Illustrate stepped on the Hip Hop music scene in 1995. Back in the days when KJ-52 was known as King J Mack and Mars Ill’s Manchild was beginning work with The Pride. In the Denver music scene, where Illustrate began, he was working with a local secular music label known as Kut-N-Kru Records. While working with this label, Illustrate was mentored in his musical production by DJ Scratch G. Scratch G also taught him the basics of sound recording. The first few songs they recorded were on a ¼ in reel to reel which gave them a limited eight tracks to record with. Beats were produced on an Esoniq EPS. Although the set up was simple, it built a foundation for Illustrate to create musically.
0ver 20 years later and Illustrate still creates new music. With the release of seven independent solo efforts and a compilation release with former label mate Minority, he still chases his passion of sharing his faith through the music. While collaborating with various artists throughout the years, Illustrate has refined his skills as an artist and producer and dramatically grown in his faith in Christ. Illustrate has worked with artists and producers such as Manchild (of Mar’s Ill), Redcloud, Saltybeats, Jendor, Shadow of the Locust, Jeremiah Dirt, Elan Brio, K.P., Ellis Taylor, Illusent, the Lord’s Fellowship, Fros’T, MVP, Rollah, and Represent. Each of these collaborations has allowed Illustrate to refine his art and build strong friendships with these artists.
2016 gave birth to the newest release from Illustrate. This album summarizes many of the challenges and struggles faced during the last 20 years as a “Christian” hip hop artist. The album almost didn’t happen for various reasons. However, November 4, 2016, was the official release date for “Faith, Love, & Hip Hop.” This is the seventh solo release and most powerful project to date. Fueled by new determination to reach hip hop’s youth, Illustrate continues to refine his skills and his walk with God to build the message that through Christ all things are possible.
As of October of 2016, Illustrate has become an official member of Shadow of the Locust. Although he has been friends with Jeremiah Dirt and a Locust fan for most of his time creating music, he had never pursued becoming an official member. As a member of Shadow of the Locust, Illustrate looks forward to future collaborations with crew members and building stronger relationships within the movement. He hopes to share his gifts and talent with the crew and continue to create new music to share his faith. With over 20 years of musical experience, Illustrate is excited to help promote and grow the Locust name.
Contact info, Illustrate:
(all of Illustrate's Music is available on BandCamp or "Illustrate" on iTunes)
-Illustrate & SOTL, "a Mighty Army Cometh, vol.1", 2017
-Illustrate, "Faith, Love, & Hip Hop", 2016
-Illustrate, "True Indeed", 2014
-Illustrate, "The Art of Losing Myself", 2011
-Illustrate, "Rezurrected Muzic Presents… The Circus", 2010
-Illustrate, "Chronicles of Life", 2007
-Illustrate, "Illosophy", 2005
-Illustrate, "Focus", 1999
-Illustrate, "Summons of a Soldier", 1996
-SOTL, "Bizarre", "Dancehall Daggers" a Mighty Army Cometh 2017
-Jeremiah Dirt, “Feel the Break”, the Rebel Lion, 2016
-Slick Reborn, “Rise Up”, From the Streets to the Church Vol. 1 2016
-Rollah, "Hope of Glory", Round 2015
-Represent, "Endangered MC's", "Pioneer", State of the Union 2013
-Minority, “Constantine”, Who I Am 2012
-Divine Flavor, "Mirror Me", 20.10 Compilation 2011
-Minority, “Mic Dreams”,"Colorado Kid","do Your Thang", Mic Dreams 2007
-Fros’T, “All the Kings Men”, Life Long Journey 2000
-Fashion Expo Round 1, “Who Am I? (w/ Joe Bereal) 2003
-Jendor - Sequence Six: The Sad Planet, "MC's From The Womb" 1999