Album Review: Illy- Bring It Back

Melbourne MC Illy is Bring(ing) It Back! He hit number 29 on Triple J Hottest 100 in 2010 with the beautiful and softly sung Owl Eyes on ‘It Can Wait’, and ‘Cigarettes’ got to number 35 in 2011. With his third album, Illy wants you to know that he is in fact back, and isn’t going anywhere any time soon!

Loaded with some massive names in Aussie Hiphop such as Thundamentals, Mantra, Grey Ghost, Pez, Reason and Purpose, with production credits going to Friday Flips collaborator M-Phazes, fans of Illy definitely had their hopes high! And boy does he deliver!!

‘Where You Been’ features 360’s mate Pez, talking about what’s been happening since the last time they spoke. It mentions the struggles of recording and touring, in an interesting conversation-style rap. They speak of how the scene has grown in three years, with older people accepting hiphop, and the kids having it on their ringtones. The two make it certain that they are back and not going anywhere, as Aussie Hiphop is now so popular that people can make money off it, as opposed to three years ago when he ‘couldn’t even buy a fork’, let alone live off it.

While Illy took part in Triple J’s cover segment Like A Version in 2009, performing a reworked ‘Where Is My Mind’ by The Pixies, he’s figured it needs a second part. It’s quite clever, he references classic Aussie Hiphop songs in assembling the verses and chorus, as well as the instrumentation, by sampling. I Hope You Don’t Mind-360. Speak Of The Devil-Hermitude. Good Thing-Seven ft Mr Hill. Bali Party- Drapht. I Love It- Hilltop Hoods. Reflections- Bliss N Eso. Just a few of the quotes hidden within the lyrics. Keep an ear out for the ones we’ve missed!

The lead single from the album is the best track on Illy’s third LP. It’s called ‘Heard It All’ and it’s apologising to the world for not being able to do anything original anymore. Not just him, but the billions of people in the world all competing for attention, with everything being done already. It’s a funky track, with some great guitar riffs and string sections. For any musician, this track is very relatable. Everyone is compared to someone else, and everyone is criticised. ‘Cause its true no idea’s original right, but different perspective can give a new light.’ Illy even takes a little dig at his buddy 360 for rapping over dubstep. It isn’t a diss as such, but more of a hint to leave it to the pros. This is the best track on the album, and a definite competitor in the Hottest 100!

“Please forgive me if it all sounds so familiar/I’m sure you’ve heard this all before/I’m only one voice in a world of billions/And no idea’s original no more”.

While Aussie Hiphop grows as a genre, the artists are growing together as a family. It is great for the scene, as the collaborations are huge, and they are all helping each other to unearth other artists. Illy has done his part on this album to grow the genre, build a family, and also cement his name as one of the best in the country! He speaks from the heart, like it should be done in hiphop, and it is relatable. The music is deep, and the music is high quality! If you don’t like Aussie Hiphop already, this album should convert you!

Words: Tom Noyes


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