Declaime, illmindmuzik

Declaime, illmindmuzik (1999)

Declaime first appeared as a guest artist on Lootpack’s Soundpieces, but illmindmuzik is his first solo endeavor.  A rhymer with a guttural voice not unlike Method Man’s trademark croak, he spins tightly wound verses that expand with each line. On illmindmuzik, he addresses oft-explored topics like weed (“Roll ‘Em Right”) and the end of the world (“Wicked Wayz”), but his non-linear approach yields some unexpected insights. For example, on “Roll ‘Em Right,” each time the chorus tumbles out of Declaime’s mouth – “Even though I’m righteous/I roll ‘em right with/Blunts, zig zags, stress, chronic and hash” – you can feel the blunted flashbacks. As illmindmuzik’s sole producer, Madlib shows marked improvement over his work on Soundpieces. Gone are the meandering loops that marred the Lootpack’s debut; each track, whether it be the laid-back acoustic groove of “Roll’ Em Right” or the funky scratch guitar of “Trouble N Da West,” fit Declaime’s words like a glove. Thanks to Madlib’s excellent work, illmindmuzik is as much his success as Declaime’s: both have created one of 1999’s pleasant surprises. Good Vibe Recordings.

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