A Night With Ill Fayze

By Grace Miller | 9/22/14 3:00am

If you haven’t heard of Ill Fayze yet, you must live under a rock. His social relevancy within the Dartmouth Bubble is about equivalent to Scotland’s independence in the real world. Marcus Reid ’18, otherwise known by his stage name Ill Fayze, became a campus celebrity after releasinghis song “McLaughlin Anthem.”

This past Wednesday Sigma Phi Epsilon hosted an Ill Fayze Show open to all of campus, including ’18s. The line to enter Sig Ep stretched 100 people-long as early as an hour before the show, with everyone anxious to see Ill Fayze live. The crowd was so excited that Sig Ep brothers began letting people in 30 minutes early.

I quietly sat in the back as 100 ’18s all chanted “Ill Fayze, Ill Fayze!” The whole scene probably became approximately 50 Snapchat stories that night. He began with a few lesser-known original songs, pulling people up to dance with him on stage and even taking a #Selfie, before finally giving the people what they wanted: “McLaughlin Anthem.” It was so nice that he sang it twice. At first I thought the song was longer than I remembered, but then I realized he had actually started over and repeated the song for his awestruck fans.

The whole experience was incredibly overwhelming, but before the chaos of the show I got to sit down and talk to Marcus about his rapping career. Here are some highlights from the interview; you can also watch the whole thing below.

Where did you get the name Ill Fayze?

Me and my friend were working on a song that was early off in my rap career, and I didn’t have a name and he said, “You have to think of a name.” So I was trying to think of something unique and then suddenly I came down with an illness and that’s when we got the idea of “ill.” Then we thought I was in an “ill phase” and then we thought, “Okay, you can’t spell phase right because then it won’t catch on.” So we thought of 15 different ways to misspell phase. So we ended up with f-a-y-z-e.

What inspired you to put up “McLaughlin Anthem”?

I was recording the mixtape “Rookie Season,” which dropped September 17 and I found out which dorm I was in. I thought that I had to show some Dartmouth pride since I was so excited to go here, so I wrote and recorded this in about 15, 20 minutes and I did not expect it to get the reception it did. I posted it in the Dartmouth ’18 Facebook page and suddenly the next morning it has 2,000 views and people from other classes are shouting me out on Twitter. I couldn’t believe it was happening because we didn’t spend any time on it at all, but I guess it’s a little bit of luck and shows how supportive the community of Dartmouth is. I really appreciate it.

How did you decide to pronounce the dorm names?

I went to third grade speech classes for a reason – pronunciation is not one of my stronger suits. I thought the “h” was silent in Choates and thought pronouncing it fa-HEY worked better with the syllables. It looks better on paper. I think Dartmouth will catch on soon and change Choates to Coats. I am just a pioneer.

Has your song affected your relationships with people in other dorms?

Most people know that I’m messing around and have fun with it. There were a few kids that took it surprisingly personally, which I guess haters are gonna hate. It adds on me – they keep my name in their mouth so I appreciate it!

Is there enough space in McLaughlin?

I can honestly say I am pleased with the space in McLaughlin; I forecasted that so I wasn’t wrong. Of course there is no drank since that is illegal and that was just to add some pizazz to the song.

To hear more from the interview, watch the video below. You can download Ill Fayze’s new mixtape “Rookie Season” here.


Grace Miller