Ibn Inglor is one of the new names in the Chicago rap scene. With slowly climbing publicity over the last year or so, the 20-year-old seems to be gaining more and more buzz each day, especially after the release of his critically acclaimed mixtape, Gawdspeed and his buffet of weekly tracks. His music is infectious: an infinite matrix of dark hallways. Nightmare villains and haunted house psychosis. Tracks with names like “Goddess Gold” and “Broken Lungs.” The production selection that Inglor chooses is enough to wrap you entire, to take you away from your reality and smash you into a dark world where music is a positive outlet, where stress goes away with atmospheric shouts and echoes, where the inevitable pain of living in housing projects is taken away with headphones and scribbled lyrics. I chatted with the Windy City hustler and we talked everything from sunflower seeds to James Blake to Inglor’s upcoming projects. Don’t sleep. Get ready for the cold.
“Holy passes. Just hopeless, holdin’ my casket with hopes of unholy action. I’m coast to coast with the traffic.”
neonpajamas: Hey man, how’s it going?
Ibn Inglor: Chillin’. Finishing up projects.
neonpajamas: How do you pronounce your name? (I read it like Ibbin In-Glore, am I right?)
II: Hahaha yeah, Ibn (pronounced Ibbin, rhymes with Ribbin). Common mistake for people to say Ibin (Eye-Bin). The name is Islamic and means “Son Of” and is actually my middle name.
neonpajamas: How has 2013 been treating you?
II: It’s been a fast year. Slow at first, but picked up major speed over the summer.
neonpajamas: New Wave dropping soon, are you finished with it?
II: Yea. The projected Date is Sept 26th. But we’ll see what happens.
neonpajamas: What’s next?
II: The debut LP dropping spring/summer 2014
neonpajamas: How long have you been rapping?
II: For a good minute now, since I was in 7-8th grade. I’ve officially been under the Chicago scene for about a year now. I was first posted on FSD (FakeShoreDrive) May 10, 2012.
neonpajamas: You have come a long way from No Substance two years ago. How have you changed?II: Ahahah mann, No Substance was a let out honestly. Since then, it’s been the same form of let out, but just on a “not so personal” level. I had a full-length project entitled Me Soon before No Substance dropped. Both of them were nothing but pain projects: family issues, dad issues, mom issues. Everything. I’ve just tried to turn it around and not blast certain people in my life as much anymore.
neonpajamas: What inspires you?
II: Singers. Shit, anything honestly. Watching YouTube performances and seeing the control over the crowd, how amp fans be, how they know all the words to your songs. Shit just amazes me. I want that shit bad. man. It’s many things in this world that inspire me, shit I can be listenin’ to James Blake’s Overgrown album and feel the need to make a beat all because the production is so cold, or even feel the need to write a song. It’s kinda weird cause I can write lyrics for my song by listening to another.
neonpajamas: What was the last great rap album that you listened to?
II: It’s tough. I’d have to say Kendrick’s Section 80.
neonpajamas: Are you still living in the Gardens?
II: Yeah, I still live out there.
neonpajamas: Man, my favorite song of yours is “Hermes (Runnin’)”, that track is wild. On the song, you say, “What happens when a battle meets the tallest walls? Call it off!” Can you explain that line?
II: Man, it’s been a minute since I’ve wrote those lyrics lol, but it’s mainly ’bout how most of the time you have a struggle that’s hard to overcome. Some say, “Push through it,” but that line is basically saying, “Fight until you reach your limit. If you need to take a break, do so, then continue.”
neonpajamas: Your music is a step outside of the hip-hop box, something new and industrial, as they say. I bet it is impossible to avoid the Kanye comparisons, but was he the one who enlightened you on this style of hip-hop?
II: Man, those comparisons never fail to roll in, but Kanye has been and still is a huge inspiration to me for being the envelope pusher. I’d say Kanye showed me how to make sure shit is always A+ or isn’t shit at all. Far as “this style of hip-hop,” I mean, I’m dark by nature. I’m a loner and just don’t like to be around people that much. Some call me emo, a homebody, etc lol, but I don’t know. It’s just something that rolled over into my music honestly. At first on the Me Soon and No Substance tapes, I couldn’t control the anger and hurt like I can now. On the flip side of that, it’s like people told me I should change my music up and make more happier songs: songs about females and parties. It’s not that I couldn’t because that’s what made me make “Song for Bitches” (people ended up saying that was dark, also), but it’s just like it wasn’t what I was feeling when I heard beats. It wasn’t what I was trying to get off my chest at the moment. So Kanye inspired and helped me form a certain mindset of perfection and nothing less. I can’t doubt that he inspires me, but I’ve always been this type of person/artist making this type of music.
neonpajamas: What are some studio necessities?
II: Ranch Sunflower Seeds, 2 for a $1 or the one fat ass bag for $1. Sprite or Sierra Mist and just good vibes.
neonpajamas: Who would you like to collaborate with?
II: Honestly not sure because I’m a BIG fan of a lot of artists, but I feel sometimes that’s all you can possibly be. Just because you’re a big fan of somebody doesn’t always mean you guys should collab. It just takes great chemistry to make great records. Now if the attempt is successful, then that’s great. If not, then you just have to continue to be a big fan. So I’d say Kendrick, Kanye, Big Sean, Jay-Z, The Weeknd, FKA twigs, Justin Timberlake, James Blake, PYYRAMIDS, and a lot more.
neonpajamas: Are you collaborating with any of the bigger Chicago names?
neonpajamas: Any final thoughts/shout-outs/words of wisdom?