PREMIERE: Illa J “7 Mile” Video

It’s time to stop thinking of Illa J as just J. Dilla’s little brother. This triple threat (MC/singer/producer) has been in the game for more than a decade now and in that time he has released five solo projects, as well as becoming a member of Slum Village and the Yancey Boys. His latest album, Home, finds J getting funky, out to prove he can hang with music’s best singer-songwriters. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to chill in his big bro’s shadow any longer, and he’s expanding his repertoire to avoid that giant patch of shade. However, the fact is that both brothers came from the same parents, the true source of their musical abilities. Their dad did ghostwriting for Motown and was a jazz bassist, while their mother was an opera singer. You have to believe that theirs is some pretty musically-inclined DNA.

Today we’re sharing the video for “7 Mile,” the second cut off Home to get the visual treatment. This deep bass rumbler produced by Calvin Valentine is an ideal soundscape for J to flex his falsetto. And his mini verse that closes out the joint is full of the sort of playful braggadocio that everybody used to have in their raps. The visuals are simply J driving and walking through Detroit, but his actions and words are spiced up by colorful, quick animations that give the sense that the video is being drawn on. Peep it up top.

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