MADD ILLZ was born in Fort Stockton, Texas and raised in Pine Hills, FL (West Orlando). Growing up in a family of painters, artists, and musicians, Music came natural to him. His grandfather taught him to play the guitar by ear. He came to learn about Hip-Hop by listening to KRS One with his older cousin. Growing up as Mexican American in West Orlando had it’s toll on him becoming an emcee.
“I came out of battle, I definitely have 100% confirmation it is because I was a Mexican rapper. It’s almost held me back in a way because of stereotypes in America being so strong. They were like this guy doesn’t belong here. He’s trying to get in our culture,” he said.
He started rapping in the early 90’s. He was given his first opportunity to rap on stage in elementary school during a school play when him and friend were given lines to memorize.
Influenced by KRS One, Rakim, Cannibus, Big Pun, Eminem, Tech N9ne, Bone Thugs & Harmony, and Supernatural, he packs flawless double-time raps with serious punchlines. He has hosted Paid Dues and performed at Rock The Bells several times. He made his mark in World Rap Championships in Atlanta and is undefeated in Atlanta to this day.
Over the years, he has become affiliated with Guerrilla Republik, Lounge Battles, and Grind Time Now. He has worked closely with many local and international artists. Recently, He has signed with Conscious Mind Records.
With his strong convictions with political and religious views on a global scale, He felt Guerrilla Republik was a movement that aligned with who he was an artist. With Guerrilla Republik, He has been able to be an influence to his community and is continuing to raise awareness through education in local communities. Guerrilla Republik supports artists and spreads music in their global network while helping them thrive in their communities.
Before Grind Time Now, He worked with Lounge Battles for over ten years. Grind Time Now didn’t come out till after Lounge Battle 6. His main goal with both has always been to create a platform of battle rap for artists to come out perform.
Grind Time Now is a YouTube’s Largest Battle Rap League Channel, that was founded by Drect. It has over 109 million views, with over 134,000 subscribers. He is the current owner and CEO of Grind Time Now.
“Some people are mad that Grind Time Now blew up than went down. We were the originators and some people can find something and make it better,” he stated.
Grind Time Now had the opportunity to help other sites like King of the Dot starting up. King of the Dot had more business-minded people up in Toronto, CA backing them up and recently with artists like Drake. King of the Dot and others like Ultimate Rap League were able to use the idea but their focus is usually on bringing in the big talents.
“We still have the largest reach. We just had a battle in Johannesburg, South Africa, while having our battle same day here with Zitro (Ozone Invasion),” he shared.
Grind Time Now while built on YouTube has now focused on the local fan base. They have made it a point to make the battles more private so the real fans can come out to the events. Their new focus is on the people who love the culture. Their last show was sold out because of this.
While coming from the battle scene, He has recently been working with Conscious Mind Records. This decision has been a taste of freedom for Madd Illz, since he runs and promotes for Grind Time Now as its current CEO. Knowing that he is in good hands with business being handled and funding for merchandise and his current tour “United Slaves of America Vol. 2”, He has been able to focus on his music.
His just released album, “United Slaves of America Vol. 2” has been one of his most involved projects. This is the sequel to his 2008 release, “United Slaves of America”.
A breathtaking performance as it speaks largely on social injustices by the government, religion, and social media. Using his defiant voice to speak out for people in their local community, he uses skillful wordplay, double-time rhyming, and insane rhyme schemes. Comparable to artists like Immortal Technique, Tech N9ne, and Twista.
“The music that I’ve made for The United Slaves of America 2 comes both from my story and from the stories of the people that I know throughout Orlando’s Hip Hop scene, and beyond,” he says of this new project. “I am in the process of going beyond being known as just a battle rapper and the owner of Grind Time Now, and The United Slaves… is the perfect way for me to do so. And partnering with both Conscious Mind Records and Studio 18 of Orlando has allowed me to be in a greater creative space to make this album. People can get a sense of what is on the album from the freestyle videos I’ve been posting on social media. This is truly powerful music that I am confident many people will hear and resonate towards,” shared MADD ILLZ.
He involved local talent and used local Studio 18 for his production.His features include Alex Minor, Jessica Tye, Niko IS, Kim, and Circa. His nationwide tour, United Slaves of America 2 Tour, started at the beginning of July.
“I sacrifice so much for my time trying to do what I do to pay bills and live off of this music. I will be in the studio for 12 hour days. Especially at the end trying to rap up the album. I spent so much time. I would walk out and I remember I didn’t even see the evening It was 3 days in a row and I was totally out of it. But that’s what I have to do, It’s my job. It’s not something that is not absolutely guaranteed. “
The Ozone Effect salutes Madd Illz on his tour, aspirations, and ambitions. It’s tough to stay true to your beliefs and not sell out to industry standards. A large voice for Orlando Hip Hop, we salute him and what he does to continue to do for our community. Please check him out online and follow his tour. Below are the links to purchase his new album and links to his social media outlets.