Chicago Artist Itylyon is not only known for his unique name and ability to capture attention he is also a diamond in the rough. This MC is profoundly changing the Hip Hop game with his lyrical metaphors and his ability to connect with current affairs.
Change is inevitable with this young man because he does not short change himself in any area of the game. Itylyon has several HD quality videos on YouTube to appease his fans which is garnering thousands of views and hits on a regular basis. Ear hustle 411 had the opportunity to talk with this outstanding artist who is receiving local and national attention. Take a peek at our exclusive interview with Itylyon.
What unique ability or skill do you have that makes you different from other Hip Hop artists?
–I think there’s a sort of irony in what makes me great. People realize there is no difference between what I talk about in my songs and what they actually experience everyday–and that ironically makes me different from other hip hop artists. By being relatable it gives me the opportunity to be the voice for “everyday” people because that’s what I am at the end of the day.
Who are some of your musical influences and which one inspires you the most and why?
-I pretty much will listen to anything with a good feel to it. I have to feel the track. Some songs catch the ear but the greatest ones catch the heart. Artists like Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Pink Floyd, Pharrell Williams, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Ingrid Michaelson, and John Lennon have all made timeless music for the heart and have influenced my sound one way or another.
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with one artist dead or alive, who would that be and why?
-That’s tough. There are so many great artists. I think there’s a tie between John Lennon and Gil Scott-Heron. Aw man. Who knows what those tracks would sound like? I think both John Lennon and Gil Scott-Heron are so great at channeling what’s inside and then converting that into sound. Sometimes we don’t understand it and sometimes we do. I think they would push me to do that and not limit myself to just words. It would be epic!
You have a very interesting name “ Itylyon” where did the name come from and is there a specific meaning behind it?
-Thanks. I’ll take that as a compliment. The name came out of thin air . . . it came to me almost like a whisper. I was 11 and it was like a few months after my mom passed away. I remember the moment vividly. I was riding south down Lake Shore Drive right before it splits to South Shore Drive and something just came in my head. I got home and figured out how to spell it and haven’t looked back since.
You lost both of your parents at a young age, how did you manage to stay focused and pursue your dream as a hip-hop artist?
-I actually didn’t start rapping until after my mom passed away. It was a great outlet for me to channel my built up frustration. I would rap for my older sister and she’d pump me up and make me rap for her friends. After that I had the confidence to start rapping at school while my homies made beats on the lunch tables. I got positive feedback so I kept going. Even more strange, is my mom never let me listen to rap as a child, so I felt it was something predestined and beyond me. I soon realized I was just a vessel for something greater.
You have several videos on YouTube that are doing fairly well, who produced and directed them?
-Yes. Thanks for all the support from everyone who watched and shared the video. Please continue to share it! Also, I want to take the time to thank anyone who has ever worked with me creatively– you all are awesome. But yeah, Sooner or Later was produced by V KiDD who is a Producer/Engineer I’ve worked with for many years– that’s my brother. I Can’t Go was produced by Lex Luger and the mix and post-production was done by V KiDD. My latest release Mayhem was produced by Nochbeats– he’s a problem on the beats. You guys will soon understand.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the Hip Hop & Rap game?
-I think the game could use Itylyon in a more mainstream way. Fun Fact: The gasps at the beginning of Mayhem represent me being a breath of fresh air.
In Chicago, violence has been a huge focus nationwide, how can your music be used to bring about change?
-First and foremost violence is wack and should be used as a last resort. I think my music accurately addresses the issue without glorifying it; which will hopefully open a greater discussion. There’s nothing cool about young brothers dying senselessly and there’s nothing cool about taking someone’s life at whim either. I hope to get that message across along with others through my music in a mainstream way.
Do you volunteer, Mentor or know of any great programs to share with our readers?
-I was a part of the Big Brother Big Sister Program. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. My big brother is the best. We talk almost daily. I’ve learned and continue to learn so much from him.
If you were to lose your ability to rap and you had one last performance to be remembered by, what would you rap about?
-I have a song that’s never been recorded. In fact, it doesn’t even have a title. I would definitely rap that. I sure hope my spiritual connection doesn’t disconnect anytime soon because we’re just getting warmed up.
In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of being in the entertainment business?
-I think the most difficult part is realizing that I’m putting on my cleats and uniform every time I step out the house. The world is my playing field. So I have to visibly live by my words and play the game of life with great precision. Thus far, it’s been relatively easy.
What is your ultimate goal or dream that you want to accomplish?
-I want to make everyone around me wealthy. Not just financially but also spiritually and mentally wealthy. Then I’ll have the ultimate safety net for any contingencies that may arise.
Tell us something that you’re working on that your listeners/ viewers should be looking out for?
-I’m working on an EDM project with Bravo. Also I’m working on putting together the most amazing hip hop debut album we’ve heard in decades. So far I have like 70 tracks to choose from and that number is steadily increasing. Just follow me on this journey.
Do you write your own material or do you have writers who collaborate with you?
-I pretty much always write my own material. Songwriting is one of favorite pastimes. I don’t limit myself to just hip-hop. However, I do like collaborating with other creative people. I actually co-wrote the hook on “Been a Minute” with an artist named Sebastian– who is actually singing on the song. Collaborations are great when the vibes are right.
Where did you find the inspiration for your latest single “Been a Minute”?
-It just happened as soon as the beat started playing. I knew it was a good record so I had to sit and really write what I felt with as much precision as possible. Hip Hop is a beautiful thing. It has helped so many people tremendously. I think it has a certain quality that cannot be duplicated therefore I felt compelled to write a song about it.
Where can people find your music if they wanted to purchase it or see your live performances?
–The best thing to do is to check my website www.iamitylyon.com. And definitely follow me on my social media i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I will def let those people following me know what’s going in the world of Itylyon first.
Check out Itylyon Mayhem Official Video
For more information on Itylyon check out his sites