One show. That’s all it takes to recognize that the Cape Verdean-American artist known as, iLLspokinn, is not your average creative.
He transcends boundaries and lives his truth, inspiring others to realize their highest potential through music and mentoring.
iLLspokinn’s versatility and indisputable musical prowess combined with the openness and honesty in his work, has led to collaborations with a plethora of artists including Grammy Award-winning vocalist, Maya Azucena and Grammy Award-winning musician, Joe Lovano.
He has built a worldwide following through an array of rap music releases, one-of-a-kind Hip Hop workshops and an extensive international touring schedule spanning close to a decade. As if that weren’t enough he is also a highly sought after DJ and is a songwriter for various artists, commercials and television. His song “Here We Go Again” was featured in NBC’s Winter Olympics commercial promos and he has written and performed music for a number of prime-time television shows.
As an official U.S. Ambassador of Culture, iLLspokinn’s talents have taken him across the world, with an especially strong following in Europe and Africa. To date, he has performed and held workshops in more than 24 countries including Cabo Verde, Hungary, China, & Turkey.
His rap single “Last Call” remained at number one on the FlaixFm dance charts in Barcelona for fourteen weeks. As a force in the Hip Hop community, he has been a repeat guest speaker at numerous universities including NYU and The New School in New York City.
In 2016 iLLspokinn was a featured performer at the Atlantic Music Expo in Praia, Cabo Verde. His live performance set--a unique mix of traditional remixes, hypnotic hip hop, and high energy dance music—garnered so much attention that it sparked a series of festival bookings including the Timitar Festival in Morocco where he played for a crowd of more than 80,000 and Sziget Festival in Hungary.
2017 brought iLLspokinn to Houston, Texas where the NFL invited him to DJ the Official NFL Pre-Party for Super Bowl LI. He has also been the resident featured DJ at the NBA London games since 2016 playing for more than 18,000 fans. In 2019, in addition to DJing the big game, he also received the “Beats By Dre Artist Spotlight” highlighting his career as an independent artist.
Closer to home, iLLspokinn works to serve his community and give back. In addition to various mentorships, he is also a Vinyl DJ instructor, co-founder of Urban Art Beat and works with Arts By The People, holding bi-weekly rap and percussion workshops for senior citizens to lower their risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is the producer, host, and co-founder of the raucous and wildly creative New York City-based, Freestyle Mondays--the longest running Hip Hop event featuring a live band. The popularity of the series extends well beyond U.S. borders with satellite versions having been launched in the Czech Republic and France.
“Each part of what I do--what I’ve done as an educator, Emcee, DJ, writer and as a human being--has contributed to my success on a larger, more worldly level. Each element of what I do has opened doors for other elements in every area.”