Ill Bill: Sex Style
With starlets appearing in Ill Bill and Non-Phixion inserts and website photo galleries for the last decade, there haven't been as many porn-friendly folks in Hip Hop. He's endorsed actresses like Ashley Blue and Avena Lee while maintaining close friendships with legendary directors like Joey Silvera and Jules Jordan. Now a happily-married father, Ill Bill has little problem keeping it 100 with HipHopDX about his views on the correlation between Hip Hop and porn industries, with educated opinions - and quite a few laughs.
With March's long-awaited Hour of Reprisal sporting production from Bill, DJ Muggs, T-Ray and now DJ Premier, the veteran emcee's rep grows bigger as one of the most powerful political voices in the culture, with goon squads in every city, and amidst book-smarts, sneaker trivia and sports, Ill Bill doesn't mind sharing wisdom on porn too.
HipHopDX: Do you think that Hip Hop and pornography are both forms of escapism?
Ill Bill: Oh, definitely. Its first and foremost entertainment. So when you say escapism, I relate that to entertainment. Yeah man. Its definitely entertainment. As far as the way it crosses over into Hip Hop, aside from the fact that if you bumped into any porn star, director or industry person, theyre all Hip Hop heads; thats a given. Id say about 90% of the peopleits a young industry. Even my man Joey Silvera, whos been making movies since the 70s, he listens to my music, G-Unit, Mobb Deep, Snoop. Thats a dude in his fifties. Porn is keeping him young, and hes tapped into the Hip Hop culture at the same time. Its all intertwined.
DX: In escapism, I also mean listening to M.O.P. or Non-Phixion in the middle of a stressed out day, or simply watching an adult movie to relieve stress. Admit to it or not, a lot of people let off steam the same way
IB: Sure. We can really get deep and philosophical about it and say that porn is a drug. [Laughs] Its a tranquilizer. Same as music or a good movie. It can totally suck you in. Yo! Pause. [Hysterical laughter] I agree.
DX: Do you think that both industries present opportunities for predators and prey?
IB: I think capitalism is an opportunity for people to be predators and prey. Capitalism is built on pimps and hoes. The porn industry is just an easier business to point the finger at. But I think just because its easier is why people will bring that up. To answer the question point blank, yes. But I dont think that its any different from any other business in that sense. In that sense.
DX: Youve been in Hip Hop since 95 and before as an emcee and producer, which is hard to do. If you look at Jenna Jameson or Brianna Banks or directors like Joey Silvera, these are veterans. Thats not an easier thing to do either. Do you think that the smart ones last in either industry?
IB: Absolutely. But, at the same time, I dont really think its that deep. I think it boils down to the fact that sex sells. Its a money thing. If you dont know how to handle your money, or handle your business whether youre in porn or the music business or any other business, youre gonna get fucked. No pun intended. If you really pay attention to the connection of Hip Hop and porn where you have Snoop and Lil Jon and Necro and G-Unit making their own porns, even Yella, who is an established porn director and company ownerthen you go into the mainstream. Peep the correlation. The biggest way to make noise in the mainstream these days is to accidentally leak your sex tape. So when somebody gets their sex tape leaked, are they a victim of circumstance? I dont know. I dont think 20 million dollars from the E! Channel looks like no victim to mean. I think people play it up. They play that victimization card up.
On the other hand, Im not gonna say that there arent people who get into entertainment porn, music, movies that get hooked on drugs, fuck their lives up and get taken advantage of. But at the end of the day, you think the casting couch doesnt exist? You think people aren fucking off-camera? If anything, I feel like the porn industry has a little bit more integrity than some of these other industries. They dont brush it under the rug. They wear it hard on their sleeve.
DX: Sex has been in rap records since super sperm in Rappers Delight. Porn really hasnt. At what point in your music, was it at play?
IB: Thats just me being true to who I am. When I say that, I have a problem with emcees that are one-dimensional. What I like to do is illustrate the balance of the kind of person I am. Whether you perceive porn to be good or bad, its part of life. Sex is a part of life its past just porn. Sex is part of life. Martin Luther King, great man, he enjoyed getting his dick sucked. Its documented. He was an adulterer. Are you gonna think any less of him because of that? I dont. That shit is part of life. People love sex. Thats why it sells so well. Im not gonna cheat myself by making music that doesnt reflect the truth of my life and otherwise. So yeah, thats always been a part of my music and it always will be. At the same time, Ill criticize the United States government and foreign policy and at the same time, Ill talk about getting my dick sucked. Is that fucked up? Not to me, and not to my fans.
DX: Whether in album artwork or on your website, youve spotlighted certain starlets and whatnot. Once you really got your career moving, how good did it feel to do things like that?
IB: [Laughs] Yeah. It feels great to be able to do that. It was a little harder 10 years ago, just the lines of communication werent as connectable. Now with the internet, its so easy to network with people, including the porn industry.
DX: Whether Ashley Blue or Avena Lee, do you think giving shine to these girls through your fanbase has built theirs?
IB: Absolutely. Thats me getting my Howard Stern on. [Laughs]
DX: There are people that say Hip Hop is losing its art. With the advent of Gonzo porn and the decline of adult movie houses, theres people who make the same argument about porn like the Burt Reynolds character in Boogie Nights. What do you think?
IB: Nah, man. [Laughs] Not porn, man. Even though, Ill tell you the old school porns had a little bit of acting involved. Talk to Joey [Silvera] or anybody that came from the old school, Ron Jeremy, these guysif anything, if they did take the acting serious, it was more in a comedic kind of way. I think its kind of ridiculous how some of these companies have gotten way out of control with the production values. I like the Gonzo type of porns. I like the grimy shit. [Laughs] For me, the action taking place in the Roman Coliseum is fuckin useless to me.
DX: Yet in your music and personality, you seem like such an old school guy. I would have guessed that the theater aspect, you would have missed. Especially as a New Yorker, these historic places are an endangered species. Though it was before your time, do you feel nostalgic for the era of middle class suburbanites lining up around the corner to go see Deep Throat?
IB: [Laughs] Just going to Times Square right now is just like going to Disney World. Back in the days, it was way more grimy; I definitely miss that. I miss that aspect. Im from Brooklyn. I grew up in the Canarsie area of Brooklyn, and if you know that area at all, once you get out of Canarsie, its East New York. Theres a street called Pennsylvania Avenue. There used to be a XXX theater called the Pennway 6. I was always intrigued with it. It was grimy. They had the big marquis with the porno names like Debbie Does Em All, all that shit. Come to find out, a kid that I grew up, this kid Jeff that lived in the building across from me, his pop was the fuckin manager of the Pennway 6. I was always jealous of Jeff. [Laughs] Man, I wish my dad was the manager of a fuckin porno theater. [Laughs] I miss it. Things are a little bit different now. Theres a time and place. Really, at that time, I really had no business being that intrigued with it. Being a father now, I definitely have a little bit of a different outlook on it now than I did then. All the same, from a nostalgic point of view, yeah. I definitely miss that era.
DX: How do you feel about people from the Hip Hop community going into porn? Also, Heather Hunter dropped an album. How do you feel about porn folks coming to Hip Hop?
IB: On both counts, I think its cool. Really, it boils down to doing what you want to do. Whos to say that Heather Hunter isnt musically inclined way before she got into the porn industry? I dont know. I never heard her music. I cant really build on that. More power to her. Youd be surprised. One of my homeboys, this dude named Darktooth, hes an editor. Hes pretty much done editing for every major porn company in the business. He actually owns a store in L.A., in the Valley, called The Basement. This is a dude that basically took the money he made in the porn industry and invested it into Hip Hop. Now hes got a spot. Its like the Fat Beats of the Valley.
DX: The directors and the actors and actresses seem to really connect to you and your music. Whats the best compliment youve gotten from the industry?
IB: Joey Silvera told me that mine and Necros music inspired him to make porn. [Laughs] I thought that was pretty fuckin cool.
DX: What do you think Soulja Boy means with Superman that hoe?
IB: Wow! Yo! Spank her. [Laughs] Spank her with a dick. I dont know? But how Superman would do it. [Laughs hysterically]
DX: Whether its a starlet or a film, can you spotlight a favorite?
IB: Shit man. I can tell you a company that I think is dope. Evil Angel. Evil Angel is the dopest company ever. The most consistent company in the game.
DX: Before we let you go, whats going on with the music?
IB: The album is done. Reprisal is my next solo album. Its done. Right now Im just finishing up paperwork. We are looking at a March release. Its gonna be a CD plus a DVD. I was actually able to get in the studio with [DJ Premier]. Premo was able to get in there. Other than that, it is what it is.
DX: White Nigger is still to be on there? The song already has people talking...
IB: Yup. As of right now, itll be on the album. Yep. Other than that, Im working on La Coka Nostra as well, and were getting together in a couple weeks to finish the album. Weve got three different situations for that album on the table, and were just trying to make a final fuckin decision.
Check: www.unclehowie.com and www.myspace.com/illbill