Week in Pop: Ed Askew, José Díaz Rohena, LUKA, Midnight Opera

Sjimon Gompers

The prolific José Díaz Rohena steps out from behind the mixing board to showcase new material; photographed by Sarah Macreading.

Ill Poetic

Taking a stroll with Ill Poetic; photographed by Robert Sanchez for Surosa Studios.

Cincinnati by Dayton by Columbus by way of San Diego’s own Ill Poetic has been honing his creative craft from the ones & twos to the mic for a hot minute now. Known for producing Detroit emcee Red Pill’s Mello Music release Instinctive Drowning, Ill Poetic flexes skills on the mic with the stateside premiere of the track “Ill Communication (Get Busy)” featured off the upcoming album An idiot’s Guide to Anarchy available November 21 through Definition Music that offers proactive inspiration to live the life that you desire to enjoy & claim as your own (that’s noone elses but yours).

From the underground circuits of the Ohio scenes of rhythm & blues futurism ; Ill Po provided the introductory & insightful preface for the new album An Idiot’s Guide to Anarchy:

This album is life. It’s assessing the anarchy of our culture, our society and its expectations of us; of day to day trauma and how we cope with it. This album is about reaching the epiphany that there are no rules out here, no matter who would like to tell you otherwise, both in the real world and creative life. This album is about having the strength to push through that anarchy and build your own path in the face of everyone who would tell you different, especially yourself. This is An Idiot’s Guide to Anarchy.

Many things built this album, both selfish and selfless: In the 10 years it took to create, I quit my job, gave up my apartment, car and entire way of life to dedicate myself to this idea. I put all my shit in a storage unit, lived in my manager’s basement, and traveled from city to city on a Greyhound studying and recording every session for this album. I got married, learned family and
landed in a Motel 6 in California with them to be closer to the creativity that I knew would push me to push harder. We’ve faced near-homelessness and hopelessness. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped. In death and in life, I’ve lost friends I’d
never think I’d lose. I produced, arranged, wrote and co-mixed nearly every piece of music on this record. Every square centimeter of sound and art on it has a deep spectrum of memories and emotion attached to it.

Ill Poetic jumps off the proverbial ropes of life with the world-learned & earned narratives of “Ill Communication (Get Busy)” that expresses insights of hyper-charged realities that runs with the speed of struggle made inspiration. Tales from Ill’s Ohio come-up to the SoCal sectors arrives & emerges from the fray with no apologies with a relentless energy that embraces a self-styled & defined occupation as an artist that has realized their own purpose in life with a fully self-affirmed sense of realization. Ill Po casts aside the clamor of critics & the naysayers for something realer than real with serial spit statements of inconvenient truths. From the formidable Midwest beginnings to the trials & tribulations of getting established out in the world of the pacific realm; Ill Poetic makes no apologies & puts it all out on the line & owns up to the tales & mythologies that spells out that this artist on the rise has only just begun.

Anarchy, angst & Ill Poetic; photographed by Robert Sanchez for Surosa Studios.

Ill Poetic shared the following reflections on “Ill Communication (Get Busy)” with further thoughts on the upcoming album:

“Ill Communication (Get Busy)”:

I slept in a lot of cars, buses and even a couple NYC subway stations to create this album. Nobody owes me anything for my sacrifices, and I don’t deserve success because of them. But I will say that sacrificing for something you truly believe in gives you strength to push longer and harder than most in all avenues of your life. The cousin to survival mode is beast mode; this song embodies both, with guest features by D’Yenna Dukes & The Ingrid Rachel Project.

Ill Poetic’s album An idiot’s Guide to Anarchy available November 21 through Definition Music.

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