ILL Brown’s “W.B.C. Magazine Presents… Hotter Than July” | @illbrown

It’s here!!! Big ups to my homie ILL Brown!

Originally called the “25 Mixtape” and featuring the 25 artist listed in issue #3 of W.B.C. Magazine (released 06/16/2009), the “Hotter Than July” mixtape had been in the works for a long time. When it was the “25 Mixtape”, it was meant to be a collection of songs from the artist mentioned in our “25 Rappers From Chicago You Should Know Already” article that would be released along with issue #3 of the magazine. A month before the magazine’s release, it was decided that doing a tradition mixtape wouldn’t be enough, and ILL Brown was brought on to produce original music for the entire mixtape. The mixtape theme was changed and more rappers were included. The mixtape was recorded at Dragon Room studios by A.O.K., ILL Brown, and Okay.?!!. The mixtape was mixed and mastered by ILL Brown and A.O.K..

01. Intro Feat. Javairo “J.V.” Wilson
02. Hotter Than July Feat. J.G. & Gallardo Tone
03. I’m The Shit Feat. Reno Chinati
04. Keep On Doin’ It Feat. Crystal La’Juene & Sam I Am
05. Hall Of Fame Feat. Maserati Deeder & B-Easy
06. Youngest In Charge Feat. Chas Mac
07. Zone Out Feat. Simeon Viltz & Rita J.
08. Get Out My Business Feat. Shayla G
09. P.S.A. (Hold On) Feat. Okay.?!! & Mys Michelle
10. This Life Is Beautiful Feat. T.K.O. & Big Taz
11. Black Karate Feat. Just Wisdom, F.A.B.L.E., & Water
12. Run It Back Feat. Papi Jamon & Mike Schpitz
13. Get Ya Hustle On Feat. Ang 13
14. Nigga Please Feat. Preach
15. Tape Rock Feat. Pennjamin Bannekar & Japcity
16. 3Peat Feat. Voyce G.I. Go, Scheme, & Shugga
17. Church Feat. Dave Coresh, Gemstones, & Twone Gabz
18. The Recipe Feat. Sulaiman Shabazz
19. Lyrically In Heat Feat. Sandy Redd
20. Street Soul Feat. Chise Up
21. A G.O.O.D. Ending Feat. Malik Yusef


Live Interview with W.B.C. Magazine
Fire gets a bad rap. Yeah it burns you if it touches you… It eats anything it touches. But fire has its pluses too. It clears the way for new growth. Good or bad, fire will eat through it. Think of fire as the start or end of any cycle. Think of the “phrase bapitism by fire”. ILL Brown spent last winter playing with fire… This summer he mastered it. Read the “Diary Of An Arsonist” and get into the mind of the Fire Nations greatest fire bender. Word to Nickelodeon…

On working with so many different Chicago artist on one tape…
Great question. I was pleasantly surprised by how humble some of the artist are in Chicago on the contrary. The artist that I thought we wouldn’t be able to get for the project were ready to work and were totally professional. While certain artist were hard to reach and I guess didn’t believe in the project. We have a dope mesh of talent though at the end of the day.

On producing original beats for an entire mixtape….
I was excited about the idea of a totally original “Street Album” if you will. It allows the artist and producer to be creative conceptually.

On you and Okay.?!! chasing down artist for the tape…
(Laughing) This was the tricky part. All I’ll say is some artist and they’re management teams were professional. The others… Not so much! (Laughing)

On the “Aha!” moment when working on the tape…
I think that moment was when we decided to pair certain artist on tracks, that were originally scheduled to have one artist.

On the best recording session for the tape…
I would have to say the “Black Karate” session (Ed. Note; song on the mixtape featuring Chicago artist Water, F.A.B.L.E., and Just Wisdom). The artist were all super dope and there was a competition for who’s verse would be the nicest!

On crafting a cohesive sound for the tape…
This is where picking the right kind of artist for the right track was critical. We had to do it the right way to create a good album sequence so to speak.

On how to “Kill” the hate in the city… The way to “Kill” the hate in the city I say is for the artist to stop trying to be the man. This project shows the antidote to the illness. Chicago artist working together for a common cause!

On building yourself as a producer…
Whoa… From my grandparent’s piano lessons, all the way to my first piece of gear (Akai MPC 2000). It takes years to craft a “signature sound”. I’ve been producing going on 15 years now. It doesn’t happen over night.

On your favorite piece of equipment, software, or plug-in used on the tape…
My weapons of choice for this project and anything you’ll hear from me is the Akai MPC 2500, Reason 4.0.1., and Pro-Tools 8 HD! Also I wanna shout out my big brother Albert “A.O.K.” Mayden! Couldn’t have pulled off this one without you! Check us out at Dragon’s Room recording studio for great quality and one of the best mix engineers in the city!


I'm just trying to make my art and do what's smart. Cake donuts are clutch.