The Break Presents: The Boy Illinois

Breakout: “Right Around Winter”

Also Check: “Cardigan Sweater” ft. G.o.D Jewels

And: “I Quit”

Name: The Boy Illinois (Illi)

Age: 24

Reppin’: Chicago, IL.

My style and/or skills have been compared to: I’ve been compared to a couple of people, but I don’t want to give readers any preconceived notions that I sound like anyone else.

I started rapping: I began rapping around 11 or 12 years old. I didn’t take it seriously until I was about 15.

My standout records and/or moments have been: I have this record called “Cardigan Sweater” and a lot of people have told me that really enjoy that record. So in terms of standout records, that joint is definitely a game changer. Also, I got a chance to perform a couple of times at SXSW. That was definitely a great experience for me.

I’m gonna change the game by: To be a game changer, you have to lead by example. The best example that I try to set is individuality. I roll with a select few, but at the end of the day I make my own decisions and own moves. Nobody can do you like you, so why not do that? That’s how I plan to leave some type of imprint with my music. Be the person and tell you what my life is like.

I’d Like to work with: I’d like to work with Lupe. He’s my favorite artist and has definitely been an inspiration to my craft. Al Jerreau is another artist that I would love to work with. I was raised on his music, so its part of my musical DNA make-up.

My goal in hip-hop is: My goal is to spread good the music around the world.

I’m gonna be the next: I’m not trying to be the next anyone. I’m just going to continue to be me.

To check out more of my music you can go to: My site, Twitter, or Facebook

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • EDF

    Great read. It’s hard to find an artist who refuses to establish their own identity these days. I’m really feeling that Cardigan Sweater joint, I Hope to see it on MTVJams this winter.

  • H.O.Z.E

    dude is on everywhere. I like his music

  • CIPH$

    Do yourself a favor and check out Illi’s mixtapes #Yer

  • greenlite616

    I like the song I Quit not really feeling the other songs 2 songs plus I think dude can get rid of the cardigan sweaters style just makes me laugh

  • 100K

    Thanks for the love XXL. Much Appreciated!

  • RiP

    Well deserved feature. Skies the limit for Illi…..F.A. is The Squad

  • skk3

    dude is nice, well deserved feature, cant wait for new music


    This dude is one of the dope artists next up in Chicago. Along with GOD Jewels. Chicago hip hop is in great hands. His songs NEED TO BE IN ROTATION ON POWER 92 AND WGCI !!!!

  • YBD100

    Been a huge fan of his for a number of years now. His music needs to be in rotation on EVERY RADIO STATION EVERYWHERE

  • Annonymous

    The Boy Illinois is definitely NEXT. I’m happy to see XXL has recognized that fact.

  • P


  • BearsfanPJ

    This my guy right here. I’m finally happy to see a worldwide known magazine give my guy some credit. Him and the FA the Squad team is coming for everyone’s heads so be on the lookout! YER!

  • V Nasty

    The Boy Illinois is super dope. Finally XXL gave love to someone who actually HAS talent and is REALLY grinding.






  • KIM

    The Boy Illinois is electric fire Chi-town superhero. Cardigan Sweater, Right Around Winter, and ABSENT are his coldest tracks for me right now. ILLINOIIIIISSSSSSSSSS #YER

  • HaLF

    Always great to see artists you’ve been supporting since the BEGINNING get some shine.

  • yesso

    Join the frat….the boy illinois 2011 and beyond

  • XHA

    This dude is raw im from the Chi and i like whats coming from it musically Kanye, Lupe, Common, Jen Hudson, and the boy Illi

  • TrapLauren

    well deserved good read.

  • mimi

    The boy Illi is the bomb! His music isn’t just cool…sometimes it’s downright beautiful!

  • IMAS

    finally some good music for our ears The Boy Illinois is killin it he is DEFINITELY NEXT…Keep doin you joe and yall should check out Breakfast of Champions that track is NICE

  • Annonymous

    The Boy Illinois, kid! #YER

  • SimplySamia

    He is def gonna bring something new to Hip Hop!!!

  • Rap Chick

    This dude is a dope MC. Been a huge fan since Inhale Pt. 2! Good look XXL.

  • BigShotBob

    Good shit XXL. He’s been grinding for a minute now!

  • Sean

    Dude has the slickest lyrics to me. Every time I listen I hear something I missed. For every term explaining English, dude spins a web mysteriously well for his listeners. I just wanna know what “Yer” means.

  • micey

    wow. good stuff. i still have inhale pt.2 in daily rotation. good music. keep doing what you do.

  • Larry Hoover

    Salute to Illinois

  • Pingback: Chicago’s Next Great Rapper: The Boy Illinois | – Online Radio Blog

  • SUHpav

    Just saw dude on MTV. I see he is making noise this year and he is dope

  • Eddy Elite Society Lah

    Good shit Billy. Keep on grinding my dude.