In the late 1990’s, DJs Statik, Panek, Phillee Blunt, and J-Boogie were DJing parties all over the city of Philadelphia and it’s surrounding areas’ college and hip-hop communities. While learning the business and building relationships with many up and coming artists of the city at the time, they began taking themselves more serious and in the year 2000, decided to form the DJ crew Illvibe Collective. The goal of the newly formed team was to share as much new, quality music as possible and preserve the classics for those who were appreciative of the culture. This objective led the crew to begin a series of mixed CD compilations spanning across many genres including hip-hop, funk, broken beat, house, and more. In the spirit of some of the mixtape legends of the past, Illvibe requested that some of their affiliates record special verses for their CD releases. Some of the artists Illvibe had the privilege of recording included Bahamadia, Grand Agent, Supastition, Percee P, Hezekiah, Dave Ghetto, and Maylay Sparks just to name a few. These freestyles and exclusive songs provided some of the best standout moments for the group’s mixtape collection throughout the years.
While Illvibe managed to build a loyal following at their parties, they also began to establish a solid listener base for their mixed CD compilations which were made available through their official website www.illvibe.net. In 2001, DJ Lil’ Dave joined the squad as J-Boogie focused more on his career in sports.* Dave brought with him, his own following from years of being a radio DJ and personality on Philadelphia’s WKDU. As interest in the crew continued to grow, they decided to launch their own internet radio station, simply titled Illvibe Radio, and with the support of several indie labels, began a weekly show they called The Sure Shot. The primary focus of this show was to showcase many of the independent hip-hop artists making music in the early 2000s and to keep fresh music on deck for Illvibe’s listeners when they were away from the parties.
Illvibe Radio predates the “podcast era” and therefore took much more effort to get the music to the listeners. Still the crew has had the pleasure and honor of having many guests at their home studio in Germantown for interviews on The Sure Shot including Masta Ace, Slum Village, Sway (MTV, Wake Up Show), Chino XL, 9th Wonder, Jean Grae, Peanut Butter Wolf, and more. The show is currently available as a monthly enhanced podcast at www.thesureshot.podomatic.com and a free subscription to the show can be found on iTunes.
*DJ Skipmode joined Illvibe Collective in 2003.