“Mental Army// Is to be more than you think you can be// to see beyond your gender, culture, race, and ethnicity// Mental Army// Fully armed mentally// For knowledge is the true key that will unlock freedom universally”-IXL, Mental Army
Central California is getting ready for a revolution which has been brewing within the underground Hip Hop scene. Leading the charge is IXL, an upcoming independent conscious underground hip hop artist from Fresno.
Growing up in West Fresno, poverty, drug abuse, gang activity and other criminal acts were a part of daily life. Caught between Heaven and Hell, he was faced by a decision whether to live or die. Because of this IXL’s Hip Hop concentrates on positive energy and awareness of ones self. IXL’s lyrics and music are eye opening and mind changing to help others become revolutionary and exceed expectations of one’s self.
Within a world a chaos and instability, he was able to find an escape through writing. Beginning at the age of six, pages became a medium to release all that plagued his mind, and soul. Through those pages, his talent emerged and embedded a desire to share it with the world. Hip Hop/Rap music appealed to him most because he was surrounded by others who were B-boxing and free styling on the streets. It did not take instruments or lessons to be able to make music. He was able to make music with his words and sounds. Rap/Hip Hop was the one type of music that embodied all that he knew of the streets, life, and most of all, himself. IXL’s key musical influences include: Rakim, KRS-ONE, Tupac, Jurassic 5, Public Enemy, MOS Def, Talib Kweli, and Black Thought from The Roots.
His abilities of lyrical rhyme and word play progressed as he grew older. He also came in contact with other artists of various areas. His previous performances include the stages of Arte Americas, Fresno State, Floricanto Poetry Festival, Stanford University, William Saroyan Theater and many more. During his college career at Fresno State, he was able to work with Juan Felipe Herrera, Gary Soto, Francisco X. Alacron, Margarita Luna Robles, and other Chicano writers. He published some of his poetry in a poetry book written by college students, Flies, Cockroaches and Poets.
Over the years, IXL has independently released several albums: Mental Army 2005, Kingdom Cometh 2008, and Liberated King 2009. Many of his local fans are waiting for the release of Riot Music, which is set to drop in the summer of 2011. IXL has been performing in numerous places in the Fresno area. Some of the places that he commonly performs are the Starline, Babylon, Club Fred (Audi’s), Vinni Viddi, Vicci, and Karma Club. IXL has opened for Del the Funky Homosapien, Keak the Sneak, Yukmouth, and recently, KRS-One. Also, he has performed with MASOUL, KRS-One, and other various local artists
His musical talents and life adventures have led him to be the artist that he is today. He continues to strive onward to excel; hence, the name IXL. IXL has no boundaries and will continue to capture, entertain and teach anyone and everyone about revolutionary music.