With deep roots in 70's prog rock and early hip-hop, San Francisco's Ill Mondo create intelligent tracks that give homage to the beginning of the hip-hop scene. Long time producer, JRK, pairs up with Johnny Red, from the electronic rock group, mus-ok, to create Ill Mondo. For their self-titled debut album, Los Angeles rapper Neal Rames guest stars throughout. Along with Rames, many other West Coast artists, such as Mike Rinta from Sly Stone, appear over Jeff and Johnny's beats. Through a combination of funk-inspired instruments including string sections, horn ensembles, Hammond organs, and wah-ed out guitars, Ill mondo creates a hip-hop templet unlike that of modern standards. By using only vintage gear to record and mix, the richness of each instrument is put together as a blank canvas for each guest rapper to paint over.
Ill Mondo's smooth style brings to mind such underground hip-hop groups as Blue Scholars, Common Market and Jurassic Five. Make no mistake though, this is a fun record. With such heavy funk and soul influences, Ill Mondo & Neal Rames is an engagingly danceable record.
Lace up your vintage dance shoes (or Adidas) and check out these handpicked Ill Mondo tracks: