Ill Poetic’s musical journey from Dayton to Cali

Ill Poetic has come a long way since he started rapping at age 15 in Dayton in 1997. The artist, born Tim Gmeiner, spent time perfecting his craft in Cincinnati and Columbus before relocating to San Diego, Calif. in 2014, where he completed his expansive new album, “An Idiots Guide to Anarchy.”

The rapper/producer recently discussed his musical journey.

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Cali vibe: "A lot of things contributed to the move to California. Beyond weather, I couldn't find the creative inspiration I was looking for in Ohio. Not to say it wasn't a creative place, I just couldn't find what I was looking for in it. I was being moved by a lot of music coming from the West Coast and wanted to be closer to that vibe of creativity. I also thought there may be more tangible career opportunities in my field out this way."

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In the barrio: "I help my partner DJ Inform run a record shop, Beat Box Records, in a neighborhood named Barrio Logan. The shop itself is an abundance of inspiration; from digging into music genres I'd never heard to meeting and having genuinely great conversations with musicians, DJs and music fans. The neighborhood is somewhat of a birthplace of Chicano culture and it keeps teaching me so much more than I could ever expect."

Work is the reward: "I spent way too many nights early on hoping to be rewarded for the sacrifice by having the album become wildly successful. But I can't control that, and sacrifice really doesn't play much of a role in how an album connects. So now, I'm just relieved and proud. I spent 10 years working on a project and we saw it to completion. We took these ideas from inside my head and made them a physical thing for sharing with the world. I've never been so proud of anything I've ever done and I may never be. It's easily my finest work."

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Looking ahead: "We have more singles and visuals coming soon. The two-LP vinyl is definitely the centerpiece to it all. I can't wait to let people experience the record on that platform. I have release parties scheduled out here in San Diego as well as Columbus and Cincinnati. I'll be touring this album throughout 2018 and possibly 2019, however long it takes to recoup at the least. Beyond hip-hop tours, I also want to be able to tour in other circuits, ideally alongside a legendary funk/soul act like George Clinton, Zapp or RAMP with this project. Overall, I'm open to wherever the chips fall."

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