The cover art for ILLIngsworth’s ‘RINO’ album.

The Micro-Chop Daily X #33–ILLingsworth Edition

A Micro-Chop playlist featuring 10 hand-picked instrumentals — every single day for an entire year.

Detroit-based producer ILLingsworth considers beat making and rapping a calling, though they’re not always fun ones. For him, the constant need to create is both a curse and gift depending on the situation. “It’s not something I ever asked for, but it’s something that I try my best to embrace and fulfill,” he told me in a January of 2018 Micro-Chop interview. “That embrace has brought joy and pain to myself and the people around me.”

The Micro-Chop Daily X #33–ILLIngsworth Edition. Ten hand-picked ILLingsworth instrumentals for your listening pleasure.

Though many readers likely know ILLingsworth best for his hyper-imaginative production, he first started out as a rapper very early on in life. “I wrote my first rhyme at five, but most people that know of me, know me for the beats,” he told the website The What in a 2016 interview. “One of the main reasons I started making beats was so I’d have beats to rap on.”

Beat making may have started out as a mere matter of necessity, but it has since grown into a critical component of ILLingsworth’s career as a professional musician. During the quest to perfect his creative pursuit, ILLingsworth has given himself to getting up and making beats every single day — whether he feels like it or not. Ignoring his level of emotional engagement on a given day and committing to the act of sitting with his craft has been an important step in his artistic development. “For me, this means sometimes making beats when you’re not exactly inspired to make something specific,” he told me. “You just begin and see where you end up. I’m being a little more purposeful these days, but for many years I’ve just been making several beats per day.”

This process — though likely mentally exhausting at times — has lead to some important career breakthroughs in recent years. ILLingsworth dropped his Street Corner Music debut Worth The Wait in October of 2016. From there, he earned a production for “Cry No More” on Phonte’s recent No News Is Good News album. Now, with his new project You’re No Fun out on Mello Music Group, ILLingsworth seems once again poised to bring his career to the next level.

Though the album does feature instrumentals like “Call Me Now”, it also showcases ILLingsworth’s substantial prowess on the mic with songs like “Peeves” featuring Open Mike Eagle. The representation of both of these sides of ILLingsworth seems fitting — fans of his work may know him more for his beats these days, but it’s nice to see him still honoring his skills on the mic with You’re No Fun and 2016’s I Didn’t Ask For This.

To coincide with the release of ILLingsworth’s latest album, I decided to do a The Micro-Chop Daily X playlist dedicated to his instrumental work. To add a little twist I enlisted the help of Micro-Chop readers, who selected most of the instrumentals you’ll find in the playlist about. They did a nice job with their selections and picked up some gems that I’d been unaware of until yesterday.

The thirty-third playlist in The Micro-Chop Daily X series features 10 ILLingsworth instrumentals hand-picked by Micro-Chop readers. You can further support ILLingsworth’s work by checking out his Bandcamp page.

Be on the lookout for The Micro-Chop Daily X #34 dropping tomorrow.

If you enjoyed this piece, please consider following my Micro-Chop and Bookshelf Beats publications or donating to the Micro-Chop Patreon page. You can also read my work at HipHopDX or follow me on Twitter.