With advances in technology geography is nothing, collaboration is effortless,and worlds can and will collide. Artists can pool their talents without ever being in the same room. Such is the case for Ill-tone and Shade Cobain, or as you will come to know them…Blacktivity.
There are striking similarities; both have paid their dues, honed their skills and both call the Midwest home. Those roots, being from the Midwest, can easily be described as Shade puts it “We put our all into whatever we do”. Call it a watchword, but one thing you will note about Blacktivity is that that statement rings true throughout the project. Each displays the skill set that proves they are at the top of their craft and details are worked out down to the lowest possible consideration. Sloppy it isn’t, nor is it taking the easy way. A well thought out and even better executed endeavor it is, Blacktivity cuts the fat off of what could be a “you give me beats, I’ll spit rhymes over them” quid-pro-quo often seen in today’s image heavy, substance lacking climate.
16 years is a long time. It’s a lifetime in terms of a career especially. Having said that, Ill-tone, (of The Lyricists), a native of Port Huron Michigan is no stranger to the grind of underground Hip-Hop, striving to maintain integrity and relevance while trying to reach as many people as possible. With releasing 6 albums, and using Detroit as his proving ground, he cut his teeth by earning the respect and camaraderie of emcees from one of the hardest and most critical scenes. It is absolutely a situation where natural selection applies, survival of the fittest, and Ill-tone has not only survived but is thriving.
Shade Cobain has been called a beat smith, a lab rat, boom-bap, he’s been compared to J Dilla and his work ethics is unyielding. His motivation for making quality music is unmatched and he is nothing if not talented and busy. 16 years of production work under his belt, he needs every bit of that experience to handle the multitude of projects he has going on concurrently.
References have been made in each of their cases that they are 90s, Old School, golden era, but they’re not. They are two serious Hip-Hop preservationists, one could consider them sentries, and while they stand watch real Hip-Hop culture will never be extinguished by the mainstream.
The duo returns, delivering the first single off their upcoming EP entitled The Singles, which is set to be released on June 14th.