Illmind in 2012
|Ramon Ibanga, Jr.|
|Origin||Bloomfield, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, pop, soul, K-Pop|
|Instruments||Pro Tools, keyboard, sampler|
|Labels||Roseville Music Group|
|Lin-Manuel Miranda, J. Cole, Drake, G-Unit, Joell Ortiz, Hoodie Allen, Skyzoo, Little Brother, Andy Mineo, 50 Cent, Jared Evan|
Ramon Ibanga, Jr., professionally known as Illmind (often stylized as !llmind) is a Filipino American hip hop producer and educator from Bloomfield, New Jersey. He has co-written and produced hip-hop, pop, soul, and electronic music for labels such as Cash Money, Def Jam, and Aftermath, and has worked with artists such as Andy Mineo, Kanye West, Drake, J. Cole, Dr. Dre, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Ariana Grande, and others. His accomplishments in 2016 include production on the new Hamilton Mixtape and Disney's Moana (2016 film), both created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. !llmind has released several studio albums and had a number of songs and albums reach the music charts. His most recent album, Human, is a collaboration with Joell Ortiz, and was released on July 17, 2015. He established his own multi-genre music company Roseville Music Group in 2014.
Ramon Ibanga, Jr. was born on August 28 in New Jersey, where he was raised in the city of Newark before later moving with his family to Bloomfield, NJ. His family provided a strong musical background, as his father was a musician and his older brother Les-Paul was even named after the late Les Paul.
!llmind started using his father's equipment to make beats around age 13, specifically learning MIDI and sequencing on a Roland KR-500 keyboard. In his early teens he developed an interest in hip hop, and started producing music in 1997. Around 1999 he began to take production more seriously and he started sampling, using both hip hop vinyl and obscure records such as his father's old jazz and soul albums from the Philippines. He began using the program Cubase and an Akai S20 sampler around age 17.
After learning sampling !llmind began making his own beats and sounds, and in 1999 began uploading his music to online forums such as undergroundhiphop.com. Around 2001 he started participating in the Beat Society producer showcases in Philadelphia, where in 2002 he beat his future collaborators Kanye West and 88 Keys at one of the events.! llmind started his production career working with groups like Little Brother and Boot Camp Clik; he had met Boot Camp Clik after being introduced through Khrysis, and he started working with Little Brother after being introduced to their music around 2000. His first official collaborative release with the latter was Nobody Like Me.
In March 2004 !llmind's remix of the Jay-Z's Black Album, called The Black and Tan Album, was released to a positive review in The New York Times, who stated "Sparse is the aesthetic for !llmind's remixes, which set out to do more with less: techno boops, ticking drums, laid-back bass lines, three or four notes from a guitar or keyboard. !llmind's minimalism makes Jay-Z sound almost nonchalant."Sha Money XL, a G-Unit executive, served as !llmind's manager for several years. During this time, !llmind went on to produce songs with Erykah Badu, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Lloyd Banks, Prodigy, Kool G Rap, Redman, Scarface, LL Cool J, El Da Sensei, Diamond D, KRS-One, and others. He produced the 2008 Akrobatik hip hop album Absolute Value.
In summer of 2012 !llmind's track "The Morning" was included on Cruel Summer, a compilation album released on Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. The song peaked at 19 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, and 49 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The genesis of the track was 2007, when !llmind met Chicago-rapper Rhymefest and started sending him beats. "For a couple of years, I just kept sending him stuff whenever I had Kanye or him in mind. It must have been 100 beats. And then I get a phone call...from Rhymefest...asking for a session to a beat I made. Then he was like, 'I think Kanye wants to use this for a Pusha T song.' Then a few hours later, he's like 'We got Raekwon on this.' The first time I heard the complete album was when it leaked. And I heard it, and I lost it. I would say my life has definitely changed since that moment."
In 2008 he won the Philadelphia Red Bull Big Tune Beat Battle, and as of 2012 he has shared the stage in beat showcases with artists such as Kanye West, Just Blaze, Nottz, and Don Cannon. !llmind produced music for Hoodie Allen's mixtape, Crew Cuts. The single "Cake Boy" premiered on February 11, 2013 via YouTube with over 30,000 views in the first day. In 2015 he helped Skyzoo on the album Music For My Friends, producing five tracks. and also helping Skyzoo co-produce the track "Luxury." He served as the executive producer for Andy Mineo's album, Uncomfortable, which released on September 18.
Towards the end of 2016, !llmind produced the outro credits for Disney's "Moana," a track titled "You're Welcome," Ft. both Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jordan Fisher Beyond his work on the Disney project the producer took an active role in working on "The Hamilton Mixtape," album released via Atlantic Records. In addition to his work on the project with artists such as Nas, Common, The Roots, Ingrid Michaelson, & others, !llmind has his own track "Take A Break - Interlude," appear on the album 
In 2005, he produced and released an entire album on the label BBE with fellow producer Symbolyc One called The Art Of Onemind, which featured artists such as Ghostface Killa. He also released The Official !llmind Remix Album in 2009 on myx, and a 2010 LP with lyricist Skyzoo called Live From The Tape Deck on Duck Down Records.
In May 2010, lyricist and rapper Skyzoo had announced that he and !llmind were collaborating on an album called Live from the Tape Deck. Recording sessions took place at Big China Studios in Brooklyn, New York in 2010. The entire album was produced, mixed and arranged by !llmind, and was mastered by Ricardo Gutierrez.!
Live from the Tape Deck debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums. The album entered the Top Rap Albums, peaking at #16, as well as entering at #30 on the Top Independent Albums and #33 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album was also met with positive reviews from music critics. SPIN's Mosi Reeves gave the album a seven out of ten, saying: "On this duo's debut full-length, Skyzoo was nicely complemented by !llmind's production, which ranges from the Dilla-like soul loop of "#Allaboutthat" to the fuzzy '70s-cop-show funk of 'The Now or Never.' Live from the Tape Deck is full of stolid striver anthems...but the album's meat-and-potatoes consistency remains bracing throughout."
Beh!nd The Curta!n, his first official instrumental album, came out on April 19, 2011 through Brooklyn-based Nature Sounds Records. He followed this up with the second instrumental album #BoomTrap EP, an eight-track EP released in January of 2014. He shortly after released the drum kit #BoomTrap "The Drums", which includes extracts from the EP. Only 200 copies of the kit were offered. His most recent album, Human, is a collaboration with Joell Ortiz, and will be released on July 17, 2015.
!llmind has been featured in magazines and online publications such as Scratch Magazine (Top 20 Best Producers), Hip Hop Weekly, Mass Appeal, The Source, XXL, Hiphopgame.com, and Hiphopdx.com. In the summer of 2012 !llmind started offering consulting services as a member the online service Blazetrak, and he later formed an independent online consultation service. As of July 2012 he was a senior contributor at BeatTips.com. He taught music production at the non-profit organization Harlem Children's Zone from 2007 to 2009, and he was later hired by the Clive Davis Department Of Recorded Music at NYU as a Technical Music Instructor for a program called "Future Music Moguls."
He has received a great deal of recognition for his continued contributions to the producer community at large as an educator, business man and innovator in the space. Beyond launching the premier drum kit business within the music world, he has launched a "Pass The Aux," workshop series, and is committed to daily one on one interaction with the upcoming producer community. 
!llmind has called himself a fan of producers such as J Dilla and Pete Rock, but writes and produces a variety of genres. About his style, he has stated "I just try to create the music I like, period. I've got a pretty diverse taste in music, so I'm managing to not get bored, which is awesome. There's a lot of talent out there, and I think that's what continues to drive me as well."! llmind inititially learned production on analog equipment and hardware, and in 2010 he was using a Roland SP-303 digital sampler and an Akai S-20 synthesizer, with an Ensoniq ASR-10 keyboard. As of January 2013 he was using a Pro Tools rig for his digital audio workstation.
|Year||Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2005||The Art of OneMind
(with Symbolyc One)
|2009||The Official !llmind
|2010||Live from the Tape Deck
|2011||Behind The Curtain||
(with Joell Ortiz)
|Year||Song title||Song details||Chart peaks|
|Year||Album title||Album/song details||Chart peaks|
|2006||The Last Stand
(by Boot Camp Clik)
|2007||Nu-Mixx Klazzics Vol. 2
|2014||2014 Forest Hills Drive
(by J. Cole)
|2015||If You're Reading This It's Too Late
|The Beast Is G-Unit
The following is an incomplete list of albums and singles produced by !llmind.