Larious Norwood, also known as Ill-larious,was born on March 23. A rapper, writer and philanthropist, Ill-Larious grew up in Fayetteville North Carolina, where his love for music was discovered at a very young age. Although he began singing in his church choir, his love for rap was clearly undeniable. His unmistakable talent lead him to become a valued member of DK, a young rap group where Ill-Larious found his calling. He learned not only to build his self-confidence as a rapper, but to write all of his own songs and developed a keen ear for music.
Ill-Larious’ love for hip-hop lead him to record his first song when he was 17, a senior at South View high school. He then made a three song demo which quickly garnered attention from his peers which dubbed him South View High’s ‘illest’ rapper. Unfortunately, Ill-Larious’ love for music and his support from family and friends, was not enough to propel his obvious talent to the next level. Instead, in March of 2007, Ill-Larious made a life changing decision to join the US military. After almost 5 years of honorably serving his country, travelling the world and undergoing life changing experiences, Ill-Larious’ passion for music is now stronger than ever.
In 2011, Ill-Larious signed with Son Of The Snow Productions. Since signing with the label, Ill-Larious has recorded a bevy of songs with the help of his fellow label mates. Although it took a while for Ill-Larious to take on music as a career, his honesty, passion and emotion in his music will undoubtedly make him one of the biggest rappers of his time. He will be releasing his highly anticipated project “Ill-Season” in the first quarter of this year.
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Ill-Larious: I have been rapping for 14 years. I first got started rapping at my old church back home in Fayetteville NC, all the cool guys from the church was doing it so I just wanted to be in that clique. I had a little bit of skill so they let me stick around.
2. Who were the first influences on your music and style?
Ill-Larious: Jay-z, Biggie, Nas, Dr.Dre, 2pac, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane
3. In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Ill-Larious: Jay-z because he has taken over corporate America, and still makes music that is relevant today. He has been through almost every era of hip-hop and arguably the best in each one that says it all to me.
4. Which famous song or sound production, ultimately describes what you’d like Ill-Larious music productions to sound like?
Ill-Larious: The productions from Jay-z’s Reasonable doubt ,I love soul samples and beats that are jazzy. So a catalog of beats like that I would sink my teeth into.
5. Do you think your music is enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Ill-Larious: I say lyrical and content in flow I also use metaphors and flows that get people excited and have to rewind the track. My content is transparent to who I am so people show me love for that.
6. Do you make your own beats and write your own lyrics and which software or equipment do you prefer to use to achieve your sound?
Ill-Larious: I don’t make my beats as for equipment what ever gets the job done I am with.
7. If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artists or producers, with whom would you like to collaborate and why?
Ill-Larious: The artists I choose are J.Cole, Freddie Gibbs, Drake, Wale, Currency, Big Krit, Lupe Fiasco and Kendrick Lamar. I chose these particular artists because I am a huge fan of their work. I think if you have that level of respect for someone’s work it would be a special experience that would bring the best out of you. The producers I choose are 9th wonder, Dj Premier, Dr.Dre, and Kanye West. Their names say enough they are legendary producers to be able to work with any of them would be an honor and a privilege.
8. Which of your original compositions is currently your personal favorite, and tell us about your latest project?
Ill-Larious: My song from my first and latest project ILL-Season called Box with the Gods. It is a song with me using a style reminiscent of some of the pioneers of hip-hop paying homage to people I consider Gods of hip-hop. The project ILL-Season itself is a diverse body work getting people accustomed to me as an artist and my sound.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your music sound the way it does?
Ill-Larious: Lyricism it’s just one of my strong points.
10. Do you think video is important to your music and music in general, and how do you handle your video productions?
Ill-Larious: Of course people need to connect the song and with how the artist visually portrays it. How I handle my video productions is with my wonderful team of people that assist Sots Pro to make that happen.
11. What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Ill-Larious: Writing rhymes excites me the most especially when you find that beat that you have that feeling about its noting like being in that zone. The aspect that discourages me sometimes is recording. Recording is an art in itself and sometimes if the magic isn’t there it can be a blow to my confidence.
12. How involved are you in the recording, producing, mastering and other processes needed to produce and market your music, and do you outsource any part of this process?
Ill-Larious: I am heavily involved in recording but the other aspects of the music are handled by Sots Pro.
13. Do you think the advent of internet and all the new technology, has helped your music and independent musicians in general, or do you think it just creates a mass of mediocre “bedroom artists” who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish yourself?
Ill-Larious: I think it has helped my music tremendously the internet makes the world a very small place. How else could I have people from different cities, states, and countries listen to my music at one time? It is definitely an advantage.
14. In your experience, what is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far? And one you didn’t follow, but now know you should have?
Ill-Larious: The best advice I have ever gotten and followed is to be true to how you are. The one that I didn’t follow early on would be to network with other artist and producers. Moving forward I see this is a very important part of being an artist.
15. Being an independent artist, which is the one factor you currently desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, club performances etc…)?
Ill-Larious: More media exposure I just want people to know who I am and check my music out.
16. Where do you distribute and promote your music (Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, Your own Website, Youtube etc…) and why?
Ill-Larious: The website of my label is how I promote my music. I promote there because it has a home feel and it is place where people can get an intimate look at who I am as a person as well as artist. Check it out www.sotspro.com .
17. How do you handle criticism? Who has been your worst critic, if any?
Ill-Larious: I handle criticism well I feel everyone is entitled to have their own perception of things and I don’t really take things personally. The worst critics I have are the people that I don’t have a personal relationship with. Their opinions are always unbiased and I respect that.
18. Is going Platinum or winning a Grammy important to you? Where would you like to see your career within 5 years?
Ill-Larious: A Grammy because that award is so prestigious.
19. What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any commercial success?
Ill-Larious: Just getting people accustomed to who you are. When you have a unique style to your music it is usually either a hit or miss. So just getting others to understand you as an artist is very difficult to do.
20. If you were not a music artist, what would you be doing today?
Ill-Larious: I would probably be a personal trainer. I love hitting the gym and motivating other people so that would be what I would pursue.
OFFICIAL LINKS & WEBSITES:Twenty Questions: With South View High’s ‘illest’ Rapper - Ill-Larious,