[Editor's Note: Spare Notes is a Weekly music feature highlighting outtakes and personal stories from bands who just finished working their asses off to put out new music.]
Despite misguided fears, the world has not ended in apocalypse today, but the local underground hip-hop scene should prepare for an 'IllNes Infection' anyway! The cautionary warning is the opening salvo from Santa Ana rapper IllNes' newly released Dose One mixtape. He's out to come sick with it by combining old school hip-hop vibes with energetic, emphasis-laden wordplay throughout the nine-track effort.
IllNes (aka Nestor Medrano) possesses a delivery that delves into the raspy realms of Canibus at times while expressing urgent political messages in his verses. A prime example of that is on "Si Se Puede" which also illustrates his bilingual abilities on the mic. On another track, the rapper recruits collaborators Mic Hempstead and JoEse Gloria for "Savages," a recolonizing reclamation! It will all have hip-hop heads feeling the symptomatic onset of an IllNes Infection by the mixtape's end.
On what an 'IllNes Infection' is really all about:
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As a lyricist, being sick with words and causing a reaction is what you have to be. As an MC, being "ill" is a compliment. The "infection" was created from "Ill rhymes" and my drive to expose the many facts about the world in which we live in. Every rap verse I write is aimed at changing the listeners perception. The most important thing for me that I wish to accomplish is to present the truth within the lies that we have been fed mainstream society. Contracting the IllNes exposes the true sickness spreading across the planet, only with the venom can we create the cure, so the IllNes becomes the antidote when facing our outward enemies and inner adversaries. Dose One is the self titled Mixtape where I inject a small dosage of my message and infect my listeners.
On how "Savages" is more than just a song:
Salvajes (Spanish for Savages) is a collective of individual artists from Orange County sharing a similar vision. When the Salvajes assembled, we spread our positive message with through multiple styles and genres. It's myself, JoEse Gloria, Mic Hempstead (Mali Nali), DjClouded Daily, AlphaREADY, Rigormortis, Multitude and many other savage artists than can rock any spot. With Salvajes, we wish to salvage the misunderstood and co-opted hip hop scene from the grasps of materialism and artificiality. We represent the duality of our conquered past with the modern world and reclaim a word that was once used to degrade us. Now we use it to define our passion for life and liberty like the warriors of past whose blood runs through our veins. We're made up artists, rappers, producers, breakdancers, DJ's, performers, active community members, music lovers, conscious minds, sisters, brothers, and all with the savage intent to live life to the fullest and change the world for the better.