About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week – iLLspoKinN
Sunday, December 31, 2006

You may have heard his work on the album 60 Minute Spin Cycle, and you may have seen him hosting Freestyle Mondays at Sin Sin in New York City, he’s iLLspoKinN and he deserves your attention. After moving to New York from Massachusetts five years ago iLLspoKinN quickly became a fixture in the city. He’s been hosting Freestyle Mondays, a running open mic featuring a live band and some of NY’s top MC’s, for the half decade he’s been in the city and it was during those events that he met the folks who would eventually become Spokinn Movement. Not limited to the Sin Sin stage, iLLspoKinN’s also done shows with the likes of Run-DMC, KRS-One, Digable Planets and Black Sheep. Today he's sitting down with me to discuss his group, his music, and what makes him unique in this crowded rap game.

Adam Bernard: Help me out here. There's iLLspoKinN and Spokinn Movement. What's the difference?
iLLspoKinN: I’m glad you asked that. Some get confused during introductions and say "iLLspoKinN and The Spokinn Movement." I'm iLLspoKinN and all of us together are Spokinn Movement. Spokinn Movement consists of Dave Cinquegrana / Guitar, Chris Cuzme / Bass, Yoni Halevy / Drums, and myself.

Adam Bernard: Being an MC in New York City is sort of like being ice in Greenland, there's a lot of ya'll. What do you feel sets you apart from your peers and makes you an artist people should listen to?
iLLspoKinN: Quality! Hearing a dope album and seeing an equally impressive live show seldom happens. I'm usually disappointed in one or the other. You can hear the energy in the tracks I record, because the booth is also my stage. The live show speaks for itself, check out my MySpace page and you'll see what I'm talking about. Other than that, just straight untarnished, no preservatives, out-the-box raw skills man. You can have all the glitter and pretty packaging, but if you aren't a lyricist it'll surface and cats like me will be waiting at ground level, hungry!

Adam Bernard: If you were to choose one of your songs to be THE song to put you on which would it be and why?
iLLspoKinN: That's one question I hate to answer because I'll change my mind by tomorrow. Today the answer is "Delicious." Why? It's dope! It's one of those songs where I'm just talking shit and the beat is ridiculous. It's also a crowd favorite at live shows. There's something about seeing heads react to an intro to one of your joints, it makes it all the more worth it.

Adam Bernard: When it comes to collaborating with other artists what qualities draw you to an artist and who have you linked up with recently?
iLLspoKinN: The three things you have to have are energy, uniqueness, and compatibility. You got to rock with someone who compliments your style and vice versa. Two artists I've recently linked up with are my younger brother Jaelle Haze and Chicago emcee Presence. Jaelle Haze is a talented young singer with a distinct sound His vocal range and ability to adapt to melodies makes for easy recording live or in the studio. Presence and I have been rhyming side by side at Sin Sin for three years now. There are some people that just click together when on stage or in the booth, Presence and I compliment each other during both. When you go to battle you want someone next to you who’s skilled and can hold you down if you get hit, Presence is that dude. Both Presence and Jaelle are featured on 60 Minute Spin Cycle bringing their individual flavors and raw talent.

Adam Bernard: Finally, if listeners were to only learn one thing from your music what would you hope that thing would be?
iLLspoKinN: Hip Hop is ALIVE!

For more on iLLspoKinN you can check him out at spokinn.com & myspace.com/spokinnmovement. You can also take a listen to 60 Minute Spin Cycle at cdbaby.com.

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