Tommy Ill


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Hello, my name is Tommy Ill, and I am a rapper from Wellington. I’ve been doing it for quite a while now. People seem to like it. I don’t rap about guns, drugs or bling. I’m more likely to rap about girls. Girls and drinking. Girls, drinking and phone bills.

In 2007 I put out an EP called Toast And Tea Kettles. It did really well; two of the songs got nominated for bNet Awards (Best Hip Hop Track and RadioActive Song of the Year). My song Bill Cosby made it into the top 10 on almost every bNet radio station in the country.

My trusty sidekick Buck Beauchamp and I play a whole bunch of shows, and really good looking people come to those shows. They dance and clap. It’s quite a lot of fun. We usually play with indie or electro bands as their crowd seem to like us more than the more traditional hip hop people. I’ve made live guest appearances with many bands including So So Modern, Cut Off Your Hands, Holiday With Friends and Heat Like Me.

Legal Money Mike from Auckland rap group The Unscene once told us that we were the only rap group he’d ever seen piggy back each other into the crowd and then tackle an audience member. I’m quite proud of that. Peaches once told me I sounded like Beck, but I didn’t believe her. Lovefoxxx from CSS begged me to come to Auckland with her so she could see me do my guest rap with So So Modern again. Then she poured Jagermeister in my beer. It was a good day.

Three EPs in, prolific MC, Tommy Ill, is a svelte yet metaphorically obese young man – his proverbial belt had to be stretched yet again to make room for his most recent release: his self-titled, debut LP.

Having already released Toast & Tea Kettles (Empathy Recordings) in 2007, Matchsticks (LOOP) in 2008 and Come Home Mr. Ill (LOOP) in 2009, the alternative rapper from Wellington has earned a reputation for haphazard live sets and humorous tales that document the foibles of your average, slightly awkward fellow with Dionysian-leaning tendencies. Such a unique and inventive approach has always gained Tommy Ill attention.

Never far from mischief, Tommy Ill, has also lent his wayward talents to others over the years, making a number of guest appearances on other artists’ tracks – including most recently Bandicoot’s single Pretention Blast Gold and 47 Diamantes’ Armageddon.

Other highlights include his nationwide tour in support of Tommy Ill and playing really fun live shows like at Campus A Low Hum, The Big Day Out and Homegrown.

Last edited: 11.04.16

From AudioCulture

Thomas Young is a Wellington based rapper, songwriter, beat maker and producer who performs and records under the alias Tommy Ill. Born in Wellington in 1985, Young grew up in the Hutt Valley region. During his childhood he sang in choirs and played guitar before starting rapping when he was 14 years old. Around the same time he started recording his own bedroom demos, eventually leading to performing at an open mic showcase in 2003 as part of the Respect festival at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt. Read moreProfile from Audioculture, available under a Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence

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