Album Review | Gorilla Twins

This album was released on May 22nd this year. It’s the debut self titled album from Gorilla Twins, which is a duo comprised of Nems & Ill Bill. I was actually super excited when this album was announced. Ill Bill is obviously an underground legend at this point, so I can always expect quality music from him. I’d just recently become a big fan of Nems though. He released one of my favorite albums of 2019, so I was really ecstatic when I found out about this collaboration. Unfortunately, my hype kinda died down as they started releasing more singles. I think I liked most of ’em, but none of them were really as amazing as I was hoping. With that said, I do still think I’m gonna enjoy this record. It probably won’t be one of my favorite releases of the year, but I’m sure it’ll be good.

The album begins with Guerilla Twins, which isn’t really much of a song. It’s not a skit though. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s more fleshed out than the average album intro, but it doesn’t quite feel like a full song. Ill Bill is kinda rapping a hook continuously throughout the entire track, and Nems is yelling random shit over it. There are no verses. I still really enjoyed this track though. I think the production from Furio is genuinely fantastic, and it had me really excited to listen to the rest of the album. I think it’s dope as hell. It’s followed by Married to the Game, which is another pretty big highlight for me. A lot of it has to do with the top notch Electronic-sounding production from Star Command, but Nems & Bill killed this shit too. Ill Bill set this shit off right on the opening verse.

I'm the greed that ate Walter White's brain
I'm a cross between the best qualities of Space Ace and Gene
Fuck your point of reference
I destroy you, enjoy your death wish
Live from Brooklyn it's your boy and Nems, bitch

I think the hook is pretty awesome too. It’s super well written. The second verse from Nems is even better than Bill’s performance in my opinion.

I got divorced on Valentine's Day, said "fuck it"
Sniffed a 50 up each nostril like it was nothing
Ripped the papers up, and told 'em where my paper at
Blew it all in one night like, "fuck saving that"
You niggas worry about the state of rap
I'm looking for a safehouse where I can place the map
I'm looking for a home base where I can set the trap
Tryna stay legal, but I'm about this close to selling crack

It’s definitely debatable. They both rapped really well here. I don’t have any real gripes with the song. I think this shit is dope as hell. The following track, Wolves, is even better to me. It’s easily one of the best songs on the album. It’s a Gorilla Twins & Heavy Metal Kings crossover, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it ended up being a major highlight for me. First of all, the piano-driven production from Josh the Goon is absolutely glorious. I love how dark and tense it sounds. The opening verse from Nems wasn’t amazing or anything, but it was sufficient, and I think he did a great job with the hook. The second verse from Bill is fire.

Take your last breath, bitch, gaspin’ for air
The mac’s the last thing you hear when it clap in your ear
Semi-automatic salutes, automatic applause
The hammer falls, funeral songs, caskets for y'alls
Gun shows, serial numbers; we scratchin’ 'em off
Big black barrels, my whore’s more ratchet than yours
My hookers have more hollows to swallow your soul
When they hit the stroll everything in they path implodes

Vinnie Paz really put this shit over the top for me though. He fucking murdered that closing verse. I can’t think of a better feature they could’ve gotten for this song. He fits over this beat perfectly.

Y’all ain’t got a fuckin’ army, B, you barely holdin’
All my guns is black and compact: Garry Coleman
I died, then I came back, that was a scary moment
Many recalled, Lord, but few are rarely chosen
I got a son to feed, and I ain’t tryin’ to waste time
That’s why I keep the four-pound tucked inside the waste-line
But I would never take somethin’ if it ain’t mine
Slit your fuckin’ throat in front of wifey while you Facetime

That laughing ad-lib that came in right after the Garry Coleman line was a perfect touch. I think the song’s dope af. The following track was the second single from the album, Highs & Lows.

This is the second single from the upcoming collaborative album from Nems & Ill Bill. When I first heard about this record, I was super excited, but I’m honestly not as psyched about it as I initially was. I’m still a big fan of both of them, but the very first single they dropped wasn’t really as amazing as I was hoping it’d be. I did like it though. I think this track is a bit better personally. The production from Stu Bangas is solid, and the opening verse from Nems is dope. As the title kinda foreshadows, he raps about how things were going really great after he dropped his album in 2019, and then how things kinda fell apart when two of his best friends died.

Depression set in and I start to mourn
I don’t wanna get outta bed to start the morn
They just took my best friends, my heart is torn
I did everything with these niggas, and now they gone
Tears soaking the page as I write this song

The hook is nothing special, but it serves its purpose well enough. I really like the way Ill Bill came in on this track. The way Nems introduced him was really dope. The verse itself wasn’t amazing or anything, but the way it was delivered was dope. I just like the way Nems was saying random shit in the background the whole time. That shit sounded hard. I feel like Bill’s verse was kinda awkward. The way he was rhyming just felt off.

Shit happens in between albums
Remember when me and Sean Price was planning one?
Our album would’ve killed people for real
Sean P plus Ill Bill equal The Pill

The first couplet of that quatrain in particular just sounded so awkward since it didn’t rhyme. I don’t know. I still enjoyed the verse. I’m cautiously optimistic about this Gorilla Twins project. I’ll be shocked if it ends up being trash, but I’m not expecting it to be one of the best releases of the year anymore. I’m looking forward to it though. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This track is immediately followed up by the third single, Bong!, which just so happens to be another major highlight for me.

This is the third single from the Gorilla Twins album, and it’s easily the best one so far in my opinion. This is the kinda shit I wanted to hear more of; just super aggressive, mean, needlessly angry lyricism. Ill Bill killed that first verse.

Smack blood & skull fragments out your face
Clap snubs at your mother’s casket walkin’ out of her wake
Young Pesci, fucko, come test me
Fake your suicide the same way they hung Epstein

Shoutout to Bill for dissing Rudy Giuliani too. That was dope. They way Nems and him are going back and forth on this track is fucking awesome. Man, why weren’t the first two singles like this? This shit is fire.

Hollow tips will bruise your body
My connect Yugoslavi
Break them bricks in half
Like he knew karate

I feel like I was more impressed by Nems on the first couple of singles, but Ill Bill was in rare form for this track.

You thought your shooter shot me, but I shot your shooter
And used his body as a human piñata at Cuchi’s party
Right in the middle of Coney Island wilin’, holdin’ the 9
It’s the grimiest rhymer, my diamonds shinin’, it’s blindin’

The production from Short Fyuz is better than the beats from the first couple singles as well. That line from Nems about how he’d spit on the pope was fire. I really have no complaints with this track. I guess I just wish it was longer. It left me wanting more. I’m really hoping the rest of the album is as good as this. I think this shit is fire. The album will be out by the time this post is published, so be sure to give it a listen.

Track 6 is called Supply & Demand, and it’s fire. Nems & Ill Bill have mastered the art of disrespect, and it’s more evident than ever on this track. The opening verse from Nems is absolutely ruthless.

The bad guy you rooted for at the end of the movie has finally won, it's finally done
Just fucked a rapper's girl, she started crying & said "after all these years I can finally cum"
You a bum, you my son, you a fuckin' junior
I'll facefuck the love of your life, and then you spoon her

The hook is pretty nice too. I don’t really think the beat is anything special, but it’s sufficient. Actually, the way it switches up and gets way darker at the start of Ill Bill’s verse is really fucking cool. It sounds like a damn horror movie. Bill actually made me laugh pretty hard the first time I heard his verse. This shit is so fucking dope.

She had one nut, two nut, three nuts, sweatin'
Bust a nut on your couch, and wipe it on your curtain
I don't know nothin', but I do know for certain
First night I met her she was on her knees slurpinnnnnnnn'

It’s another highlight for me. I think it’s dope as hell. It’s followed by a surprisingly entertaining skit called Twinning in which Nems is accosted by an annoying fan who has him confused for Ill Bill. I was impressed by how enjoyable this skit was for me because I expected it to feel like a waste of time. I like it enough to not delete it from my library though, so I consider it a major success. It’s followed by Nah, which features an artist named Alexandra Casula. Honestly, this is one of the weakest songs on the album to me. I definitely don’t think it’s bad though. It’s a dope song. I just think it’s much weaker than most of the other songs personally. Alexandra Casula’s appearance felt very unnecessary to be honest, but I’m not gonna pretend to have a huge issue with her presence. The production from Scram Jones is pretty hard, and I think the opening verse from Bill is cool. I’m not crazy about the hook, but it serves its purpose well enough. The second verse from Nems was a little strange to me. The line where he says “fat boy eat butt” was just kinda bizarre to me, but overall he did his thing. So yeah, it’s not really a highlight for me, but I did enjoy the song overall. I think it’s dope. The following track is called Shootout at the Cyclone and it features Lord Goat, formerly known as Goretex. The production from Bill sounds a bit more old school than a lot of the other beats. It’s actually one of my favorite instrumentals on the album to be honest. Goretex was always my least favorite member of Non Phixion, but I don’t think he’s trash or anything. He did his thing here on the opening verse. The second verse from Nems was really dope too, but Ill Bill had my favorite performance to be honest.

Cannibal Hulk vs. a fuckin' bear
Put my entire fist up your ass like a puppeteer
Word, I sit back and observe
'Cause usually the loudest mouth in the room is a herb
Usually the first one to talk tough's a nerd
Get mushed in your face, gorilla vs. bird

The song has a pretty straightforward structure, but I think it’s really well done. It’s dope as hell to me. Track 10 is another major highlight for me entitled Gunners. The hard hitting production from S’pply & D’mand is dope as fuck, but it’s really the actual rapping that had me hooked. Nems slaughtered that opening verse.

Everyday I tell myself "Nems, you can't fail"
Slit your throat ear to ear, now you can't yell
What you know about not being able to sleep
'Cause you at war with your bunkie in a two-man cell?

I love how dramatic and grandiose the production is. The way it evolves as the verses progress is awesome. The hook is nothing special, but I don’t mind its presence here. Ill Bill murdered that second verse. I love the way he was flowing, especially at the very beginning of his performance.

These dudes is local yokels
My crew's global and mobile
With 20+ years of albums either group or solo
Medusa dripped out, Gucci & Polo

The song is dope af, and easily one of my favorites on the album. The penultimate track is called Pay Homage. Anytime you listen to an album from an old school New York rapper, you have to mentally prepare yourself for any potential homophobia. This is the track where that occurs. It mostly comes from Nems, which isn’t really a surprise to be honest. It didn’t ruin the song for me at all, but that’s something to be wary of if you think it’ll bother you. Anyway, this track has a pretty similar structure to Bong! They’re trading quatrains throughout the entire song. This track definitely has one of the least interesting beats in my opinion, but I don’t think it’s bad at all. The song is short as hell, so it sounds slightly less complete than some of the others, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I think their flows and rhymes were great here. It’s not a favorite track of mine, but I do fuck with it. I think it’s dope. The closing song is called Adios; it features D.V. Alias Khryst & Immortal Technique, and was released as the very first single from the album.

At the beginning of the year, Ill Bill & Nems announced that they’d be working together as a duo, which was super exciting to me. I’m a big fan of Ill Bill, and Nems released one of the best albums of 2019 in my opinion, so this was a dream collaboration that I never thought would happen. I expected the first single from these guys to be on some hyper-masculine, super aggressive battle type shit, but this is a bit more thought provoking and emotionally gripping than that. They’re kinda going in about karma, and evil shit that happens in the hood, and life and death. First two verses from Bill & Nems respectively were very good. I don’t know whose performance I prefer. I’m kinda leaning towards Bill, but it’s not like he completely bodied Nems. Both of their verses were very well written. I just think Bill fits this production style more. This sounds a lot more like Nems entering Ill Bill’s world than vice versa. It works though. Also, that closing verse from Immortal Technique was a nice touch. I feel like I haven’t heard from him in ages. He killed this shit though. I’ve personally never really been crazy about D.V. Alias Khryst, but his hook here was solid. The song’s really dope. Check it out.

This album surprisingly ended up being way better than I was expecting to be honest. In fact, I’d say that it actually lives up to my initial level of excitement. I think this shit is really great. It’s kinda cool that most of my favorite tracks ended up being deep cuts. I’m glad I didn’t sleep on this project just because I wasn’t blown away by every single. It’s not exactly one of my favorite albums of the year, but it’s definitely a very enjoyable project that I think deserves attention from Hip Hop fans. I hope to hear even more work from these two in the future because their chemistry is phenomenal. Check this album out. It’s dope.

Favorite Song: Wolves
Least Favorite Song: Highs & Lows


Grade: A-

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