12 years of Illy: The Australian rapper uncovers his five favourite tracks

12 years of Illy: The Australian rapper uncovers his five favourite tracks

Illy’s new album, The Space Between, is out now.

Illy’s new album is a long time coming. Crafted across three years, with COVID playing havoc to its release schedule, The Space Between is steeped in worldly adventure. Across the journey, Illy split his time between Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin and his hometown of Melbourne, collaborating with everyone from G Flip to WAAX, Robinson and Guy Sebastian.

So here’s The Space Between, in January 2021, and as we give the record its first spin, we asked Illy to dive back into his extensive back catalogue and lift the lid of his five favourite tracks. From bonafide banger ‘Papercuts’, to the emotional ‘Am Yours’, and the title track of yours truly, The Space Between, come with us on an odyssey through Illy’s creative mind.

Am Yours

This was written about my mum beating cancer. So I think that says it all. Was a tough one to write, a tough one to listen to, a tough one to perform, but also one of the most rewarding moments in music was playing this to my mum for the first time.

The Space Between

The title track to the new album. There’s a lot of layers on the new album, and not all of them are bright and sunny. But I wanted the title track to sum up where I’m at (as all the title tracks on my albums have done), and as this was the last track finished for the album, at the end of a long process, I felt overwhelmingly grateful for everything cause it got me to here.

I think that emotion comes through in this track – it talks about that period of time, and even way before it. I think it really feels like the end of this part of my life, and it sums it all up but also has a hopeful tone for what’s coming next.


The song changed my life. It’s my favourite to perform because it goes crazy, and it also forced me to focus on improving my singing. It also really gave me confidence in my songwriting, and that I’m capable of overcoming any stereotypes about Australian rap and moving beyond those boundaries.

Same Number Same Hood

One of my favourite songs from my second album, The Chase. I just love how it kind of called out what I was going to do in the 2010s, but was also a heads up to my future self, keeping my feet on the ground. The Ta-ku and M-Phazes collaboration on the beat is all time as well, and would probably send me broke if I tried to make it happen in 2021.

Loose Ends

I think this is my favourite off The Space Between. It’s one of my favs I’ve ever written. I have no idea how it wasn’t a massive hit – it smashes 99% of the stuff that got released last year. I’m only half joking, but admittedly I am biased.

I don’t think I could’ve written a song that nails the feeling of bittersweet nostalgia like ‘Loose Ends’ does to me, at any point prior in my career, cause it really took having the life experience to articulate it right. A special song to me, and G Flip really levelled it up.

The Space Between is out now through Sony. Give it a spin here.

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