iLLa heats up the booth with 64 fresh Bars

Far from flashy, flamboyant or ostentatious, 64 Bars is bars for bar's sake. Stripping away everything extracurricular, it’s about rappers and their rhymes, and nothing else. For its third season, the format remains the same. An MC, a microphone, a studio. Handpicked by New Zealand hip-hop lynchpin David Dallas, three local MCs entered Red Bull Studios to record 64 barebones bars to a beat selected for them by David. Free from song structure, hooks, and bridges, this is carpark cypher rhyming at its finest, and the punchlines are uppercuts.

Last week, we showcased Jess B, this week we present South Auckland’s iLLa.

I originally noticed iLLa because he's done stuff with Lukan Raisey and the young crew from South Auckland,” David says. “I've always got an idea of what is going on out there and iLLa is just one of those dudes who is built for this, in the same way, that guys like DIRTY from ENO x DIRTY are. This is what these guys do. They want a chance to just rap

iLLa has been quietly heating on Soundcloud for a few years now, along the way serving up a mixture of original songs, remixes, and collaborations with various denizens of Auckland’s ever bubbling rap underground. As David says, he’s built for this. Rapping is what he does.

The platform is dope, and it provides a platform for artists like myself trying to break through to showcase what we do,” iLLa enthuses. “It’s something that was badly needed in this country because a lot of us get slept on for way too long. I got on the buzz as soon as the first video with Talib Kweli dropped on Facebook. I’ve been very interested since. Being involved means I can tell my story on a bigger platform than I have with my music at the moment, and that means more to me than anything 

Watch 64 Bars with iLLa above. Watch 64 Bars with Jess B here and watch Kaleb Hill here.