By Mike Ramos
Tacoma tough-guy rap trio ILLFIGHTYOU — EvergreenOne, Ugly Frank and Khris P — have been in a group together for less than a year, and released their raucous self-titled debut just over a month ago. But their wildly antagonistic lyrics and hard-body beats (all produced by group member Khris P) that range from sneering, cracking new-school boom-bap to booming, skittering modern “trap” spinoffs have been racking up web clicks and blog features, suddenly making them one of the fastest-rising new groups out of the Northwest. We took a short trip down I-5 to catch up with Khris P and Ugly Frank at Tacoma’s Puget Sound Pizza, where everybody waited around for 15 or so minutes before realizing that EvergreenOne wasn’t going to show up. [Editor's Note: Strong language.]
ILLFIGHTYOU play Capitol Hill Block Party Sunday at 4:45 p.m. on the Barboza stage.
Q: So I guess we’ll just do this without him?
Ugly Frank: He’s probably in bed right now looking at his phone.
Khris P: He’s probably on twitter right now, with a pizza sitting on his stomach and Ninja Turtles on TV or something.
[Note: EvergreenOne later apologized for spacing on the interview, but explained it was because he took his son to the zoo]
Q: Have you guys ever been to the Block Party before?
Khris: To be really honest I didn’t know about it
Frank: [shakes head]
Q: Do you guys ever go to Capitol Hill or hang out there at all?
Khris: Not really.. We’ve been out there for our shows and then probably to like one or two stores out there, but that’s about it.
Q: You guys are relatively new as a group, how many shows have you done now? Any around Tacoma?
Khris: We haven’t done any out here, all of our shows have been up there [in Seattle]. How many have we done?
Khris: Yeah, like four, and all of them have been up there. And it just kept going up and getting better to me. The last one we did was the [LA rapper] YG [at Neumos in April]. You couldn’t beat that, know what I’m sayin’? It was before YG, so it was like a big-ass crowd. There was a lotta younger kids in there, but it was a real cool mixed crowd. A feeling like never before, the first time experiencing that shit, it was hella tight.
Q: That’s cool that they were rockin’ with you. Sometimes when there’s a local opener for a big name like that, people just come to see that big name and they’re kinda hostile to the openers.
Khris: Well it kinda was like that! When we stepped out onstage, I remember people’s faces.. like ‘who are these guys?’ Then they started looking interested, and it was cool, you know, we just commanded it.
Q: Did you guys get any impressions about the people or crowds in Capitol Hill from the shows you’ve performed?
Frank: .They’re pretty cool.
Khris: “Yeah, cool people. It’s like the people you would see in here.” [Note: EvergreenOne referred to Puget Sound Pizza “hipster central” in a text when setting up the interview]
Q: Any gameplan for the show? It’s on the last day, so a lot of people will have been there for a while.
Khris: We don’t have game plans. I wish I could go on Saturday though so I could see Danny Brown.
Frank: “That would be tight.
Khris: We saw him when he came in like October.
Frank: Yeah, we did see him, huh?
Khris: Yeah when he was with A$AP [Rocky] and Schoolboy [Q]. He was first but he had the best set.
Frank: Are we going in the middle or are we going first?
Khris: What are you talking about?
Frank: For Block Party.
Khris: It’s not like that. It’s like this person goes on at this time. They keep on rotating because some people might wanna come see these people. So it’s like you gotta find a stage.
Frank: So we’ll have, like, 10 people? That would be sick. [Laughs] Nah, I’m sure we’ll have enough people, but I wouldn’t even mind if it was only 10. We’ll have it jumpin’ still, those 10 people we’ll make sure they have hella fun.
Khris: So they can tell the rest of Block Party, “‘Ya’ll missed it.”
Q: What kind of Block Party fans do you guys want to come see you perform?
Khris: Whoever will enjoy themselves man. Whoever wants to come get loose, be wildin out, whatever you wanna do, I don’t care who it is! Get off work and come see us, just show up.
Q: Are you guys gonna stick around and see any other performances on Sunday?
Khris: I think Jarv [Dee] is going on right before or after us, but I’m probably gonna check that out.. that’s the only person I know who’s performing that day.
Q: The Flaming Lips are the main headliner that night, you guys ever listen to them?
Khris: For real? I’d go to one of their shows man, I’ve seen how that dude be coming out in that big ball and shit, jumping on the crowd and everything, it’s tight… If that’s goin’ on, I’ll check that out. I might be interested in checking out some rock acts.. I’m not looking for no EDM or anything, but I’ll check out some rock shit.
[At this point, the conversation turns to the pizza selection near Capitol Hill Block Party.]
K: You guys got Pagliacci up there, though. I’m hip to Pagliacci.
F: What was that one that we ate across from Neumos?
Q: Big Mario’s?
F: Yeah!. That shit was fire
K: We some pizza connoisseurs, man
F: Yea, they had the biggest pizza I ever saw by the slice, like $2.50?
ST: Big Mario’s is actually inside the area sectioned off for Block Party..
K: Damn, there’s ’bout to be hella people there then. I’m bout to be mad. Might have to punch people in line just to get some pizza!