In September of 2011, hip hop changed forever for these two. Forming the group I.L.A.M., which is an acronym for “Independent Like A M#fuka”…they walked away from everything they had previously been obligated to and became one. What started off as the name of an EP quickly became their identity to not only themselves but everyone who knew them. The group I.L.A.M. has restored an age old sound that has been lost in hip hop. A sound that not only hardcore hip hop heads can enjoy, but one that kids barely discovering hip hop can appreciate and grow to love. Classic word play, volleying verses back and forth on tracks mixed with one of the best live performances around…has given them the opportunity to take their sound across the nation.
Touring. Touring & Live Performances is where these two thrive. Compared to the likes of Dilated Peoples, Atmosphere & Jedi Mind Tricks when it comes to their music; their tour grind is compared to the likes of Strange Music, Funk Volume and Suburban Noize by promoters nationwide. Very big company to be in, and although they feel they have so much more to achieve to be in that list…they are indeed grateful. Sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in independent hip hop today has put them in some very good light. Over the last 3 years they’ve put together 12 tours, 6 of which they headlined across the nation.
We like to think that’s not too shabby for two artists from two very different parts of the spectrum. Trey C being from a city of less than 10k people (Sebastopol, CA) and Playa Rae being from one of more than 1mil (San Jose, CA). Combine that with a significant age difference and you have an odd couple that somehow makes a whole lot of sense together. So what makes them I.L.A.M. aside from the music? They have built a machine that is fully self sufficient. They press their own CDs/DVDs in-house, design their own art, print their own promo, own an independent hip hop magazine called the I.L.A.M. Hip Hop Pages amongst tons of other things….all under the 408INC/Monstaville umbrella. The formula they have built has worked and is now working for others as they are also instrumental in the start of so many others doing music nationwide and touring.
They’re not out for a record deal…and they are not looking for their next big break. They are looking to set the mold for what an independent can do with no real budget, hard work and a formula that is built to win. It’s this simple: “The goal here isn’t to be Famous…It’s just not to be a Stranger”.