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Illmind 02.jpg
Illmind in 2012
Background information
Ramon Ibanga, Jr.
OriginBloomfield, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • educator
LabelsRoseville Music Group

Ramon Ibanga, Jr., professionally known as Illmind (often stylized as !llmind), is a Filipino American record producer, songwriter, and educator. As of 2012, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.[1]

Illmind has co-written and produced hip hop, trap, pop, soul, and electronic music for labels such as Cash Money, Def Jam, and Aftermath, and has worked with artists such as Andy Mineo, Kanye West, Drake, J. Cole, Dr. Dre, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Ariana Grande, and others. His accomplishments in 2016 include production on the new Hamilton Mixtape and Disney's Moana (2016 film), both created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Illmind has released several studio albums and had a number of songs and albums reach the music charts.[2]

His most recent album, Human, is a collaboration with Joell Ortiz, and was released on July 17, 2015.[3] He established his own multi-genre music company Roseville Music Group in 2014.[4]

Early life

Ramon Ibanga, Jr. was born on August 28[5] in New Jersey, where he was raised in the city of Newark, New Jersey before later moving with his family to Bloomfield, New Jersey.[6] His family provided a strong musical background, as his father was a musician and his older brother Les-Paul was even named after the late Les Paul.[7]

Illmind started using his father's equipment to make beats around age 13, specifically learning MIDI and sequencing on a Roland KR-500 keyboard.[6] In his early teens he developed an interest in hip hop,[8] and started producing music in 1997.[9]

Around 1999, he began to take production more seriously and he started sampling, using both hip hop vinyl and obscure records such as his father's old jazz and soul albums from the Philippines. He began using the program Cubase and an Akai S20 sampler around age 17.[6][8]

Music career


After learning sampling, Illmind began making his own beats and sounds,[9] and in 1999 began uploading his music to online forums such as Around 2001 he started participating in the Beat Society producer showcases in Philadelphia.[7][7]

Illmind started his production career working with groups like Little Brother and Boot Camp Clik;[6] he had met Boot Camp Clik after being introduced through Khrysis, and he started working with Little Brother after being introduced to their music around 2000. His first official collaborative release with the latter was Nobody Like Me.[8]

In March 2004 Illmind's remix of the Jay-Z's Black Album, called The Black and Tan Album, was released to a positive review in The New York Times, who stated "Sparse is the aesthetic for !llmind's remixes, which set out to do more with less: techno boops, ticking drums, laid-back bass lines, three or four notes from a guitar or keyboard. Illmind's minimalism makes Jay-Z sound almost nonchalant."[10]Sha Money XL, a G-Unit executive, served as Illmind's manager for several years.[6] During this time, Illmind went on to produce songs with Erykah Badu, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Lloyd Banks, Prodigy, Kool G Rap, Redman, Scarface, LL Cool J, El Da Sensei, Diamond D, KRS-One, and others.[8] He produced the 2008 Akrobatik hip hop album Absolute Value.[11]

In summer of 2012 Illmind's track "The Morning" was included on Cruel Summer, a compilation album released on Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. The song peaked at 19 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, and 49 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[12]

The genesis of the track was 2007, when Illmind met Chicago-rapper Rhymefest and started sending him beats. "For a couple of years, I just kept sending him stuff whenever I had Kanye or him in mind. It must have been 100 beats. And then I get a phone call ... from Rhymefest ... asking for a session to a beat I made. Then he was like, 'I think Kanye wants to use this for a Pusha T song.' Then a few hours later, he's like 'We got Raekwon on this.' The first time I heard the complete album was when it leaked. And I heard it, and I lost it. I would say my life has definitely changed since that moment."[5]

In 2008 he won the Philadelphia Red Bull Big Tune Beat Battle.[7] Since 2012, he has shared the stage in beat showcases with artists such as Kanye West, Just Blaze, Nottz, and Don Cannon.[1] Illmind produced music for Hoodie Allen's mixtape, Crew Cuts. The single "Cake Boy" premiered on February 11, 2013 via YouTube with over 30,000 views in the first day.[13]

In 2015, Illmind helped Skyzoo on the album Music For My Friends, producing five tracks.[14] and helping Skyzoo co-produce the track "Luxury".[15] He was executive producer for Andy Mineo's album, Uncomfortable, which released on September 18.[16]

Towards the end of 2016, Illmind produced the outro credits for Disney's "Moana", a track titled "You're Welcome", Ft. both Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jordan Fisher[17]

Beyond his work on the Disney project the producer took an active role in working on "The Hamilton Mixtape", album released via Atlantic Records. In addition to his work on the project with artists such as Nas, Common, The Roots, Ingrid Michaelson, & others, Illmind has his own track, "Take A Break - Interlude," appear on the album [18]

In 2017, Illmind worked with Future[19], Khalid[20], Lil Uzi Vert[21], Bryson Tiller[22], A Boogie wit da Hoodie[23], Meek Mill[24], and others on their respective major label releases.

Studio albums

In 2005, he produced and released an entire album on the label BBE with fellow producer Symbolyc One called The Art Of Onemind, which featured artists such as Ghostface Killah.[7] He released The Official !llmind Remix Album in 2009 on myx,[25] and a 2010 LP with lyricist Skyzoo called Live From The Tape Deck on Duck Down Records.[26]

In May 2010, lyricist and rapper Skyzoo had announced that he and Illmind were collaborating on an album called Live from the Tape Deck.[28] Recording sessions took place at Big China Studios in Brooklyn, New York in 2010.[29] The entire album was produced, mixed and arranged by Illmind, and was mastered by Ricardo Gutierrez.![30]

Live from the Tape Deck debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums.[2] The album entered the Top Rap Albums, peaking at #16,[31] as well as entering at #30 on the Top Independent Albums[32] and #33 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.[33] The album was met with positive reviews from music critics. SPIN's Mosi Reeves gave the album a seven out of ten, saying: "On this duo's debut full-length, Skyzoo was nicely complemented by !llmind's production, which ranges from the Dilla-like soul loop of "#Allaboutthat" to the fuzzy '70s-cop-show funk of 'The Now or Never.' Live from the Tape Deck is full of stolid striver anthems...but the album's meat-and-potatoes consistency remains bracing throughout."[34]

Beh!nd The Curta!n, Illmind's first official instrumental album, came out on April 19, 2011 through Brooklyn-based Nature Sounds Records.[6] He followed this up with the second instrumental album #BoomTrap EP, an eight-track EP released in January of 2014.[35] He shortly after released the drum kit #BoomTrap "The Drums", which includes extracts from the EP. Only 200 copies of the kit were offered.[36] His most recent album, Human, is a collaboration with Joell Ortiz, and will be released on July 17, 2015.[3]

Business and teaching

!llmind has been featured in magazines and online publications such as Scratch Magazine (Top 20 Best Producers), Hip Hop Weekly, Mass Appeal, The Source, XXL,, and In the summer of 2012 !llmind started offering consulting services as a member the online service Blazetrak,[1] and he later formed an independent online consultation service.[9]

As of July 2012, Illmind was a senior contributor at[1] He taught music production at the non-profit organization Harlem Children's Zone from 2007-09,[6] and he was later hired by the Clive Davis Department Of Recorded Music at NYU as a Technical Music Instructor for a program called "Future Music Moguls."[1]

He has received a great deal of recognition for his continued contributions to the producer community at large as an educator, business man and innovator in the space. Beyond launching the premier drum kit business within the music world, he has launched a "Pass The Aux", workshop series, and is committed to daily one on one interaction with the upcoming producer community.[37][38]

Style and equipment

Illmind has called himself a fan of producers such as J Dilla and Pete Rock,[1] but writes and produces a variety of genres. About his style, he has stated "I just try to create the music I like, period. I've got a pretty diverse taste in music, so I'm managing to not get bored, which is awesome. There's a lot of talent out there, and I think that's what continues to drive me as well."![9]


Studio albums

Year Title Album details Peak chart positions
US R&B Rap Ind
2005 The Art of OneMind
(with Symbolyc One)
-- -- -- --
2009 The Official !llmind
Remix Album
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: myx[25]
  • Format: Digital download
-- -- -- --
2010 Live from the Tape Deck
(with Skyzoo)
3[2] 33[33] 16[31] 30[32]
2011 Behind The Curtain
  • Released: April 19, 2011
  • Label: Nature Sounds
  • Format: Digital download
-- -- -- --
2014 #BoomTrap EP -- -- -- --
2015 Human
(with Joell Ortiz)


  • 2008: Blaps, Rhymes & Life
  • 2009: Blaps, Rhymes & Life, Vol II
  • 2009: Blaps, Rhymes & Life, Vol III[39]
  • 2009: Blaps, Rhymes & Life, Vol IV[40]
  • 2011: Blaps, Rhymes & Life, Vol V[41]

Selected production credits

Peak chart positions

Singles produced by !llmind, with selected singles chart positions
Year Song title Song details Chart peaks
Hot100 R&B
2012 "The Morning" 19[12] 49[12]
Albums with tracks produced by !llmind, with selected album chart positions
Year Album title Album/song details Chart peaks
US R&B Rap Ind
2006 The Last Stand
(by Boot Camp Clik)
-- 48 -- 20
2007 Nu-Mixx Klazzics Vol. 2
(by 2Pac)
  • Tracks: "What'z Ya Phone # [Nu Mixx]"
  • Label: Tha Row/Koch
45[42] 8[42] -- 2[42]
2008 Emeritus
(by Scarface)
  • Tracks: "It's Not A Game," "Who Are They"
  • Label: Rap-a-Lot
24[43] 4[43] -- --
2014 2014 Forest Hills Drive
(by J. Cole)
1 1 1 --
2015 If You're Reading This It's Too Late
(by Drake)
1 1 1 --
The Beast Is G-Unit
(by G-Unit)
27 3 3 2
(by Ludacris)
  • Tracks: "Lyrical Healing," "Charge It to the Rap Game"
  • Label: Def Jam
3 2 2 --


The following is an incomplete list of albums and singles produced by Illmind/!llmind.

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ a b c d e f Brady, Travis (July 17, 2012). "Exclusive Interview - Bangin Beats With Illmind". The Drum Broker. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c "Skyzoo - Chart history | Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Goddard, Kevin (June 9, 2015). "Joell Ortiz & !llmind Announce Joint Album "Human"". Retrieved .}
  4. ^ "About". Roseville Music Group. 2015. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b Berman, Taylor (September 26, 2012). "Breakout Producer !llmind Talks G.O.O.D. Music & K-Pop". Fuse TV. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Edelstein, Alex (October 12, 2010). "NYC Hip-Hop's Next Wave: Illmind On Career, Community & New Collaborations". Sonic Scoop. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b c d e Boland, Justin (January 16, 2011). "!llmind: Building a Business off Beats". Audible Hype. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b c d Martinez, Rafael (May 2, 2007). "'The drums definitely got to bang'". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved .
  9. ^ a b c d Indiana, Phil (January 2013). "Interview: Illmind". The Couch Sessions. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Pareles, Jon (March 7, 2004). "MUSIC: PLAYLIST; Silver, Brown, Gray: Jay-Z Every Which Way". New York Times. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Johnsen, Will (February 19, 2008). "Akrobatik delivers the "Absolute Value" of Hip Hop". Seattle PI. Retrieved .
  12. ^ a b c "Billboard". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2012.
  13. ^ "Hoodie Allen - "Cake Boy" (Official Video)". Hoodie Allen, LLC. February 11, 2013. Retrieved .
  14. ^ a b Garrett, Ural (April 28, 2015). "Skyzoo "Music For My Friends" Release Date, Cover Art & Tracklist". Retrieved .
  15. ^ Barrow, JL (May 28, 2015). "Skyzoo Tries His Hand At Production On "Luxury"". Retrieved .
  16. ^ HipHopDX. "Andy Mineo "Uncomfortable" Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklist & Album Stream". Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Music producer Illmind turns basement beats into 'Filipino Fire'". NBC News. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "'Hamilton Mixtape' Producer !llmind Talks Teaming With Lin-Manuel Miranda & Hints at Unreleased Material". Billboard. Retrieved .
  19. ^ Future - Zoom, retrieved
  20. ^ "Singer Khalid debuts confidently with 'American Teen'". Rolling Out. 2017-05-22. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Here Are the Production Credits for Lil Uzi Vert's 'Luv Is Rage 2'". XXL Mag. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Here Are the Production and Sample Credits for Bryson Tiller's 'True to Self'". Complex. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie & 21 Savage Are "Undefeated" On Their New Collaboration". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Production Credits for Meek Mill's 'Wins & Losses' Album". XXL Mag. Retrieved .
  25. ^ a b "Illmind x Fortilive x Slum Village | 2dopeboyz". 2009-07-29. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Skyzoo & Illmind to Release Collab Album". 2010-05-27. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "Skyzoo & !llmind: Live From The Tape Deck [Artwork + Tracklist]". 2010-08-17. Retrieved .
  28. ^ Blakcitrus (May 27, 2010). "Skyzoo & Ill Mind [sic] Prep New Album, 'Live From The Tape Deck'". Kickmag. Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ "Illmind/Skyzoo - Live from the Tape Deck". CD Universe. Retrieved 2013.
  30. ^ "Live from the Tape Deck - Illmind, Skyzoo". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Credits. Retrieved 2013.
  31. ^ a b "Chart history | Rap Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2013.
  32. ^ a b "Skyzoo - Chart history | Top Independent Albums Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2013.
  33. ^ a b "Skyzoo - Chart history | Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2013.
  34. ^ Reeves, Mosi (2010-11-03). "Skyzoo & Illmind, 'Live From the Tape Deck' (Duck Down)". SPIN. Retrieved .
  35. ^ a b Thomas, Chris (January 8, 2014). "Illmind - #BoomTrap EP [LISTEN]". HipHopWired. Retrieved .
  36. ^ Banks, Corry (January 18, 2014). "Illmind - #BoomTrap "The Drums"". BBoy Tech Report. Retrieved .
  37. ^ "Episode 794: How To Make It In The Music Business". Retrieved .
  38. ^ Setaro, Shawn. "Hip-Hop Producer !llmind Makes Businesses As Well As Beats". Forbes. Retrieved .
  39. ^ Gotty(TM) (2009-07-01). "Illmind Presents Blaps, Rhymes & Life Vol. 3 | The Smoking Section". Retrieved .
  40. ^ "!llmind x Dub MD - Blaps, Rhymes & Life Vol. 4 (Mixtape)". 2009-12-15. Retrieved .
  41. ^ "Blaps, Rhymes & Life". 2dopeboyz. 2011-03-02. Retrieved .
  42. ^ a b c "2Pac". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  43. ^ a b Billboard Albums: Emeritus.; retrieved 2010-01-30.

External links

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