I recently got a chance to briefly chop it up with Chicago’s very own recently signed to Priority Records rising Hip-Hop star, The Boy Illinois on the red carpet at the Chicago All Eyez On Me movie premiere screening at the Showplace Icon this past Thursday June 15th. We talked about many things ranging from his recent signing to the historic Westcaost Hip-Hop label, how Pac was a big influence for him like so many others, as well as his thoughts on performing at so many Chicago festivals he once grew up just attending and his new single Dancing Like Diddy and how it actually helped lead to his new deal. Get to know more about the rising Chicago Hip-Hop star below.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com to The Boy Illinois: I’m Nello Rubio with TheHipHopDemocrat.com You recently came out with your new single, Dancing Like Diddy, which has been doing really good. You also recently signed with Priority. How does it feel to sign with such a historic label?
The Boy Illinois: While first of all the Priority deal. I think everything is about timing. I feel like I should’ve been signed and had a deal awhile ago. But I have now, it’s the right time, the right energy. They just regenerated themselves in 2016, at the beginning of last year and they’re strictly just a distribution label. So that’s idealistically what you want when you coming in as an artist. You still kind of want to have that independence and that creative space. And the history for the label just speaks for itself. I’m just glad and honored to be apart of that. The Dancing Like Diddy really kicked the deal off too. We showed the video to the office and everybody in the office loved it. They feel in love with it and went from there, and the energy is good and I’m loving it. It’s great.
Nello: You have the video for it getting ready to drop soon. How do you feel about it?
The Boy Illinois: I feel great. It’s going to be my first video with a major distribution. So it’s going to be great. It’s going to be amazing. I’m at a period in time right now where I feel like once I get this bigger platform I’m released on. I’m going to have more people, more viewers and come back to you with bigger interviews.
Nello: Yeah, you’ve been on the grind for awhile. Done AAHH! Fest and all these different fests. How do you think that has helped you?
The Boy Illinois: Man, it’s going good and speaking of fests. I’m doing the first day of the Taste of Chicago. I’m going to perform and if y’all want to check me out and come through. I’m going on at 5:20. Cause I know people going to be like, “What time do you perform?” You know what I’m saying. So Taste of Chicago, July 5th. We going to get it crackin’.
Nello: How does it feel to be a Chicago artist and to be apart of all of these different big festivals like that?
The Boy Illinois: It feels great. Especially being in your hometown because I grew up going to some of these festivals. With now being apart of it. It’s just a good feeling, but it’s kind of not surprising to me because I planned this. I kind of knew I was just going end up like this. I mean here and I’m walking the red carpet doing interviews at the 2Pac premiere. You know what I’m sayin’. So it’s amazing, man.
Nello: Yeah, 2Pac was obviously a big influence. Who where some other influences of yours?
The Boy Illinois: Yes, definitely a big influence. I grew up in a militant household, so if my dad did listen to music, it sort of like it was Pac. He was just in my childhood, right along with Sade and Al Jarreau and things of that nature. So he’s just embedded in my musical DNA.