With today being Hip-Hop’s 50th birthday, it’s only right we continue to pay homage to the greats. 


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Insert Illa J, who is best known in the music industry as J Dilla’s younger brother. J Dilla’s vast influence on the rap game will forever be remembered, and Illa J is here to carry on his brother’s legacy. To date, Illa J boasts over 100 million global music streams independently, as he travels the world selling out shows.

Now, Illa J returns with his newest single and visual for “No Traffic,” holding fans over until the release of his forthcoming studio album titled No Traffic, arriving September 1st. 

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What inspired “No Traffic”?

Most of the album, No Traffic, was already finished, but I didn’t have an intro yet. I really wanted to set the tone of the new project with some hype energy. The first thing that came to mind was making an instrumental and have Dank (of Frank N Dank) talk over it, so he sent me about two minutes of raw vocals of him just talking. The only direction I gave him was to mention the title of the album, No Traffic. I made a new beat and then had my engineer drag his vocals on top of it. We then moved around his vocals and chopped them to how I wanted it to fit. Once I heard it all put together, I liked it so much that I had to rap on it. Iit ended up being a single.”

What was your creative vision with the music video?

Originally we planned on doing a lyric video for the single “No Traffic.” But my wife, Sarah Samira Yancey who directed, shot and edited the video, decided to make it a hybrid by having me act out the lyrics to make it more personal. The vision of this video was to show me in a more authentic light. Not too serious, that’s not me. I’m silly and I have fun listening to my music and the lyrics are added in a way where they become a part of the video rather than just “subtitles.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CuHjZy3t8rd/?hl=en

What do you want fans to take away from the song/visual?

I’m excited to show people another side of me, apart from just being the younger brother of a Hip-Hop legend. I love my brother’s production, but that’s his style of making music. I have my own sound and way of producing that I’m proud of. “No Traffic” represents that lane that I created for myself to follow my own musical path. It’s freeing to finally release my own production… I’m just getting started all over again, and the visuals support that newfound confidence and freedom.

About The Author

Shirley Ju is a Journalist & On-Camera Host based in Los Angeles. she's been writing and interviewing artists in the entertainment industry for over 12 years. she started her own show called Shirley's Temple, with a focus on mental health. Shirley lives, breathes, and sleeps music, and if there’s a show in LA, you can find her there. Born in the Bay Area, the Hyphy movement is in her blood. Follow her at @shirju on both Instagram and Twitter.

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