Hip-hop DJ trio Ill Insanity, whose just dropped debut Ground Xero on Fat Beats is available in CD and vinyl formats at Amoeba Music, have been kept busy since the record's release two weeks ago. Last week the Queens, NY DJ group were in California doing sets at Guitar Center in SF and LA on Pico, in addition to some club dates. And the last couple of days they were on TV and will be again this coming week on Monday and Tuesday (March 3rd & 4th) when they are DJ guests on BET's Rap City at 5PM each day. Meanwhile upcoming tour dates include stops in Seattle and Boston.
"It's a brand new start," said Rob Swift of the new group that he formed along with younger DMC champ DJ Precision and alsoTotal Eclipse -- the fellow former member of the famous DJ crew that Swift and Eclipse were in with Roc Raida and Mista Sinista, the X-ecutioners (originally known as the X-Men before Marvel Comics objected to copyright infringement). Unlike the two albums that the X-ecutioners released, which had several vocalists featured, Ill Insanity's debut stays truer to the art of the DJ with only one of the album's fourteen tracks featuring an emcee: the rapper Dasha who cameos on the song "Decorated Vets."
Rob Swift says the freedom to make an album just as he and his bandmates wanted was a result of being on a smaller label. "When we signed to Loud Records as the X-ecutioners we were the first turntablist group to sign to a major label and overall we thought we were doing something good for the art form and introducing it to a wider audience," he recalled. "But the reality is when you sign to a major label you don't have the freedom that you would have if you put out the record with a friend on a makeshift record label. You have to compromise a lot with a major label....and we ended up working with artists we wouldn't normally work with. We were kinda bossed into this trap of being told what to do by the record company who said if you want to be popular you have to work with this or that artist."