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Culture is Currency (Pt. I)

by Ill Poetic

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"Culture is Currency (Pt I)" is inspired by my life in Cincinnati, Ohio and San Diego, CA. As a younger white artist in the Ohio hip-hop scene through the 2000s, I've been an unknowing passive participant in gentrification, often a part of the first wave of poor artists looking for a communal space we could collectively afford to create from. As an adult, I watched the cycle repeat itself like a drum loop, learning more and more about each systemic element involved.   
 
"Culture is Currency (Pt I)" grapples with all of this and is especially inspired by my time spent at Beat Box Records in Barrio Logan, a Chicano neighborhood that took decades of shit from the city of San Diego and planted a garden from it. They grew art, culture, community, fierce activism and an autonomous local economy based solely on their heritage and culture and they did it with pride. If I could, I would plant Barrio Logans all over this country and watch them grow like wildflower. 

I've never made a song like this. I've never rapped like this. It took me a long time to articulate and evolve my perspective on systemic racism and gentrification in a way that I would be proud of in 20 years. This song isn't a lead single to anything, but I'm far from through with this concept, as there's so much more to explore. "Culture is Currency" will show itself in a different form down the road. this song is just too dope for me to sit on much longer.   

It's a constant challenge to not only balance both self-improvement and social activism but to see one's social activism AS self-improvement. This record is inspired by visionaries, entrepreneurs and activists who understood this concept both for themselves and their communities. All that said, I snapped on this shit and I need to give it to all of you:  "Culture is Currency (Pt I)".

Produced by Tyonthe Track

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released September 1, 2020
Produced by Tyonthe Track

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Ill Poetic San Diego, California

After over 15 years of boundary-pushing self-released albums, mash-ups, production work, graphic work, entrepreneurship and even curriculum development, Ill Poetic has developed a wide spectrum of creative tools and processes to express a range of thoughtful and honest work. ... more

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