Marketing Your Art the Right Way

Selling Art, Not Selling Out

Cracking Creativity Episode 1: Joshua Carrasco aka Madd Illz on Freestyle Rapping, Battle Rapping, and Creativity

Madd Illz is one of the most respected freestyle rappers and the founder of Grind Time Now a battle rap league. In this episode he shares the differences between freestyle and researched rap battles, the creative process, his work with the United Nations, how pop culture, chess, and poker make you more creative, among many other things.

  • Madd Illz explains battle rapping
  • Freestying vs researched battle raps
  • Example of freestyle rapping
  • Alan Watt’s theory of a controlled accident 
  • “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
    Bob Ross
  • Dizaster vs Madd Illz (Explicit)
  • Example of a researched battle and why the writing process is better than the actual battle
  • Evolution of hip hop
  • Creative process, obvious observations vs creative observations, pulling ideas from thin air
  • How freestyling is like a scene in the movie A Beautiful Mind
  • Creativity in freestyling vs writing songs, focused writing vs writing about anything, what science has to do with creativity
  • How he got into battle rapping, winning his first contest, creation of Lounge Battles, creating a battle rap league, going to the United Nations, creativity classes
  • Eminem opening up oppurtunities
  • Creativity course, making observations, science of creativity
  • How pop culture, playing chess, and poker make you more creative, being able to relate to others to build a following, why people like what they like
  • Russell Brand and the Messiah Complex
  • United Nations, learning programs, being a student, Jason Silva & new age philosophy
  • Music as a Natural Resource
  • Guitars in the Classroom
    “Once you find the answer, you risk completion” – Jason Silva
  • Shots of Awe
  • Tim Leary & Terence Mckenna
  • Madd Illz freestyles to the word creativity (Song: East Flatbush Project – Tried By 12 Instrumental)
  • What people can do to be more creative, obvious and non-obvious observations, and stretching yourself

    “The most important thing to do is to focus and practice on the types of observations that you’re making and learn how to characterize them.”

You can find Madd Illz on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Receive email updates for the latest podcast releases!


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview! I especially liked the creative process that Mad Illz illustrated by starting in the park, zooming into a splinter poking out of the window sill, and zooming back out to make something out of that. It was a deeply expansive perspective that I’m going to work on using from here on out. (A++, would buy again.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.