Ill Poetic, a man who established his musical roots here in Ohio, triumphantly returns to perform cuts from his new EP, The Silhouette Project at Urban Artifact on April 29 as part of The Silhouette Tour. This new effort is a five-track record and short film around the song “Silhouette”. The film and songs work as a companion piece to Ill Poetic's previous solo EP, The Synethesia Yellow.
“I came up in the Cincinnati scene in the early to the mid-2000's. Scribble Jam, Top Cats, kind of that era of Cincinnati hip hop,” he explained.
He left Cincinnati in 2008 to pursue music full time in Columbus where he helped establish the record label Definition Music. He released an EP in 2012. From there, he moved to San Diego to help run a record store and focus even more intensely on his musical passion. During that time on the West Coast, he and his business partners involved with the label have identified new ways to make Definition Music even stronger.
“I've just been growing as an emcee, producer, touring, shows, and just trying to do better,” he said. “My partners and I have spent the last few years taking a step back and figuring out how to chart a more successful longterm strategy on what we were looking to do as a collective. So we kind of relaunched the label to be more encompassing of what our creative team is producing.”
The Silhouette Project is the first major move for Definition Music to test their new approach as a label and to make adjustments as needed once the results begin to show. Based on the reaction by those in the know, Ill Poetic already sees momentum growing. The single “It's All Around” was the first thing he mentioned when asked what he was most proud of in regards to the new EP.
“I feel like I incorporated everything out of me that I could think to incorporate, and I did it in a functional way,” he said. “I tried to shoot for something personal and vulnerable. I just wrote it, I really didn't have to think about it. I'm proud of every moment of that song.”
Ill Po did all of his own arrangements, compositions, vocals and production work on the record but didn't allow himself to become totally consumed with the making of The Silhouette Project until the time was right.
“Half the time you don't even realize you're working on a song. It's like making two pieces of a puzzle I don't even know connect yet. Eventually, once I realize they start to connect, that's when it starts consuming me.”
Ill Poetic has a full-length album in the pipeline expected to release around this time in 2017, and this shorter work is a build up to that time. At the show, he intends to perform a couple of tracks from The Silhouette Project and a mix of songs from his other previous albums along with some tracks that don't have homes just yet.
“I haven't been in Cincinnati in four years, so a lot of it coming back to Cincinnati is half performance, half reunion with a lot of friends from that same era of Cincinnati hip hop,” he said.
Also performing at Urban Artifact is Raised x Wolves, Far Out, Jay Al, Hafrican, and Ronin.
Raised x Wolves has emerged as a prominent force in the Cincinnati scene and are gearing up for a major new EP as well. The new project is called Mark of the Wolves, and members Sharp One, Travis Touchdown and their DJ, Mr. Fantastic intend on performing the single “Can't Sit With Us” along with a few new songs to give their fans a taste of what is to come.
Doors open at 9pm and is free for anyone over 21. There is a $5 cover for those between 18-20 years old.