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With a hardcore mind and explicit tongue, prolific New York rapper and producer Ill Bill keeps the spirit of old school hip-hop alive with an affinity for classic sampling and scratching, while spanning a lyrical spectrum that ranges from vulgar and horrific to deeply insightful and pained. Emerging in the mid-'90s, Bill made his name with the group Non Phixion before focusing on his solo work, releasing his official debut, What's Wrong with Bill?, in 2004. In addition to his antics with Non Phixion, he also founded collaborative projects such as La Coka Nostra, Heavy Metal Kings, and Cannibal Hulk. Born William Braunstein in Flushing, Queens, young Bill was influenced by the violent and profane, employing explicit subject matter to convey messages that often had more depth beneath the surface shock factor. In 1994, he joined MC Serch (3rd Bass), Sabac Red, and DJ Eclipse to form the underground rap crew Non Phixion. Issuing acclaimed early 12" singles like I Shot Reagan and Black Helicopter (both produced by Bill's brother Necro), Non Phixion caused no shortage of controversy with their rhymes, pushing Bill to establish the independent Uncle Howie Records so that the Brooklyn-based crew could finally issue its debut album, The Future Is Now, in 2002. Through the label, Bill later initiated his solo career with official debut album What's Wrong with Bill? (2004), as well as with a series of Ill Bill Is the Future mixtapes. After Non Phixion officially disbanded in 2006, he oversaw and pressed solo material by NP members DJ Eclipse and Sabac Red. Ill Bill's second full-length, The Hour of Reprisal, arrived in 2008. Meanwhile, Bill had co-founded another group, La Coka Nostra, in 2005; the collective also included Slaine, DJ Lethal, Danny Boy, Madchild, and, at one time, Everlast and Big Left. The crew issued their debut, A Brand You Can Trust, in 2009, continuing into the 2010s with additional mixtapes, albums, and EPs. That decade, Bill founded a third group, Heavy Metal Kings, with Vinnie Paz (Jedi Mind Tricks). Their self-titled debut arrived in 2011, with sophomore full-length Black God White Devil landing six years later. Briefly returning to his solo work, Bill released The Grimy Awards in 2013. Fourth effort Septagram followed in 2016. By the end of the decade, he was back to collaborating, this time with Stu Bangas. Their short set, titled Cannibal Hulk, featured appearances from Goretex, Snak the Ripper, and Vinnie Paz. ~ Neil Z. Yeung & Cyril Cordor

Queens, NY, United States
July 14, 1972

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