Once again in 2018, the RFT recognizes St. Louis' unparalleled musical talent by presenting the STL 77, our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 16, the kick-off date of our huge two-day music festival, ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two honorees per weekday on our music blog. For last year's STL 77 picks, go here; for the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.
The usual trajectory of bands involves an initial burst of inspiration, followed by a steady increase in quality, and then a creative plateau once the group is established and in a groove. A decade into their career, however, the members of Illphonics are anything but complacent. On the heels of 2015's powerful "The Brown Frequency" and 2016's inventive Gone with the Trends
, in addition to a coveted slot on the 2016 lineup of LouFest, the live-band hip-hop troupe released 2017's excellent Purple Piano Society
. Emcee Larry "Fallout" Morris told the RFT last year
the latter album "kind of represents where we're going as a group," in no small part because the band members mixed things up while recording it. "What makes this album so special is that we all sat in a room together and switched — everybody did something a little different." The results are typically eclectic — as per usual, Illphonics combines elements of rap, hip-hop, funk and soul in adventurous ways, illustrating once again why the group remains one of the best in the city.
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