I.D. Artisan talks 9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles [Interview]
Ottawa, ON – 9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles comic has received a lot of love from our viewers since exclusively premiering the series on our site. Now, to jump further into the 9th Illy universe, we’ve brought in series creator, 9_4 of I.D. Artisan to answer some questions. Find out more about the characters and plot twists that have already been introduced, and also a preview at what’s to come. We’ve also go some info about the upcoming #YNTIDY mixtape and the 9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles Official Soundtrack. Click the jump link to read the interview.
HipHopCanada: Peace I.D Artisan, thanks for taking some time to speak with HipHopCanada about 9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles. Tell me, when and how did you get into drawing?
I.D. Artisan: I don’t remember exactly why or how I started but I do remember that the journey began at the age of 5.
HipHopCanada: Were you a comic collector? What were your favourite comic books growing up?
I.D. Artisan: I was a huge comic collector. I had all kinds of Marvel and DC titles but my favorite growing up would have to be the Todd McFarlane powered Spider-Man comics
HipHopCanada: How did the concept for 9th Illy come to be? Was there a key inspiration for the series?
I.D. Artisan: The concept for 9th Illy started as a seed in my brain and was given water to grow by such inspirations as Aaron McGruder (creator of the Boondocks).
HipHopCanada: Is the storyline a work in progress or do you already know how the story ends?
I.D. Artisan: The storylines are done for Book 1 and Book 2 (Season 1/Season 2) and I have a good idea of how the story ends, and trust me it’s not the way anybody would ever expect. I like to keep the fans guessing.
HipHopCanada: Let’s switch the focus more to the actual storyline. What can you tell us about the story moving forward? Anything you can let out the bag early?
I.D. Artisan: The story moving forward from here on gets real intense real fast. In Chapter 4: Where “Z” Chain At? We follow $inCity recording artist ZIGZAG to the hood where we go deeper into his world and find out what happened to his red gold chain, who the Mystic Bloods are and what action is going to be taken to get back what belongs to him before his label fiinds out. I can let it be known that Chapter 5 will be dedicated to the villans.
HipHopCanada: What kind of discography do the $inCity Recording artists have to date? Which artist is really getting it in?
I.D. Artisan: ZIGZAG has 3 albums, KAMA is promoting her 1st, and 9_4 is working on his 1st. I would say THE BEAT DEMON is really getting it in for the simple fact that he produces and engineers all of the artist’s music and keeps them sounding like a million dollars
HipHopCanada: What do the 4 $inCity Recording chains represent to the villains? Why do they need those chains so bad?
I.D. Artisan: I don’t want to give away to much of the story so I’ll just say the 4 mystical chains represent something CHRISPIN and the H-Click would die to get their hands on .
HipHopCanada: 9th Illy has 8 main characters but 4 main heroes. Describe each character in your own words.
I.D. Artisan: $inCity artist ZIGZAG is a member of the Mystic Bloods, is 3 albums deep, and when recording likes to have that good green by his side. He wears the Z Pendant red gold chain. THE BEAT DEMON is the super producer responsible for the mastered sound of all $inCity artists, and was the first one to sign with the label, he’s also a tech genius/hip-hop historian. He wears the Darkstaar red gold chain. KAMA SUTRA is a female battler rapper promoting her first album under $inCity Records, and who is fearless when it comes to showing off her talent and material possessions. She wears a Rosary Cross red gold chain. 9_4 is a rapper who is the definition of the golden era of hip-hop , and the newest member to the $inCity Records team. He wears the SkullHead red gold chain and is currently recording his first album for the label. CHRISPIN is a soulLess creature who is bent on having all the 4 red gold chains in his possession. He wears nothing but blue and is the head of a clique known only as THE H-CLICK. COBALT BLU is an ex-police officer who has been consumed by the darkness, has a personal vendetta against ZIGZAG and is Chrispin’s right hand man. REQUIEM is actually the famous Hollywood actor Blake Garcia who has been hired by Chrispin to help reek havoc on the $inCity artists, especially KAMA SUTRA. SAMYASA is an H-Click solider with a split personality who is connected to THE BEAT DEMON in a way that the fans will never guess (I don’t want to give away that part of the storyline yet but stay tuned).
HipHopCanada: The 9_4 character is obviously inspired by your real-life likeness. What about the other characters in the series. Do any of them have real-life inspirations that molded their look or character?
I.D. Artisan: Yes. I based all the main characters on actual people to give them a real feel.
HipHopCanada: We know Chrispin is a representation of the Crip gang but is or was he also an artist?
I.D. Artisan: CHRISPIN was a rapper before he had his accident which he suffered amneisia from. Now he remembers nothing about the life he used to have and the only way he can regain his memories is to collect all of the red gold chains the $inCity artists wear.
HipHopCanada: Aside from the 9_4 character, who is your favourite from the series? Would it also be the same character you enjoy drawing the most?
I.D. Artisan: Aside from the 9_4 character, I’d have to say CHRISPIN just for the simple fact that his character does not have a mouth and I never show his real eyes, so he remains mysterious. And by the way his back story alone deserves a spin off comic series (real talk).
HipHopCanada: There have been several tracks posted along with the various ‘issues’ of the comic. When is the official soundtrack set to drop and what can we expect from it?
I.D. Artisan: The soundtrack to the comic will be released later on this year close to the end of Book 1, and what you can expect from it are songs by the $inCity artist’s telling the 9th Illy story as they see and go through it.
HipHopCanada: What about the #YNTIDY mixtape? Any info you can offer about that?
I.D. Artisan: The YNTIDY mixtape is going to be a joint project with I.D Artisan and HipHopCanada.com and it’s definately goin to turn some heads, open some eyes, and bring more awareness to the movement. The mixtape will be mixed by Circa Beatz.
HipHopCanada: You’ve got quite the portfolio of designed characters of real-life rappers and music industry people including Organik of King of the Dot and HipHopCanada’s own Dutchy. Is this a service you’re offering the general public or all the characters you’re creating all tied into the actual comic series?
I.D. Artisan: Yes, this is a service I am providing to artist’s and to the general public, so you don’t even have to be into music to get a custom cartoon character done. Some characters that I have done will be featured in the comic but I won’t give away who yet.
HipHopCanada: What about designing mixtape and/or album artwork? Is this something people can get at you for?
I.D. Artisan: People can get at me for any and all they’re mixtape/album cover art design needs. I treat every album cover art I do like a 9th Illy comic panel, because I draw and create while others just copy and paste.
HipHopCanada: Aside from being a talented artist, you also make music yourself. Before we wrap this up, can you touch on what you’re working for right now on that side of things? Can we expect a 9_4 album or mixtape anytime soon?
I.D. Artisan: Just so people don’t get confused, I want it to be understood that I.D Artisan is the visual artistic side of me and 9_4 is the musical side of me (as well as the main character in the comic). I have a couple of EPs and mixtapes coming out in the next couple of months leading up to the release of the comic soundtrack closer to the end of the year and end of Book 1.
HipHopCanada: How can people get in touch with you? Plug your contacts and social networking links.
I.D. Artisan: http://www.twitter.com/9thilly, http://www.twitter.com/idartisan.
HipHopCanada: Anything else you want to add?
I.D. Artisan: Yes. “Man is the master of his own destiny and architects of his own fate” – Marcus Garvey
Written by Jesse “Dutchy” Plunkett for HipHopCanada