Illijam

This is what happens when a white, Christian drum-line junky from suburbia marries Hip-Hop.

How It all started

It's funny tracing God's guidance in retrospect. It's not always easy to see His hand in the moment, but He undeniably guides! 

Jungle Hype & Illijam's first recording session in a Quality Inn room converted to a dorm room at Liberty University. (January 2013) Here's that song!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXb8R-RgmKA

Jungle Hype & Illijam's first recording session in a Quality Inn room converted to a dorm room at Liberty University. (January 2013)

Here's that song!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXb8R-RgmKA

Having lived on the same dorm at Liberty University, Illijam & Jungle Hype connected in Spring 2013 to do a remix of Lecrae's "I Know". A friendship/musical partnership was born! While grinding on some music, Jungle Hype approached Illijam with the idea of trying to work together more officially under a quasi-group name. The ball began rolling.

A mask-less Jungle Hype raises funds for turntables with Illijam (Spring 2013)

A mask-less Jungle Hype raises funds for turntables with Illijam (Spring 2013)

Agreeing that they wanted a Scriptural basis for the music, they began brainstorming.  Illijam, meanwhile, had been mulling over Philippians 3:8 since 2008, and was hoping Jungle Hype would vibe with it like he did. Jungle Hype agreed that it conveyed the Gospel message well, and from there they began thinking of names.  Having gone through many group names (most of which are too embarrassing to write...GodSquad...psych haha), they finally narrowed things down to "Count It All Loss". Jungle Hype recommended "Count It Loss", reasoning that the 'it' could be fleshed out.  A crew, message, and movement was born.

Hype & Illi, impassioned by big dreams and an even bigger God, began working feverishly, releasing the "Precipice EP" (4/20/2013) and then the quasi-album "Expiration Date" (10/31/2013).  

Shortly after its release, the tandem sensed CiL needed a new member.

Back it up to Spring 2012 for just a second. David "Magoh" Johnson and Illijam had met through Viktory's R4 Featured Emcee Contest, and had worked on a couple of songs for Magoh's first mixtape, S.W.A.T. (June 2012). They kept in touch over the next few semesters.

Magoh came in to record with Illijam a few times before Illi referred him to Jungle Hype, whose equipment and abilities far-surpassed his own. Magoh's passion for the art & the Lord did not go unnoticed. The duo began tossing around Magoh's name, working with him on a few more songs in Fall 2013 in order to observe him. After the Count It Loss Cypher Part II, they were sold on all fronts: skill, grind, theology, & heart for Jesus. Magoh joined the crew in January 2014.

Illijam, Magoh, & Jungle Hype performing at Hip-Hop Night at Liberty University (11/18/2014)

Illijam, Magoh, & Jungle Hype performing at Hip-Hop Night at Liberty University (11/18/2014)

In August 2014, the trio moved in to an apartment a few miles from Liberty University's campus in order to work more on music productively.  They released a number of singles, and Jungle Hype released his debut album "Downside Up" on February 9, 2015.  In March 2015, Jungle Hype left to be with his family in Hawaii, and discontinued his tenure as an official member of Count It Loss in order to pursue a new creative direction.

Illijam performing alongside Killawatts (right) & Thiago DeSouza (drums) during his last show at Liberty University as a student (4/23/2015)

Illijam performing alongside Killawatts (right) & Thiago DeSouza (drums) during his last show at Liberty University as a student (4/23/2015)

Though leaving big shoes to fill, it wasn't long before Jungle Hype's role as the maestro of the movement passed into a new pair of capable hands. Having observed this particular producer from afar for about 18 months, and seeing in him great talent, potential to grow, versatility, and humility, Illijam & Magoh began building a closer relationship with Rey Santiago, aka REY.oh.EIGHT, in the time following Hype's departure. In April 2015, Illijam reached out to Rey about officially joining the movement, and he was down! Summer 2015 saw the addition of another producer to the ranks of Count It Loss. Matt Russel, a Liberty University student/producer who goes by RunFree, hit up Illijam about working on a song for their alma mater.  They bonded while working together, and on 10/23/2015, their song "Flame On" was used as the soundtrack for LU's Homecoming football game, with a crowd of 20,000+ in attendance. RunFree officially joined CiL in September 2015.

Illijam & Magoh both graduated from Liberty University in May of 2015, and moved to Pennsylvania and Texas, respectively.  They are looking to continue putting on excellent shows & making great music, all the while praying that God would use them in whatever way He chooses in order to show folks that knowing Jesus is the best part about being alive. Nothing beats that.

There's the short version of the start of it. Let's see where God takes it. #CountItLoss

#CountItLoss