Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Joint: Illus Featuring Gift Of Gab & Paul Dateh - “Better”, From New Illus LP “For Adam”

Each verse of “Better” is based on a true story. Illus explains:
The basic idea of "Better" was to tell three separate stories about individuals who overcame incredible hardships to make their lives “better” despite all the odds. So many of us feel as if our problems are huge, but the truth is there are people who go through much worse. It’s important to keep that in perspective.

What really touched me about these particular stories is I really felt if anyone deserved to be angry at the world it was these people but they all stayed positive and focused on the future without losing themselves in the struggles of the past.

This was actually the first song recorded for the album- FOR ADAM. I first met Gift of Gab in 2002, touring and opening up for Public Enemy together. When the concept of the song came together I knew he would be the perfect storyteller to collaborate with. Paul Dateh sings the chorus I had written and really pulled it together and made it incredible. Paul is a gifted singer and musician and a rising star.

The first verse is inspired by the story of James Bain, a man who served 35 years in prison for a crime DNA now proves he did not commit. He was the 248th person exonerated through DNA evidence in the United States.

Bain was 19 years old when he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He sought DNA testing several times on appeal, but was denied in 2001, 2003 and 2006. The Innocence Project of Florida took on his case and obtained DNA testing on evidence from the crime scene.

“When I heard about Mr. Bain’s story, I was inspired by his strength and positive attitude. At the time of his release I was 35 myself and it broke my heart thinking how he had been in prison my whole life and was innocent. I couldn’t even imagine. When he was released he didn’t seem bitter or angry at all, and seeing that positive strength in someone who had every right to be angry was incredible.”

“Thanks to the good people at The Innocent project (, there are people getting a second chance at life. They need all the support they can get and I hope I can bring some awareness to this cause through my music”

“The second verse is about a person very close to Gift of Gab who served time and worked hard to improve his life and become a role model in his community. I’d rather have him elaborate on the details but basically this is a story of a man who paid for his crimes and despite turning his life around and helping others, he is still judged by some authority figures for his past. Luckily he doesn’t let that get in the way of his goals and continues to stay positive and move forward.”

“The Third verse was inspired by a story I read about human trafficking and the modern slave trade right here in America. This young girl was kidnapped and forced into slavery, and her pimps sold her to customers who repeatedly raped her. She was beaten and abused and treated worse than an animal. How anyone can do this to a child, I have no idea.

So when I hear rappers glorifying the “pimp” lifestyle it really sickens me. It was an incredibly depressing story but fortunately it ended with her being rescued and returned to her family. They never stopped believing they would find her and never gave up hope. So many others never get that second chance and it is heartbreaking.

A few stats that are mind-blowing: there are more than 30 million people in forced slavery around the world and 1.2 million of them are children. 14-17,500 are trafficked in the U.S. annually. And these are just the cases they know of. To learn more and to get involved in the fight against human trafficking check out
Download Illus Featuring Gift Of Gab & Paul Dateh - “Better”

Illus For Adam Tracklisting:
1. Requiem For Adam featuring scratches by Public Enemy’s DJ Johnny Juice
2. Unstoppable featuring Freddie Foxxx aka Bumpy Knuckles and Paul Dateh with scratches by Public Enemy’s DJ Johnny Juice
3. Red Dawn
4. Born Criminal
5. Brighter Day featuring Craig G, Reef the Lost Cauze and Block McCloud
6. Free featuring Homeboy Sandman and J.J. Brown
7. Better featuring Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and Paul Dateh
8. Sons & Daughters featuring Eternia, Wordsworth from EMC, Erin Barra
9. R.I.F. featuring Paul Dateh
10. Make Some Noize

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