Credit: Alex Boone
My favorite album this year is Tacoma-based trio ILLFIGHTYOU’s debut record. The album sounds like what a bunch of older kids with good taste in rap (who are too busy being rowdy to give a fuck about “real hip-hop”) would make. Telling you what a dozen rap songs are about is an exercise in futility, but here goes: these songs are mostly about drugs, girls, being cool, violence, drinking, and parental issues. Comparisons to an older, disillusioned, non-skateboarding early Odd Future would be somewhat apt.
The members of ILLFIGHTYOU are: EvergreenOne (rapper), Khris P (rapper/producer), and UGLYFRANK (rapper). The entirety of the bassy, drum-heavy production is handled by the same duo (KReamteam), consisting of two brothers, Khris P and LOU SWANG. Synths swirl and ominous piano plinks keep the mood off-kilter throughout. The Don King-quote that starts the album (about former “great white hope” boxer Andrew Golota) is a precious piece of aural Americana. Oh, there is also not a bad song on the album. For real.
They’ve played less than half-a-dozen shows. I decided to hit them up with the hopes of scoring an early, “definitive” interview. I doubt this is anything like that, but it’s fun nonetheless. ILLFIGHTYOU is fun. Hear the record and read the words.
Also, shout to UGLYFRANK for clearly not giving a shit about my questions.
Noisey: You guys just played a show at the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle (with Run the Jewels, Danny Brown, etc.). How did that go?
EvergreenOne: It was cool. Block party has always been a pretty tight festival in my opinion. Our stage was packed out full of hipsters, and some of the security were being boners who wanna be buff but I had a good time and our set was cool. We only were there on the day we performed so i wasn't able to see Danny Brown or Run the Jewels play, but I heard they did the damn thing.
Khris P: Man, that shit was fun minus the mics messin up. They was lowkey hatin with the settings on "rock" mode but shit was rockin and packed out. Fun.
UGLYFRANK: I didn't know I had "fans" until that (people actually knew our songs). All in all it was a fun time.
How many shows have you guys played so far?
EvergreenOne: I think that was like our fourth show. Not too sure though.
Khris P: Five now?
What is the Tacoma rap scene like? Is there a Seattle rivalry?
EvergreenOne: Tacoma rap scene sucks. We have no venues out here that are legitimate and the one that we do have don't tend to take rap serious at all. They'll book a Creed cover band rather than anything rap-related. The rivalry between Seattle and Tacoma is one that I don't understand at all. Shit, the cities are 30 minutes away from each other, but there is this weird beef between the two that baffles me. It’s a pretty corny debate.
Khris P: I'm not sure it's like everywhere else with the scene. And lowkey it is, but I think it may come more from the Seattle side.
UGLYFRANK: Not that I know of.
Is it hard having an "aggressive" rap style in a place like the Pacific Northwest?
EvergreenOne: Nah, we just do what we do man. This is how we want to rap and we are making the music that we really wanna make. It’s kinda hard finding bills that fit us as far as performing out here but it doesn't really matter to us. We knew there would be a fair amount of people who would be scared to fuck with us, but we also kinda knew that our sound would be refreshing as fuck in this region. I’ma just go ahead and say that Washington rap is boring as fuck.
Khris P: You wouldn't think so with grunge, but it is kinda hard to attract the crowd. But it's been workin.
UGLYFRANK: Not that I know of.
What are some of Tacoma's nicknames? Do people use them or are they like "the Windy City" or whatever?
EvergreenOne: Ha, nah. But when you drive from Seattle into Tacoma you hit this area right by the ports and it smells like fart and wet socks and people call that the "Tacoma aroma." Other notable nicknames would be shit like “Tac Town” or “Tacompton.” Just stupid shit like that
Khris P: "Tac Town" and "Shitty Shack" is what Big Real called it. Look up "Tacoma's Finest The Homie Big Real" Tacoma.
When did you start rapping and recording?
EvergreenOne: I started rapping in about 11th grade just fuckin around and rhyming “bat” with “cat” and “slap” with “crap”. I started recording when I was just finishing high school but nothing ever sounded good. Taking myself seriously as a rapper, I’d say I’ve been at it for a solid four years now.
Khris P: I just started rapping in like 2011, but been makin beats for awhile now, so 2011.
UGLYFRANK: Like three years ago. Me and Khris started together
You talk about listening to B.I.G. growing up and got a joint called "Brooklyn" on your album. Was there local shit you listened or listen to?
EvergreenOne: I was always hip on who was dropping shit around here but I wasn’t really influenced by it. I always liked the groups Larry Mizell was in, like Cancer Rising and Mash Hall. There was a Tacoma group named the Biznautics who would just get trashed and perform, and I thought that was like really cool for some reason, ha.
Khris P: I did in St. Louis a lot. But I'm not sure what's goin with those guys except Fresh Dirty. Oh, and TaylorMade "Whirlwind," a city classic. Local Tacoma is Sandlot, Jai X Jrm, Blakk Soul. That nigga be singin is all, for me to be honest.
UGLYFRANK: I love New York rap. Busta Rhymes The Coming is my favorite album.
What non-US country are you guys most juiced to eventually tour in?
EvergreenOne: Germany will be tight, and I’ve always wanted to go to London and France.
Khris P: London or France probably cause I feel like I would still have an idea of what's goin on.
UGLYFRANK: Africa, ain't no rules in Africa. [Laughs.]
What US city?
EvergreenOne: I’m looking forward to Chicago and NYC because of the pizza (shout out to Khris P) and playing in Florida would be cool just cause I like the beach. I'll play anywhere if they throwin money at us.
Khris P: New York cause I've always wanted to visit but I dunno about the crowd.
UGLYFRANK: Probably Atlanta, I hear good things about that place.
Do ya'll have "real" jobs right now? What are they?
EvergreenOne: Yeah, I’m a fuckin’ roofer and hate that shit. It’s my family’s business and its probably the worst job I've ever had in my life. But I have an eight month old son who needs to eat so I’ma do anything I have to do to keep him happy and comfortable.
Khris P: I guess it's like social work?
UGLYFRANK: Watching my girlfriend’s cat.
Would you ever make a song completely about acid or being on acid?
EvergreenOne: Yeah, that’d be wild. I did my fair share of acid when i was like 19.
Khris P: No, cause I've never done it. I'm too afraid of what would happen to UGLYFRANK. Me, I have bad anxiety.
Did you know that E-40 doesn't actually need glasses, he just likes the way they look?
EvergreenOne: I didn’t know that and to be honest, I never even really thought about shit like that. E-40 is a fuckin legend though and that guy can do whatever he want and still be cool.
Khris P: Ha, that’s raw because he's that nigga. A legend. They Cartier?
UGLYFRANK: E-40 is very creative like that so I believe it. [Laughs.]
What other artists are you guys working with right now?
EvergreenOne: Shit, I don’t work with no one. Fuck everyone else. I know Khris has a handful of artists he's producing for and I think Frank might be doing some shit with other rappers but no one be hitting me up to work and I'm okay with that.
Khris P: Nobody, just us right now unless its one of the Sandlot guys or Jai X Jrm.
UGLYFRANK: All six of my alter egos.
What artists/producers would you most like to work with?
EvergreenOne: Man, to be honest, I’m pretty content working with Khris P cause I know he can make any kind of sound that I want and that dudes work ethic is crazy good. Wouldn’t mind making a song or two with Chuck Inglish or Young Chop, but it ain’t like a goal of mine or nothin’.
Khris P: Danny Brown, Sampha, probably Young Thug or Migos, Neptunes. A long list.
UGLYFRANK: Young L.
Who designed your album cover?
EvergreenOne: Khris P. I’ll take credit for the idea though.
Khris P: I did. Glenn wanted a collage so I told him and Frank to send pics, and I found some and put em all together.
Who's the funny guy who talks throughout the album and closes it out?
EvergreenOne: That’s Andy aka ahyp (a hipp). He drinks a lot of beer and takes a lot of bong rips.
How did you meet?
EvergreenOne: I lived in Pennsylvania and I would sneak out of my barn to go to the library and listen to music. I came across a Craigslist ad that was talking about two black dudes tryna find a white rapper to join their group. I told my parents that I needed to go to Tacoma to see what was out there in the world and so I did. When I got here I went to the audition in Frank’s condo with no furniture. I rapped a little bit and they thought it was decent enough for me to join the group. Frank let me crash on the carpet and he’s been teaching me how to be cool and how to dress.
Khris P: I'm their stepdad.
Is there a story behind the name "ILLFIGHTYOU"?
EvergreenOne: We were texting hella one day like what the fuck are we gonna call the band? Man, I wish I could recover the text history cause we came up with some fuckin funny names. I honestly can't recall how we decided on the ILLFIGHTYOU name. If I remember correctly I think we were going to call the tape ILL FIGHT YOU and then we liked the sound of it so we said fuck it, that’s the band name.
Khris P: Glenn and his friend beat up a bunch of dudes at a party after they got set up is what was told to me when my friend was mistaken as me by a white guy while he was out.
UGLYFRANK: Rap is rap. [Laughs.]
Is there a Tacoma "accent"?
EvergreenOne: Not at all. There is a Tacoma curse though.
Khris P: Yeah, they talk extra proper and clear. It's funny to me.
UGLYFRANK: I don’t know, I'm not from here so I wouldn't carry it.
With your copious rap music money, what boring, necessary thing will you buy first? What expensive, frivolous thing will you buy first?
EvergreenOne: I’ll probably stock up on socks and underwear and anything our baby needs Then I’m buying a fat fuckin gold chain and instead of fixing my fang chipped tooth, I’m getting that bitch capped in gold. Wouldn't mind owning one of them Westfalia vans either. Yeah, I’m weird.
Khris P: Annuities and a Range Rover and loads of BAPE.
UGLYFRANK: Cocoa butter and a Ferrari.
Have you ever gotten into a fight on Molly?
EvergreenOne: No, us amish folks don't fuck around with hardcore drugs like molly.
Khris P: No, Molly is supposed to make people love.
Khris P: Yeah man, promoting positivity and empowerment.
UGLYFRANK: GLENN IS WHITE.
IILLFIGHTYOU give just enough of a fuck to be playing at Vermillion in Seattle tonight.