I.D Artisan has been drawing and MCing since a young kid. You may have seen some of his individualÂ tributes toÂ Big L,Â Big Pun, Easy E and a portrait of MCMI’s very own PH. Well, now he has channelled his passion for drawing and Hip Hop and created a Comic which features main characters who are MC’s trying to maintain their record deals, survive against all odds and ward off an evil villain. It’s called 9th Illy and is loosely based on the MC’s own life and experiences in the rap game.
GMS asked I.D about how he came up with all of this and what the comic is all about.
GMS: What is your new comic book about?
I.D ARTISAN: 9th Illy â€“ The 9_4 Kronicles follows the lives of four individuals ( ZigZag, Kama Sutra, The Beat Demon, and 9_4 ) who are signed to one of the most successful record labels in the country ( $inCity Records ). They were all awarded red gold chains to solidify their respective deals, but one by one their chains are being stolen by a common enemy, who has a hidden agenda and chip on his shoulder.
GMS: Do the main characters or the villain have any special powers?
I.D ARTISAN: The main charactersâ€™ powers are represented by the chains they have that were given to them by their record label. Only the boss villan ( Chrispin ) has powers.
GMS: What are the powers? What do the chains enable them to do?
I.D ARTISAN: The chains tap into their soul and adds to their natural music talent, but it also makes them targets for The H-Click (villans crew name).
GMS: … and the boss villain?
I.D ARTISAN: He is directly connected with each of the four chains and can sense them whereever they are, plus he is telepathic.
GMS: Explain the formats this will be available in. Will it be digital, print? Where can fans find it?
I.D ARTISAN: It will be all digital and eventually evolve into print media. Every Friday fans can go to www.9thilly.com and read the latest issue as well as listen/download exclusive music by the main characters.
GMS: How did you come up with the style used for your characters?
I.D ARTISAN: I’ve always been a big fan of Manga and Japanese comics, so the style I used in 9th Illy is a perfect blend of that from a hip hop perspective.
GMS: I’ve noticed you have some portraits of legendary artists like Big L and others. Tell me the story behind those.
I.D ARTISAN: I’m all about mixing it up and not limiting yourself to just one thing, so since I am a fan of hip hop and comics and I myself am a rapper and a visual artist it only made sense for me to pay homage to the legends who are no longer with us and who have motivated and changed so many lives including mine.
GMS: When and how did you first get into drawing and art? Did you always draw as a kid? When did you make the transition into graphic design?
I.D ARTISAN: I always drew as a kid like most kids did as a form of expression, but the difference with me was that I wanted to continue expressing myself, and had a real good support system when it came to that. I started going real hard with it once I got accepted at a visual arts academy and began learning about graphic design, art history and how to work in different media.
GMS: What made you want to create this new comic, tell this story in this way?
I.D ARTISAN: I wanted to do something different, something that has never been done before, something that could bring together the comic world and the hip hop world, because like I said I’m all about mixing it up.
Telling this story in a comic format was a must, because I’m a comic over movie fan, and since the storyline is so epic, it was this or shoot a 9th Illy movie. (Speilberg/Lucas holla at me)
GMS: You are in the comic. The main character is you, right? How much of the characters and storylines are based on reality?
I.D ARTISAN: Yes I did put myselfÂ ( 9_4 )Â as the main character in the comic. When I started writing the storyline I knew I wanted something that a large number of people could relate to so I loosely based some of the characters, and happenings on real people and events ( with a twist of course ).Â I touch on subjects such as the music industry, gang life, tricknology, and even life after death, so keep checking for the illest hip hop inspired comic series out and I promise you will be entertained.
A new issue of the comic is released every Friday on www.9thilly.com, along with original music by the main characters.