If my memory serves me correctly legends like Tunnel Rat emcees Propaganda & Jurny Big both reign from Covina, California (others West Covina specifically). One question that has permeated in my head over the last three to five years is, who’s next? It naturally can’t just be anyone nor is the West just going to let anyone claim Covina. Enter Illsamar, who with her debut EP “Foreign” shows her potential to keep carrying the legacy.
After a few listens to “Foreign” I took this project in multiple ways. For one “Foreign” introduces the world to a woman who’s been through the struggle. Tracks like “Black Hole” & “Voices” has Illsamar letting us in completely into some of the darker times of her journey so far. These tracks are amplified by her choice of guests, but at the end of the day its Illsamar’s story that sticks out.
In this same breathe though, it almost seems like for Illsamar, this is a transition period for her. A good portion of the project talks about the past and what she’s gone through, tracks like “Back Around” & “Gotham” signal that Illsamar has already arrived. There’s nothing left to do but cut the check. “Foreign II” is the interlude that brings Illsamar’s transformation full circle, from that point on Illsamar is confident in her approach and what’s to come in her life.
“Foreign” sets the foundation of what is guaranteed to be a potent career from the Covina hero. Illsamar gives her story of her rise and while the journey isn’t over and there’s a ton of growth to be done. “Foreign” is a standout EP filled with passion, hip-hop fervor and even a bit of experimentation, don’t miss out.