Ray iLLa – Unique Individual (Official Video)
Music runs in Ray iLLa’s blood. Coming from a family where everyone either sings or plays an instrument, it wasn’t long before the rapper started making music of his own. Born and raised in Chicago, Ray iLLa started playing instruments young, eventually turning to freestyling as a way of engaging his love for the craft. Now, he’s what he calls a “rapper’s rapper”, speaking on everything from politics to his own personal experiences and constantly wafting between motivational slick talk and street-conscious storytelling.
Ray iLLa has come a long way. He started off on the drums in grade school then worked his way up to the school band, eventually entering the world of rap through freestyling and recording his own songs. When the road got bumpy, music was what saved him. “Making music every day helped me to not lose my head, on top of pick a better career and path,” he recalls. In 2013, he performed at the “Chicago Hope” show alongside other Chicago artists including Lil Durk, G Herbo, Dreezy, and King Louie. In 2016, he went on the “Guerrilla Tourfare” tour— his first run through Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, New York, and Atlanta.
Now, Ray iLLa is in charge of everything to do with his music, writing his own lyrics, part-time producing his own songs, engineering his work, and directing his visuals. With his first self-directed visual “Unique Individual” racking up over 190,000 views, the road is looking brighter than ever, and Ray iLLa is on track to put out some of the biggest records of his career. Through and through, Ray iLLa hopes to make music that people can resonate with and be inspired by, and to help pave the way for other up-and-coming artists trying to make a way for themselves. “If you don’t work, you don’t eat,” he advises others. “If you don’t grind, you don’t shine.”