Ill Semantics

Formed in 1993, the line-up consists of MC’s Patriarch and Nemesis, and DMC & ITF DJ Champ DJCXL.

Ill Semantics have established themselves over the years as the best authentic and purest Hip Hop sound to emerge from urban New Zealand whilst still delivering songs that catch radio attention.

Ill Semantics first appeared with Dawn Raid on the debut compilation ‘South Side Story’ in 2000 which was followed up a year later with two songs featured on ‘South Side Story 2: International’,
‘Unstoppable’ and the monster underground hit ‘Verbal Assault’ which was the #1 song on bFM for five weeks. The success of this song led Ill Semantics to land a number of high profile performances with national and international artists such as Che Fu, Naughty by Nature, Nelly Furtado, and opening for Destinys Child, (Destinys Child’s manager was so impressed with DJCXL that they
asked him to continue the rest of the world tour with them, which he unfortunately declined due to studio commitments).

The Ill Semantics name kept growing as they became recognised for their energetic live shows, and was strengthened even further when they collaborated with P-Money on the single, ‘Drop that Ish’, which also went on to sit at the #1 spot on bFM for eight consecutive weeks and remaining in the charts for over half a year. Because of its popularity in 2002 it was featured on DJ Sir-Vere’s ‘Major Flavors 2’ mix compilation.

In 2002, they released their debut album ‘Theory of Meaning’ with the unforgettable singles ‘Watching You’, ‘The Journey’. and ‘Highway’ In 2006, they released their sophomore album ‘Good Musik’. And with it the smash single ‘On and On’ which charted at #32 on the NZ TOP40. To their name, Ill Semantics have also been finalists at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards for the record ‘Highway’ as well (recognising the penmanship of artists).

In 2007, Patriarch decided it was time to start his own label, to create and release music he would be proud of as well as having more control. This gave rise to independent label Illegal Musik which ended up consuming most of the teams time and halted the musical progress of Ill Semantics. However, with Patriarch’s passion and drive it has helped unearth some great musical talent the likes of J.Williams, K.One, Tomorrow People, Brooke Duff, Tyson Tyler, Mixt Frequencies, Erakah and the creation of some great projects such as Titanium & The Aotearoa Reggae AllStars. As a result, of nurturing this talent the label has countless NZTOP40 chart breakers as well as gold and platinum sales for both singles and albums.

Fast Forward to 2014 (7 years later), it’s time to bring Ill Semantics to the fore and release the final part of their musical journey. And to get things started right they’ve created the anthem ‘You Got It’ with guest appearances from Scribe & K.One. We’ll let the track speak for itself….


Fiasco featuring Devolo

See More of Ill Semantics

On Illegal Musik’s Youtube Channel