Published in the Ready or Not column in the September issue, on stands August 10th!!!

William “DJ Ill Will” Reaves, 27, has a good ear for young talent. Back in 2007, the Los Angeles–based turntablist (by way of South Bend, Indiana) used his Rap or Die mixtape series to promote the new wave of MCs reppin’ the West, including Glasses Malone, Bishop Lamont and Jay Rock. Most recently, Ill Will has racked up credits hosting tapes for Young Money’s Gudda Gudda (Back 2 Guddaville), Tyga & Chris Brown (Fan of a Fan) and Wiz Khalifa (Burn After Rolling). Taking a break from crafting future projects for the New Boyz and Roscoe Dash, Will offers his expert opinions on the promising sounds submitted to XXL’s music department. To submit your music, send your best track to XXL at ReadyOrNot@harris-pub.com.

Feroz, “I’m Invisible”
(myspace.com/hiimferoz)
[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/07/01-im.mp3]
DJ Ill Will: I really liked that one. I felt like dude’s lyrics game was tough on it. He had good energy. The only thing that I could really say, it was just a minute long. It was one verse and a hook. I felt like it was just incomplete. The record needed to be finished if it really wanted to get serious feedback.

Lovox Sharpe, “Payroll”
(youtube.com/user/LOVOXSHARPE)
[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/07/01-payroll-1.mp3]
DJ Ill Will: I feel like it would go hard in the club, and people that are into club music would definitely go for it. His lyrics weren’t out of the ordinary or anything like that, as far as what you wouldn’t expect, but I definitely feel like that audience in itself, the audience of people that have a drink in their hand and just want to have a good time, they’ll fuck with that record.

Young Fame, “My Star”
(myspace.com/artistyoungfame)
[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/07/05-my-star.mp3]
DJ Ill Will: I really like the sample and the beat on this one. This dude Young Fame was nice! I think I’ve seen his name around before. I would definitely like to hear more music from this kid. He’s the type of artist I would embrace in the mixtape game, because I really feel like the fans would like him. But that hook, I just felt like it was a demo hook or something. Not to knock the person on the hook, but maybe get someone with stronger vocals, or a better mix on the hook.

Rapman Ron G, “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”
(maniamusicgroup.com)
[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/07/06-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly.mp3]
DJ Ill Will: I definitely feel like he had the vibe of, like, a Wale, J. Cole, Pac Div, that whole conscious-music scene, I guess they would call it. It was a pretty dope record. Had a good story line, good lyrics, good hook. It was just a solid record across the board.

B Nasty, “Fabulous”
(myspace.com/amazin_)
[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/07/fabulous.mp3]
DJ Ill Will: I felt like the beat on this one was really hot. The dude Vybe Beatz from the Bay, he’s a dope producer, so I noticed that right away with his tag. But I don’t know, man. I feel like this one, not even to sound negative or anything, but it just wasn’t right. It wasn’t on beat. I don’t know. I wasn’t feelin’ that record at all. —Rondell Conway

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