This week, Fat Beats Records announced the upcoming release of a collaborative album between two hip-hop greats — DJ Muggs and Ill Bill.
The two artists have been working on a project together for a while now and the end result is Kill Devil Hills, which feature Bill spitting over nothing but beats provided by Muggs.
DJ Muggs is one of the industries most talented and best known producers. Since Cypress Hill’s formation in 1991, the pioneering quartet has come a long way from the streets of South Central L.A.
He’s received many accolades with the group, but has done much more on his own — including a Soul Assassin album series, Grandmasters with Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, as well as collabo projects with Planet Asia and Sick Jacken of Psycho Realm. Also, he produced massively successful hits such as House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self” among many others.
Ill Bill was obviously honored to be working with Muggs, when the opportunity came about.
“I’ve always been a huge Muggs fan and his Vs. series is one of the last places to hear the vibe that made albums by Cypress Hill and Gangstarr so dope,” says Bill. “Not too many producers can craft an entire album on their own, let alone an album that’s a classic. Muggs has done it many times over the past 20 years. It’s an honor to be part of that legacy.”
For Muggs, working exclusively with an artist to create a cohesive body of work makes more sense to him than submitting beats from different projects from different artists.
“I prefer getting in the lab and actually creating projects with people instead of just sending out beat CDs,” explained Muggs. “I’m a producer in the fullest extent, where I like to not only produce an album, but craft an album. Being able to start a record from the beginning and following through with it, making sure that all the songs compliment each other. I’ve always come from making albums and producing my records — I’m still into that.”
Ill Bill was a founding member of Non Phixion who released their seminal debut, The Future Is Now, in 2002 and has also released two influential solo LPs. Bill is also a member of the bi-coastal conglomerate, La Coka Nostra, alongside Everlast, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal, and newcomer Slaine).
Bill and Muggs’ upcoming album, Kill Devil Hills, is entirely produced by DJ Muggs and features appearances by the likes of B-Real, Raekwon, Sean Price, Everlast, Slaine, Chace Infinite, O.C. Q-Unique, Vinnie Paz and others.
Both says the project manifested into a sonically cohesive album; seemingly very organically.
“Production & conceptually, this record plays out like a movie. All the songs connect,” Bill says. “It moves like a concept record the way the beats blend with the words even though we didn’t plan it like that. It’s basically it’s own sound, the Muggs vs. Bill sound.”
“The chemistry between us was very natural. Any decisions we had to make, it was easy, like we’d worked together for years,” adds Muggs. “When we sat back and heard the final product, man, we were both blown away.”
In addition to the upcoming record, Ill Bill will perform together as headlining acts on this year’s Rock The Bells tour, which kicks off on August 21st in Los Angeles and will hit San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. For tour dates and ticket info, visit RockTheBells.net.
Kill Devil Hills will drop August 24th.