!llmind is having a moment. The New Jersey-born hip hop producer has a track on G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer ("The Morning"), and he’s working with two of the biggest names in K-Pop. Fuse’s Esteban Serrano visited !llmind in his Brooklyn home/studio to talk about his recent rise to prominence.
The genesis of Cruel Summer’s "The Morning" goes back to 2007, when !llmind met Chicago-rapper Rhymefest. "For a couple of years, I just kept sending him stuff whenever I had Kanye or him in mind," he says. "It must have been 100 beats. And then I get a phone call, the day after my birthday, August 29. I still have the text. I get a text from Rhymefest at 9 AM asking for a session to a beat I made. So I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ I woke up, went to the computer and sent it over. A couple of hours later he asked me to do a few things to it. Then he was like, 'I think Kanye wants to use this for a Pusha T song.' Then a few hours later, he’s like 'We got Raekwon on this.'"
But even making the album didn’t get !llmind an advanced copy of Cruel Summer, or at least not a legal one. "The first time I heard the complete album was when it leaked," he tells Esteban. "And I heard it, and I lost it. I would say my life has definitely changed since that moment."
For more on !llmind, including the time he served as a camp counselor for a member of A$AP Mob and his work with K-pop artists Drunken Tiger and Yoon Mi-rae (aka Tasha), check out the interview above.