Every once in a while, in those gusts of Chicago winds, you’ll come across something worth keeping. And that’s precisely what happened when The Boy Illinois crept onto the music scene. The 24-year-old University of Illinois college drop-out is on a mission to grab the ears of listeners with slick delivery, sharp wordplay and most importantly by doing what he does best – being himself. And the mission, though not complete, is well underway.
Many have tried to compare him to other hip-hop artists but, The Boy Illinois or better known as Illi, is in a league of his own. With honest, heartfelt lyrics coupled with hard hitting beats mostly from in-house production duo, The Baron Boys, who’ve produced for the likes of Drake, Nipsey Hussle, Bow Wow and more; the young lyricist, performer and songwriter plans to follow in the footsteps of Chicago artists before him, while carving out his own place in music history.
Making the decision to leave college early isn’t for everyone, however for William Dalton it wasn’t so much a decision but a necessity. “I started really performing and decided that I needed to take this [music] seriously. I knew this is what I wanted my career to be”, says The Boy Illinois. The son of a musician and singer, music was always in his home while growing up, and the influence of old school jazz and R&B is quite apparent as you listen to his distinct ability to harmonize on his own hooks. “I would get tired of trying to find singers to sing my hooks the way I wrote them”, says Illinois. “So I would just do them by myself, and it worked.”