7 Dec 2021
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Ill Semantics

Bio

Formed in 1993, and hailing from Orakei, East Auckland, sifting through members until the final line-up consisting of two MC's and a DJ. Patriarch, the nucleus of the group and founding member, Nemesis, New Zealand's most prolific female MC and DJ CXL, 2 x ITF North Island Champion and current DMC #2, beating Auckland's defending champion, P-Money.

Ill Semantics have established themselves over the years as the best authentic and purest Hip-Hop sound to emerge from urban New Zealand whilst still delivering songs that catch radio attention. Ill Semantics first appeared with Dawn Raid on the debut compilation Southside Story in 2000 which was followed up a year later with two songs featured on Southside Story 2: International, Unstoppable and the monster underground hit Verbal Assault which was the #1 song on bFM for five weeks. The success of this song led Ill Semantics to land a number of high profile performances with national and international artists such as Che Fu, Naughty by Nature, Nelly Furtado, and opening for Destinys Child, (Destinys Child's manager was so impressed with DJ CXL that they asked him to continue the rest of the world tour with them, which he unfortunately declined due to studio commitments).

The Ill Semantics name kept growing as they became recognised for their energetic live shows, and was strengthened even further when they collaberated with P-Money on the un-released single, Drop that Ish, which also went on to sit at the #1 spot on bFM for eight consecutive weeks and remaining in the charts for over half a year. Because of its popularity in 2002 it was featured on DJ Sir-Vere's Major Flavors 2 mix compilation.

"They call us the caterers, in that we cater for all genre's of music when we make our songs, so they appeal to people from all walks of life while still enhancing the development of Hip-Hop music in Aotearoa," says Patriarch.

Dawn Raid Entertainment officially signed Ill Semantics in the start of 2002, and with all this history behind them, their debut album had to be something special. Consequently they spent half a year recording their debut album Theory of Meaning, which has loyal fans and New Zealand masses waiting in anticipation.

Throughout Theory of Meaning, Ill Semantics display a full range of characteristic personalities and features cameos from New Zealands best, including King Kapisi, Dam Native, Deceptikonz, Phatmospheric of the Krates, and Ardijah's very own Betty Anne, and the special scratch track Triple Threat featuring DJ Raw, P-Money and DJ CXL.

With production duties carried out by P-Money on three of the songs including Drop That Ish, and John Chong-Nee of gold selling group AKA Brown handling the rest of the album, they have commanded a sound which is sofisticated and pleasing at an International level.

The first radio song Highway is an island influenced song which fuses DJ CXL's menacing scratches against a 12 year old ukulele genius with a thumping bass line and a catchy hook sung by AKA Brown, to the remake of the Ardijah classic 'Watching You', which is destined to ignite any dancefloor over the summer period, to the smooth soulful sound of The Journey, which uses portions of the classic What You Won't Do For Love.

The album Theory of Meaning has been ten years in the making and throughout the years Ill Semantics had managed to secure their position in Hip Hop as the talented and diligent emcees who through hell or high water will continue to make music for the masses.

Band Members:
Nemesis
Patriarch
DJ CXL

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Location

  • Auckland

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