Phillip Morris. A man who has no idea what the word "cool" means, in any sense other than temperature. A revolutionary thinker trapped inside of an emcee’s frame. After years of honing his rhyme skills, in 2004 he hit the scene, going to any open mic he...
Phillip Morris. A man who has no idea what the word "cool" means, in any sense other than temperature. A revolutionary thinker trapped inside of an emcee’s frame. After years of honing his rhyme skills, in 2004 he hit the scene, going to any open mic he could find, and in 2005 he began writing and recording his first album while still frequenting various open mics across Chicago. This led to Phillip receiving a hosting spot at Innjoy's open mic alongside fellow Chicago emcees Awdazcate (pronounced audacity) and Readymade
The mixture of Phillip's unique voice, complex rhyme schemes, anomalous subject matter, coherent freestyles, and comprehensibility forced the underground hip-hop community to abruptly take notice. Released in early 2006, his debut album (the self-produced "Instrumentality") featured a wide variety of styles and subject matter. It includes the sharp-tongued social commentary of "Divided States", the widely felt ballad for the emotionally battered woman entitled "World of Deceit", and the bewildering combination of lyrical acrobatics & borderline psychosis laced upon "The Nightmare Before Christmas". This timeless piece of art was eagerly received by fans, helping catapult Phillip into a steady cascade of live performances at various bars, venues, and political events. These events include
Casa Central Fundraiser @ Ice Factory - 4.22.0 4th Annual Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Month @ Morseland - 7.1.0 Pilsen Alliance Fundraiser w/Green Party @ Casa Aztlan - 10.7.0 Ears and Eyes Festival 2006 @ Silvies Lounge - 12.10.0 Proyecto Mural Fundraiser @ Cafe Mestizo - 2.3.0 Rice & Beats Fundraiser @ Zocalo Urbano - 2.24.0 Solidarity Not Charity Fundraiser @ Carthage Cafe - 3.25.0 5th Annual Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Month @ Elastic - 7.1.0 Palmer Square Arts Festival - 8.11.0 Bands Not Bombs: DuPage Concert for Peace - 9.15.0 Stop the War Now!! Antiwar Rally - 10.27.07 (Chicago Branch Ears and Eyes Festival 2007 @ Subterranean - 12.8.0 Peoples Weekly World Annual Fundraiser - 12.9.0 Looptopia @ Fine Arts Building - 5.2.0 Swedish Days Festival w/Dubasaurus (Geneva, IL) - 6.19.0 Socialism 2008 Conference @ Crowne Plaza Hotel - 6.21.0 Witness against War 2008 @ Federal Plaza - 7.12.0 Haymarket Books Fundraiser @ The Viaduct Theater - 12.13.0
Phillip has also been featured in the newly released Chicago documentary entitled "I Am Hip Hop" (http://www.chicagohiphopdocumentary.com) directed by Geoff Harkness, and will be one of the 9 main stars of the upcoming documentary "Roof Top Hip Hop" (http://www.rooftophiohop.com) directed by Paul Moriarty Jr. and produced by Oliver Holmberg
Along the way, he began collaborating with the Tomorrow Music Orchestra. He often does collaborations onstage alongside the TMO, and also with cellist Lilianna Zofia and violinist Hanna Rae. Both of whom add a dynamic element to his already vivacious stage performance
With the 2009 release of his new album "The Process of Addiction Has its Costs", Phillip carries on his tradition of pushing not only hip hop, but music in general, to its furthest limits both lyrically and conceptually. Songs like "The Symphony", "A Real Patriot", and "Behind Every Fortune There's a Sweatshop" heavily focus on social injustices, motives behind perpetuating military conflicts, and the governments involvement in drug trafficking. Keystrokes replace the hihats, maintaining the tempo on "Death by Cubicle", as Phillip vocalizes the frustration that goes hand in hand with an Office Space type of environment. "The MILF Song" is a twisted ballad fixated upon an obsession with an aging love interest. "May I?" finds Mr. Morris spitting commentary and humor in rapid fire succession while the chorus expresses that his target audience includes nerds, thugs, revolutionaries, even 45+ caucasian women. The diverse blend of songs that populate this 19 track album displays the tremendous expansion and development that has occurred since his last project
Always looking to the future, Phillip continues to make original music as far from the norm as possible, keeping crowds entertained with the humorous nature of his complex rhymes while not being afraid to speak out against the inequalities that continue to occur and the seeminly inherent apathy within this generation
Review of "Instrumentality" - Erasoul.com by February -March 2007 Recommendations::Philip Morris - Instrumentality LP (Self-Released)A super impressive release from a young mc. This stands out in a stack of blah-blah rappers. Not an...
Phillip Morris - CMJ's Ourstage Pick of the Week by OurStage Pick: Phillip MorrisPhillip Morris“The Nightmare Before Christmas”Hip Hop ChannelPhillip Morris referencing skin flute solos and Hunter Thompson in the same song can make you crack a...
Review of "Instrumentality" - Erasoul.com by February -March 2007 Recommendations
::Philip Morris - Instrumentality LP (Self-Released)
A super impressive release from a young mc. This stands out in a stack of blah-blah rappers. Not an instrumental album...Support this dude, buy his album for $8 shipped!
Phillip Morris - CMJ's Ourstage Pick of the Week by OurStage Pick: Phillip Morris
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Hip Hop Channel
Phillip Morris referencing skin flute solos and Hunter Thompson in the same song can make you crack a smile, proving witty hip-hop can thrive in the hands of the capable. Or nerdy.
Recommended if you like: Eminem, Ludacris, MF Doom
Hip Hop Hooray - Rvw of Phillip Morris performance by Despite the fact that my roommate had rented the entire first season of Tell Me You Love Me and pizza was on the way, I still managed to peel my rear off the couch last Thursday in time to check out an open mic in Humboldt Park. And despite the fact that I have an unhealthy obsession with Tell Me You Love Me (and pizza, if we’re talking openly here), goddamn am I glad I ditched both in favor of catching the brilliant lyrical stylings of Phillip Morris.
Political and complex with a touch of blistering wit thrown in for good measure, Morris’ brand of hip hop will have you bobbin’ your head on the dance floor…and giving some serious thought to the social injustices featured in his rhymes. Don’t miss his upcoming show, April 4 at Betty’s Blue Star Lounge, where he’ll be taking to the stage with cellist and Tomorrow Music Orchestra member, Lilianna Zofia.
Live Review: Ears and Eyes Festival 2006 by Turning from the screen back toward the stage, there was a drum kit on the floor and a keyboard set up in a corner, but the stage was empty. The empty stage was soon taken by the super charismatic Phillip Morris, a political hip-hop MC. He demanded audience participation, with songs that attacked the Bush administration with gusto. For the most part he played to a backing track, accompanied a couple times by a violist(and member of the next group). The few times I have seen MC’s live has taught me there is a fine line between lame and entertaining. Phillip Morris knew how to keep our attention for his full set using not only great rhymes, but great in-between song banter.
Review of "Instrumentality"- Illinois Entertainer by Seldom do you hear a rapper call himself “kinda nerdy” as Phillip Morris does on his debut, Instrumentality. Here, this nasal MC/producer makes no bones about tossing out “X-Files” and Sudoku references. But Morris’ intelligent wordplay isn’t all about nerdiness as he cleverly takes on Dubya’s “dirty politics” (”Divided States”) and stands up for women trapped in abusive relationships (”World Of Deceit”). To top it off, his laptop-produced beats bump. (www.myspace.com/phillipmorris)
- Max Herman