I wasn’t the only one with a bopping head – beaming pride – front row at the Bassline Stage of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on Saturday March 31st. Looking around I caught the smiles of others who’ve witnessed the Ill Skillz crew hustle hard and come up on Cape Town’s streets.
I recollect the days when Macho (MC) and Nick Knucklez ( DJ) made up the rest of the then four Man outfit alongside Jimmy Flexx (Macav)and Tommy Jinnx (Uno). Featuring regularly on lineups on the local circuit. These guys were the embodiment of the hustle. You’d catch them at Zula on Long Street Friday night and then at the Park Jam on Sunday afternoon in Gugutlethu giving off tenacious and infectious energy that crowds in Joburg and Europe also now respond to and love them for.
Back them Macav had full set of metal braces and Uno was pushing a 9 to 5 and doing the music part time. But the music won in the end and now the skills pay the bills full time. DJ ID (Akio of the KOL entertainment franchise) has now joined the group after the departure of Nick and Macho some time ago. So three is company after all…
That Saturday as the sun set the trio stood with a live band and made history. Their debut also meant the first time ever a Cape Town based Hip Hop group got to perform at The International Jazz Festival.
That’s a big deal.
The day before they were due to perform Akio tweeted “@Akio_DJ_ID: Two years ago I had to sneak into this festival. Tomorrow we’re on stage.”
THE EVOLUTION OF ILL-SKILLZ
THEN: Mention in Hype Magazine I Heard on Bush Radio I Ghetto NY Park Jams
NOW: 14 Page spread in Rolling Stone I Heard on Yfm I Cape town Jazz Festival I Back to the City Festival
Stay Ill skilling fellas.
Connect with Ill Skills on Twitter: @illskillzmusic