Many of you probably know a little bit about the Ugandan rappers that are currently on the scene but don’t know the name iLLAMADi. iLLAMADi is a rapper of Ugandan origin who releases music in both Uganda and the U.K.
I first got to know about him back in 2012 after watching the video for his single “Back Home” on T.V. (but he’d been putting out music as far back as 2009 with tracks like “Moving Remix”, “On the Grind” in 2010 and the “Duppy Your Disco” mixtape in 2011.
There’s always the question of whether artists who live in other countries for long can make music that the people in their country of origin can relate to and iLLAMADi’ s return anthem “Back Home” proved that he was fairly in tune with what was going on in Ugandan.
After this single, I didn’t hear much from him for a while until late last year when I was DJing at gig in the city and he handed me a physical copy of his “Simple Life” Promo CD single. I have to say, that move deserves credit because it’s rare to see a rapper who has been on T.V. executing such an old-school promo move of handing out their own CD in the club, I respect that.
The “Simple Life” CD single has five tracks with a considerably varied sound from the slower laidback Hip-Hop single “Simple Life” to the fast Afro-Pop dance-floor anthem “Ladies Free”. It also has a couple of other songs like “African Warrior (Remix)” where his lyrical prowess and delivery really come out.
One thing iLLAMADi is good at is rapping while making switch-ups in his flow but still maintaining the hybrid of laidback/party energy in his verses.
iLLAMADi recently dropped a new single titled “Sokx N Slides” which brings out his funnier side. Produced by Jeffnang Music, it has elements of grime and sees the rapper drop verses about wearing socks with rubber open shoes and he actually pulls it off dropping his first verse like a rapper and his second in Jamaican patois with a pattern that is reminiscent of Vybz Kartel’s style on “Clarks”.
The video for this single is out now and just as you’d expect, it has a bunch of people spotting this look and basically having fun. It is very free-spirited and not hinged on showing off with expensive items and locations.
If there’s a rapper outside Uganda that you should certainly keep tabs on, it’s iLLAMADi so go check out his music and spread it as far as possible.