-Phazes, has been active since 2009 and has established himself firmly in the echelons of the Australian and international hip hop scenes – both as an artist as well as with his record label OneTwo.
Humbled by the warm reception by the sold out crowd, who was eager to sing along throughout his high energy set which catered for everyone by showcasing tracks from the five albums he has under his belt with classics as well as more dance-y newer tracks sprinkled in, Illy instantly got everyone moving and jumping with his fluid vocals and precise rhyming skills, which framed the performance with a bloc party vibe.
Illy’s emissions and live performances do certainly have mass appeal that makes it accessible for a mainstream heavy crowd, yet what makes him a standout is that he strikes a balance and blurs the line between catchy crowd-pleasing feel good songs and showcasing his technical and at times gritty MC skills.
Both on his releases and in a live environment he pushes the envelope of his own signature blend of progressive new-school hip hop comprised of pop (guest vocalists providing radio friendly hooks), EDM (think treated synthesizers galore) and old school staples (laid back flow, easy cadences, story telling and rhyming witticisms), and has thereby created a foundation that he is comfortable and proud of standing on.
What makes him endearing and his music accessible to his varied audience is that contrary to many of his peers he does not rely on braggadocio with outlandish claims about his wealth, strength or other abilities, but musings on his place in life and humbleness when it comes to how lucky he is to have come as far as performing in front of an enthusiastic crowd on a Friday night at the Enmore Theatre.
Photos by KAVV