The Fox Valley’s live music scene has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Still, one genre remains particularly tough to find with any regularity.
Creating new opportunities for hip hop – and for its up-and-coming local artists – has long been a welcome challenge for Appleton’s Korey Krueger.
His strategy has always been built around creating high-quality and inclusive music.
“Our goal is to put out music we can be proud of,” said Krueger, an emcee for the R&B/hip hop ensemble, Ill Genesi. “Novelty or shock is an easy way to gain some attention, but at the end of the day, we want to stay true to the hip hop form.”
Ill Genesi has been writing, recording and performing for more than 30 years. With a prime slot at this year’s Electric City Experience festival, they will once again have a great chance to capture new fans.
The Downtown Kaukauna festival will feature more than 50 acts across five stages from June 8-11.
Ill Genesi will perform at 8 p.m. on June 9 at the Carnival Stage. They’re the lone act for the evening and will follow the $1 rides featured for Kids Carnival Day.
Anchored by Krueger and singer Anthony Arrington, Ill Genesi is currently an ensemble of seven with a continually growing repertoire of original work.
“We’ve got some veterans and some rookies,” Krueger said. “Guys have come and gone, but the core remains the same.”
They’re dedicated to thoughtful writing.
“We’re not a big swear word rap group, and we’re trying to appeal to all age groups,” said Krueger, who goes by stage name Rex the Natural.
Their most recent album, “The Talent Show,” features 22 original songs.
The group includes DJ David Quest on the wheels of steel. The Missing Link and GMAV provide music and production. Donny Lucid and GMAV provide vocals while King K sings and emcees.
Their band name is a fun play on foreign language. They wanted something with a Latin or Italian vibe, and with help from a Lawrence University professor, they achieved some double meaning. Il Genesi – note the two-letter first word – is Italian for “the beginning.” By going with “Ill,” it represents “sick from the beginning.”
Outside of music, Krueger owns The School Baseball and Softball Academy and serves as an instructor. He’s supporting Electric City Experience as both a performer and a sponsor.
As artists, they respect the values of hip hop and work to put out a product that is original, creative and captures their audiences.
“We feel we’ve done what we’re supposed to and people are responding,” Krueger said.