VISUAL
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VISUAL

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
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"Album review of "Figured It Out" by HipHop-Magazine.com"

Visual - Figured It Out


With Common and Kanye busy stomping over the country, you would think that people would be able to recognize Chicago and it’s prevalent hip-hop scene. Unfortunately, those emcees have been forced to move their roots to New York to make a name for themselves. For this reason, people still don’t get the Chi sound, and most glaze over the town on their way to St. Louis. If your want a sense of what the Chicago scene is like today, may I recommend “Figured It Out” by Visual.

Now, I’m not claiming that it’s one of the best albums the city has put out, but it is very reflective of where the culture stands today. It takes the good with the bad, and that seems to be what this city is all about.

From top to bottom Visual provides 18 solid tracks, while this sometimes seems like a bit much, it is a welcome change from half-ass albums. Lyrically, Visual is on point, while he breaks no new ground, his delivery is more than solid. He has the skill, and is always on beat, in the end its just good work. Content-wise, the album gets a little more interesting. The track “Dope: My Drug Story” tells the all to real story of a young hustla’s infatuation with the paper chase, and the ‘by any means necessary’ too many cats seem to have today. Visual masterfully talks about his struggles, without sounding like a down dude. New York cats might not care too much, what do they care about Humboldt Park or Logan Square? But the album feels very real, no doubt about it.

I can go either way on production; some tracks are heaters, while others have a bit of an amateur feel to it. I think it was Jay-Z who said something about getting out of the basement. The highlight of the album comes early on the very nice “Blessed” featuring JUICE with a beautiful beat by the Molemen’s Panik. If the soft half of this album had nearly the same energy, this could have been a local classic.

At the end of the day, “Figured It Out” is a top shelf offering, and it only shows Visual’s potential. But most importantly the album feels like a Chicago project. It shows that you don’t have to change your address to make some solid hip-hop

by Juan Torres
- HipHop-Magazine.com


"Album review of "Figured It Out" by Hiphoplinguistics.com"



"Visual’s lyrics were very motivational, and made me want to get out and accomplish something. His inspirational lyrics, positive street narratives, and get up anthems inspired me, and somehow fueled me through the week. I ended up listening to the album all the way to and from work each day, as well as on my computer while I was there"


*Full article can be provided upon request* - Nathaniel Long


"Feature article in the Chicago Suntimes on VISUAL & Community Service"

Community Service performed by bunch of regular guys

July 16, 2004

BY DAVID JAKUBIAK

Community Service is not a Latino imprint of the Wu-Tang Clan or a Chicago edition of New York's Terror Squad. Comprising seven MCs and producer Infinite Beats, Community Service is a collective of hip-hop heads, each solo artists, who have joined up to provide a counterbalance to the ongoing struggle in hip-hop.

They're sort of hip-hop moderates. They aren't thugs and they aren't nerds.
"I'm not 50 Cent, I didn't get shot nine times and I'm not going to tell you in every verse that I'm going to shoot you," says Visual, one of the rappers in the group. "I'm not over here packing grams of this and grams of that; that's just not us. We're regular people."
You're also not likely to hear Community Service rapping about mathematical theory or traveling through wormholes to uncharted dimensions.
"We're trying to reach a part [of the hip-hop community] that isn't really being reached right now," says Visual. "We're regular cats. We're cats who are still struggling right now. A couple cats still live with their moms, other cats are having trouble paying bills, and one of the guys is about to get married. We are all regular people. We're just doing our thing and struggling. That's what we represent."

The group formed around producer Infinite Beats, who was working individually with Kinetic, Visual, Dism, Deebo, Nalij, Chances and Suspect Me. Over time, the MCs came to know each other working in the studio together.
Visual says he approached the group with the name "Community Service" and an offer to do a few projects, and the group was born.
One of the immediate benefits of having such a large crew is the geographic strength they represent.
"We've got guys from everywhere. We've got guys from Pilsen, from Little Village, from Logan Square, Bridgeport, Cicero, Berwyn," says Visual. "We're everywhere -- South Side, North Side, West Side. We touch everywhere."

Another advantage, Visual says, is the group's Latino background. Members of Community Service represent heritages within the Latino diaspora ranging from Mexico to Cuba to Peru to Puerto Rico.
"The Latino community in Chicago is everywhere. People may say a neighborhood is all black or all white, or whatever, by no matter what, we are there," says Visual. "We're in Polish neighborhoods, we're in black neighborhoods, we're in Italian neighborhoods."
But, he adds, being Latino also drives the group. "We [Latinos] are rarely mentioned in the news, even with racism. Everything is either black or it's white. The only Latino thing people know about is tacos and J.Lo, and I ain't feeling that!"
With their first project, Community Service have taken a shot directly at hip-hop's core.
"The Essence," a CD mixed by DJ Risky Bizness, consists of 16 classic DJ Premier beats laced with lyrics by the group and includes tracks such as Gangstarr's "Skills," OC's "My World" and Nas' "Memory Lane."
"How could you go wrong with that?" Visual asks. "It's all Primo beats. He's a legend. I just told the guys, rap over whatever beats you like and come with something nice and raw."

Visual says the group is working on an original CD, which will be produced by Infinite Beats.


David Jakubiak is a local free-lance writer.

Copyright © The Sun-Times Company

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
- David Jakubiak


"Chicago hip-hop veteran Visual has fashioned a career on working hard and true to the blue-collar ideals, work for his hip-hop family."

Arthur Miller’s blue-collar parable Willy Loman is the categorical representation of the overworked and dejected artist. Loman’s angst and frustrations are easily mirrored in the struggles of rockers, rappers, and producers who are trying to assert their success but are often met with lukewarm responses. So the question remains, how does an artist succeed in the face of this pressure?

Chicago hip-hop veteran Visual has fashioned a career on working hard and true to the blue-collar ideals, work for his hip-hop family. Visual’s persona is not an overstated caricature that promises to lyrically dismember your crew; he is the archetype for talent meets real life motivation. Crafting his skill with countless collaborations and heavy catalog, Visual is poised to show listeners and fans the quality of hard work.

Presently on this emcee’s plate is the mixtape release Never Sold Crack with collaborator DJ Asiatic. This project features Soul Assassin alum Scheme, Ground Lift artists Que Billah and Wes Restless, Bbu, and rock band Train Wreck Symphony. Behind the boards are producers Domingo, Stona, Madd Jazz and Lorenzo Vektor. - Frank 151


"Album review of "Figured It Out" by Illhiphop.org"


"Visual has a rare talent that allows him to vividly describe his surroundings without necessarily glorifying or promoting the pitfalls that the people throughout urban America seem to get caught up with"

*Full article can be provided upon request* - Pete Nickeas


"Feature article in the Chicago Tribune"

LOCAL HEROES: A WEEKLY COLUMN ON MUSICIANS AND HAPPENINGS IN THE CHICAGO AREA MUSIC SCENE

Thinking Visual for honest hip-hop

Andy Downing
Published June 30, 2006


It's ironic that Visual's first album is titled "Figured It Out" (Community Service) because the 27-year-old emcee, born Cesar Zamudio, doesn't seem to have an ounce of hubris in his character. If anything, Visual is keenly aware that he doesn't have anything completely figured out--at least not yet.

"A lot of people when they come out are like, `I'm gonna come with the hottest album ever. I'm gonna be the best rapper ever,'" says Visual. "I thought, `You know what, what if I came with an album kind of showing my journey to that point?' That's what I feel this album is. It's like the album Nas could have made before `Illmatic.'"

Visual, the younger brother of the Molemen's Edward "Panik" Zamudio, eschews the violence, drugs and posturing commonplace in mainstream hip-hop. Instead, he focuses on the ups and downs of day-to-day life with little concern for his "rep."

On "Dope: My Drug Story," the emcee's only addiction is the need to pen "dope" verses; "Beautiful Women" is a refreshingly upbeat ode to the women in Visual's life; "Loyalty" trumpets the importance of remaining true to one's self and to others who have helped along the way. The tracks are imbued with an easy confidence, Visual's casual delivery evoking a conversation between longtime friends.

"[The album] is human," says Panik, who produced the freestyle boasts of Visual and guest emcee Juice on "Blessed." "There's a certain vibe when someone puts themselves in the music. You really get to know the person. That's the best part about [`Figured It Out']."

The emcee's down-to-earth worldview is tied directly to his Logan Square upbringing where, as the youngest of four children, he didn't always have the coolest clothes or the newest sneakers. But while his older brothers struggled with gangs, the rapper credits frank discussions with his parents for helping him avoid a similar path.

"My mom and dad always told me what my brothers were doing. They didn't keep it a secret," says Visual. "I remember when I was a kid my brothers had a gun and they handed it to me like, `Hey, look at this.' Ever since that day I've never touched a gun. That was at 10 years old and I'm 27 now."

It was another of his brother's finds that really inspired Visual as a child. He remembers being just 5 when Panik would bring home early hip-hop records such as the soundtrack for "Breakin'," busting the needle on their father's turntable as he tried to scratch like a deejay.

In his early teens Visual began to write poetry, which he started developing into raps as he neared his 16th birthday. His first song, a verbal takedown of Snoop Dogg that Visual penned after hearing Dr. Dre's "The Chronic," still makes the emcee laugh as he talks about it more than a decade later.

Visual made his first mixtape appearance in 1998, releasing a pair of EPs in 2000 under the name Ndvisual. But it was nearly six years and 20 mixtapes later before he felt confident enough to look back on his life and put all of himself on record.

"I was just taking my steps," says Visual. "Sometimes people try and jump ahead when it's something they haven't earned or it's something they aren't ready for. I just don't want anybody to say `I put you here.' I always tell myself I'm going to take my own steps and I'm going to get somewhere."

Visual, 7 p.m. Monday, Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. $10; 847-358-9150.

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localheroes@gmail.com - Chicago Tribune


"Urb Magazine Next 1000 Feature"

"The ego-smashing trend of ultra-realness has reached the windy shores of the Chi. Visual presents himself to be nothing more than who he is, just a regular guy"

- Dan Vidal @ Urb magazine - Urb Magazine


"Feature article in the Chicago Suntimes"

Visual looks inside to chart his growth

March 24, 2006
BY DAVID JAKUBIAK Hip-Hop

"I'm that kid from back in the day that y'all used to look at and say, 'He's gonna be great,'" Visual declares on the intro of his latest CD, "Figured It Out."
It's a bold declaration from the younger brother of the Molemen's Panik, a familial relationship each artist has distanced himself from since Visual first picked up a mike in the late 1990s. But it's not, as some people has guessed, that the brothers have any sort of beef.
Panik explains: "When you start out, your version of you is rough. He wanted to make the music, but he needed to grow. He had to grow into his own self, and I had to let him pay his own dues. Now that he has, we'll work on some stuff."
Visual confirms this stance.
"I've always believed in taking steps. I've earned my spot. I took my steps. I didn't jump ahead."
"Figured It Out" is a testament to Visual's growth; in fact, it's a narrative of that growth. A posture-free self-examination, the CD is a raw, profanity-infused coming-of-age story told through a narrator who has risen from the depth of poverty to the cusp of celebrity.
Visual calls it "the album Nas would have made right before he made 'Illmatic.' It's something that no one has ever done before. I'm explaining the process."
That process is a return to hip-hop as hip-hop should be. Visual isn't playing the thug role. He's not playing the Don. He's not playing the hustler-turned-record executive. He's offering himself, even if he may not be what people expect from a hip-hop album.
"I had one review and the guy said that he believes in me as a person, but in the end he said, 'Unfortunately, that doesn't do any good for his album. Visual needs a boost of bravado, right away.' In other words, I'm not flossy enough, I'm too humble, I'm not big-upping myself enough. Especially coming from a rapper, I'm 'supposed to be doing that.'"
But Visual is defiant.
"That's the reason people lie so much. They don't want to be told that they're not doing enough of whatever they are 'supposed' to be doing," he says. "They want to be the superstar. They want to be the champ."
And this, he continues, is where hip-hop has gone astray.
"The thing I liked about rappers when I was coming up was that I saw a piece of me in them," Visual says. "Whether it was Common or Guru or Jay-Z or Wu-Tang, when I saw that little piece of me in them, that's when I got excited. That's what I'm trying to do. I want people to hear that they are just like me. There are a lot of people out there bragging, and I can do that. But it gets tired."
This brings Visual to another point. He can't comprehend how introspective somehow became soft.
"I can spit battle raps. I know that I can do this better than a lot of people," he says. "But I chose to be humble. But at the same time, I will bring it. They say nice guys finish last, and I'm definitely not trying to finish last."
If Visual continues along the path he's on, that won't be a problem. It's impossible to finish last you've figured it out and so many others are looking at the wrong map.
To listen to samples of Visual's music visit www.myspace.com/visualcs.
David Jakubiak is a local free-lance writer.
- David Jakubiak


"Feature/Interview on HIPHOPGAME.COM"

Visual Interview
April 2006


What’s good?

I’m feeling good. I’m just chilling. I’ve been real busy lately. Right now I’m trying to maintain mentally.


How do you want to introduce yourself to HipHopGame?

I want to let cats know, first and foremost, that I’m a dude out here on his grind doing his thing. I’m from Chicago and I rep my city 100%. I’m taking my steps and I’m not trying to be funny-style in this industry. I’m just trying to do it right and make the proper moves. That’s how I want people to see me as. I’m trying to get respect the right way.

What do you want to tell people about your album “Figured it Out”?

I want them to go cop it. I put a lot of effort into it. That’s me expressing myself to the fullest. I just want people to know the deal about it. It’s me to the utmost.

What were some of the challenges you faced putting it together?

Trying to balance everything, from the time and my regular life, trying to get paper, and spending time with my family. I wanted to do it right. Time was really my main challenge. Everybody needs time. As far as the music goes, it’s something that I love and feel passionate about. Music has never been a challenge, but trying to balance time can be.

Are you happy with how the album came out?

Of course. I put everything I had into it. I feel that I moved the right way into it. I put my time into it and I got what I wanted out of it. I got some people to help me with the production and to get some guest appearances. Panik, my brother, dropped the beat for the song I did with Juice. Some people came in and sang hooks for me. I’m happy with it. I feel that I earned my spot. I put it out myself on my own label. I executive-produced it…I’m extremely happy with how it came out. It feels good.

What was your inspiration for “Everything”?

To be real, it’s a couple of different things. I think right now, society, Hip Hop, and the world in general is either too scared of something or they’re too tough-guy about something. If you’re driving, there’s a guy that wants to cut you off all day, he wants to swerve in front of you, and then there’s a guy at the “stop” sign that’s too scared to go. That’s what inspired this. It made me think of everything. I’m able to see how people react to things. It’s also where I’m from. Chicago has all kinds of shit out here. You can go a couple of blocks in any direction and see something completely different. We have ghettos right next to big houses. The shit that we’re on out here and the levels that I’ve been able to reach, it makes me feel like I’m “everything controversial/underground, gangster rap, slash commercial.” That’s how that shit made me feel.

How was it working with Juice?

Working with Juice was great. That dude is a true professional. He knocks his shit out, he knows what he’s doing, and he’s just good. He’s precise with it. He’s a veteran and a pro, and it’s undeniable. I wish that dude a lot of luck with the route he’s trying to take. It’s great to work with him. It’s inspiring to work with him to see him doing his thing. He’s real good to work with. He’s a humble dude. He does his thing and he’s just on point. That’s what I can say about that dude.

The album has a lot of different flavors.

It goes along with everything. I’m here from Chicago and we just touch all kinds of things. Chicago has been very segregated ever since I can remember. I came from Logan Square on the Northwest side and everybody is there. That is so inspiring to me. Look at my song “OC,” that’s Chicago. Then other songs have some West Coast or New York flavors. That’s all from my upbringing from being into all Hip Hop and being a Chicagoan. “Loyalty” is a personal-experience song about how things switch up in your life and people change. “The Only Way” is me breaking it down. I didn’t really want to switch up my album to be on the bandwagon or follow any trends. That’s the type of expressing-myself dude that I am.

How is it working with the Molemen?

It’s always good. Panik is family so it’s always good to be working with him. I don’t think we’ve done enough, but we’ve been doing more recently. That’s always good. They have a good work ethic and their beats are always off the hook.

Does having the name “Visual” add any pressure to you?

I don’t think so. The name speaks for itself. I take my steps and I’m just trying to do my thing. I’m trying to bring a different flavor to this shit. Everybody does one thing way too much or not enough. I’m just trying to have balance and do my thing. It goes along with a lot of cats claiming they’re the king or the prince of the city. I’m not stuck on that. I see things, break it down, and let you know my opinion.

How do you feel about the way Chicago is being represented?

I like it. We have a lot of flavors. I think slowly but surely it’s getting more exposure. I’m not really a fan of people seeing one dude as a representation of a city. It might work for New York, the South, or Cali, but it won’t work for us. We’re not that type of city. None of us around here are for one man representing Chicago. If anyone says it, it’s a joke. Twista could have always said he was the king of the city, but he never did because he knows what’s up. Same with Common. Kanye, as cocky as he is, has never said that. Lupe Fiasco has never said anything like that.

Where do you see yourself in the Chicago scene?

I see myself as someone who has been grinding for a long time and I’m finally starting to get the right exposure. I’ve been at it for awhile. I was playing around for a couple years and been really serious for a couple years. I feel like I’m right where I should be. What’s meant for me is right around the corner. Hopefully the right people notice me. I don’t want any fame, but I do want to be recognized as someone who is doing his thing. I’m trying to say something and do it differently than most people.

What’s up with Community Service?

That’s an idea that I had. It’s a group of people that all work together. That’s the type of mind-state I take into the music. I help other dudes out and they help me out, from recording, promoting, getting on mixtapes…We get down like that and in time I turned it into a label to where I can put out my own music. It’s the face of what I’m trying to do, and that’s representing my city and my people that have helped me to get to where I’m at.

What are your goals for “Figured it Out”?

To keep it moving. I’ve picked up a couple of distributors here and there. Hopefully I can squeeze out a 12”. If I could do that, I’d be really happy. I’m trying to get some more shows also. I’ve been doing shows around Chicago and soon hopefully out in Cali and Canada. I’m just trying to get the music out there.

What’s next for you?

Next for me is a new album I’m working on. I’m just starting with that. I have a mixtape titled “The Resume” that will be out before the next album. “Figured it Out” is out now, and I’m getting in the studio next month to work on the next project. The production is definitely going to be off the hook because it’s going to be handled by the Molemen.

What do you want to say to everyone?

Peace to everybody that’s been supporting. I just want to get my name out there and let people know what’s up. I’m out here trying to do what I’m doing . I’m not trying to thug it up or be too jazzy and “bring Hip Hop back.” I’m that dude that’s just like you. That’s how I get down. I’m not trying to have anybody listen to my music and be like, “That dude’s going to kill me. He has a million guns.” That’s not me and that’s not what I represent.

For more information, visit www.myspace.com/visualcs
- DJ 730 of HIPHOPGAME.COM


"Album review of "Figured It Out" by Hip-hopkings.com"

Visual - Figured It Out

Posted on April 17, 2006



This is the TRUTH! Visual is the name and hard work, realism and loyalty is the game. Fresh out of Chicago, Illinois, Visual is back with his brand new album “Figured It Out”. The title speaks for itself, as the album focuses on the current lifestyles and struggles of the urban youth in America. With this in mind, Visual raps with a very positive attitude, and his optimistic outlook on life is shown through his music and lyrics. What's refreshing to hear is Visual's fantastic imagery techniques, as the Latino rapper manages to portray the far-from-perfect realism of the streets, without glorifying the drug abuse, weapon use or high death rate.

“Figured It Out” is a genuine account of the life that Visual lives. Each individual track reflects and supports that statement, starting from the two opening bars from the intro track.

Figured it out, I'm chilling here thinking /
Just been me, focusing on my mission /
I'm that kid from back in the day /
That ya'll used to look at saying he gonna be great /

From those for 16 beats onwards, this story of heartache and anguish thickens, as the listener is mentally captured into Visual's emotional encounter.

Visual touches on a range of topics in “Figured It Out”, fluctuating between dreams and reality, pain and love, fury and serenity. The way Visual delivers these emotions through his words sets him aside from the competition, and puts the audience in an appreciative zone.

“Relax” offers a laid back beat with Visual softly rapping over the melody. Mixed with an angelic chorus, this track is just a preview of the ability that Visual possesses. As I mentioned earlier, Visual can flip the mood in an instant. In this case the following track “The Only Way” is a tale of desperation and arrogance. Visual speaks on his ethics towards street life and issues of uncertainty.

Visual offers collaborations with several artists on “Figured It Out”, firstly with Juice on the track “Blessed”. The intense beat allows both Juice and Visual a rare opportunity to flex their multi syllable rhymes and punchlines, rather than concentrating on imagery and descriptive writing. Another successful collaboration was “Every Day Thang” which features Dism. Both emcee's express their emotions on a dark beat, which complemented by a catchy hook, makes the formula for one of the “realist” tracks on the album.


If I could describe the album in three words? Motivational, Real and Diverse are the three that immediately come to mind. After Visual has taken the listener through an emotional journey through his life and experiences, the instant reaction is pressing that repeat button. Visual's rapping ability is complemented by some impressive production and dramatic beats, which creates a fine outcome for such an underrated album. The streets will love this, the poets will love this, and the critiques will be quiet about this release. The album is already in stores, so make sure you pick your copy up!

Rating: 3 out of 5 Crowns

Written by Ryan Maxwell

- Ryan Maxwell of Hip-hopkings.com


"Interview with Hip-hopkings.com"


Visual Interview
Posted on April 09, 2006



Hip-Hop Kings: Well this evening I am joined by another up and coming rapper, who goes by the name Visual. What's good man?

Visual: Just chilling man.

HHK: Yeah? How's life at the moment?

Visual: Yeah man, just taking some time to relax ... Life is good right now. I got my album out. I been doing shows and its been tough but I've been able to balance my time with music, getting dollar and time with family and friends.

HHK: Well before we move on to your album, let's start at the beginning. Who first influenced you to Hip-Hop?

Visual: My brother introduced me to it when I was a kid.. He used to try to DJ and he has always collected records.. Once I got into it, cats like KRS, Slick Rick, Guru, Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Scarface etc. got me excited about wanting to rap.

HHK: Well now you are a rapper, I understand you are a keen storyteller. Is that important to you, to always have a message in a song?

Visual: Yeah man, it is ... I like taking people on a trip ... It’s also very important to me, to actually say something when I rap ... Don't get me wrong, I like to just spit and style it out but having a reason to do what I'm doing is the main reason I do what I'm doing.

HHK: What type of stories have you told? Are they true or what inspires you to write about those topics?

Visual: All kinds of stories ... Personal experience, things that go on in my city that I know about, society, religion, politics ... Life inspires me, so I touch all topics ... The truth is always important to me when it comes to speaking on experience but if its something I heard about, just read about or don't have actual experience with, I just let my mind paint a picture of what it could be, should be or how I see it.

HHK: Well the catalogue of CD's on your discography is impressive. How would you describe your success over the years? How did you get to that level?

Visual: WORK ... It’s the most simple way I can put it. I work on my craft and I try to improve every single time I write or record a new verse ... I also do all I can to get to my name out here ... I handle all my own business at this point. I promote, produce, write, rap, make calls, send emails, book my own shows etc. Its not easy but it the position I'm in right now and I can't let that stop me from getting my music heard and my name familiar with people.

HHK: Would you ever consider signing to a major or do you prefer the independent route?

Visual: I would sign to a major ... The independent route is good for the freedom but no matter my situation, if the freedom isn't there, I'm not rapping ... Honestly, I can't say which is better because as an "Independent", I'm too independent right now, I need some help out here so I can take it to the next level as far as exposure, promotion, distribution etc. In the situation I'm in right now, I would be very happy on an Indie label. I feel that is all I need ... Just that extra help.

HHK: Well on your route so far, you have worked with such artists like Juice on "Blessed". What was that experience like for you?

Visual: It was dope ... Juice is one of the best out there, signed or unsigned so working with him was nothing but positive. He's a professional and he's a coo cat.

HHK: Well let's move on to the album. How would you describe this project to me? Try and sell it.

Visual: Its real music from a real dude. No crack, no hoes, NO BULLSHIT... Just raw Hip-Hop. "Figured It Out" is mood music that touches on all kinds of topics.

HHK: Who have you got as guest spots on the album? Who produced it? Also, how did you hook it all up?

Visual: Well I got the song "Blessed" with Juice and that one is produced by Panik of the Molemen . I also have features from Lady T, Blanca Rodriguez and Wes Restless which helped out with hooks ... I also have my guy Dism on "Every Day Thang" and my guys Chances and Nalij on "Ya'll Are Losin" ... My guy Bigg Deebo and Infinite Beats did most of the beats on the album ... I basically just started gathering beats from these cats, wrote the songs and thought about what they needed so I hit up some people to sing hooks and just made it happen like that ... It took about a year to finish ... I recorded a bunch of songs, some made the album and some didn’t.

HHK: Will you be touring for the album? If so where?

Visual: Right now I'm talking to promoters all over the Midwest & West coast ... Also promoters in Canada and in the UK ... Right now I'm just waiting to see what happens and hopefully this summer I will be all over the place.

HHK: That's good to hear. What do you feel is better, performing or actually making the music? What's the difference?

Visual: I love doing both! When you write and record you're looking for that one moment to "Save" and you get a chance to re record or do something over until you get that right moment ... When you perform, THAT'S IT ... You HAVE TO shine right there and then ... When I record I get into it but when I'm on stage and I see that crowd react to me, I get possessed ... Performing live is the ultimate shit.

HHK: [Laughs] What is your view on the current state of Hip-Hop?

Visual: It's good ... Same as it has always been ... Up and down ... Some dope music, some wack music ... A lot of people thinks its terrible but I don't see much of a change besides the exposure.

HHK: Is there anything else you wanna add to the interview?

Visual: I just wanna say thanks to you and Hip-HopKings.com for the recognition ... Thanks to the people worldwide that have been supporting and make sure if you don't have to go cop my album "Figured It Out" check out some of the songs and spots to order it at www.Myspace.com/Visualcs

HHK: Thank you for reaching out, and your time. Peace and Respect.

Interview By Stuart Hallick

- Stuart Hallick of Hip-hopkings.com


Discography

VISUAL EP's/LP's

* Dirty EP 00''
* Figured It Out LP 06'
* Working Class Legend LP 09'
* Working Class Legend:Overtime LP 10'

VISUAL Mixtapes

* Work mixtape 02'
* The Essence mixtape 04
* What chu' look'in at ? mixtape 07'
* This is now w/ Scheme mixtape 07'
* The Resume Vol. mixtape 1 07'
* Never sold crack 10'

Appears on

* Matlock - Crazy artist type (tape) 98'
* Verbal - Prelude to nothing (CDR) 99'
* Prime - The Cleansing (CDR) 00'
* Record Playas - Sound Tracks for days 03'
* Vyle - Post-Paleontologist 03'
* DJ Vinny Vicious - Lights out (Mixtape) 03'
* Ransak records - Pressure Points 03'
* DJ Anomaly - Mountains Rise 04'
* Longshot - Civil War (Mixtape) 04'
* Rhymespitters (DVD) 04'
* DJ Cosm Rocks - Chicago & Beyond 05'
* DJ Monky - Nothins better (Mixtape) 05'
* Nico B - Just another mixtape (Mixtape) 05'
* Longshot - Civil War (DVD) 05'
* DJ Monky - Nothins Better 2 (Mixtape) 05
* Molemen - Lost Sessions 05'
* Vince P. - "Return of the prince" mixtape 06'
* DJ Madd Jazz presents: The essence ... Mixtape 06'
* Molemen - Chicago City Limits, Vol. 2 06'
* Rip - Local celebrity mixtape 07'
* RocaStona - Znasz Nas_07'
* Scheme - For my people 07'
* Scheme - Same Rebel New Cause 10' * DJ Madd Hatter & Coast 2 Coast mixtapes present: We dem Blockstarz 08' * Esohel – Essential 11’

Music Videos
Music Videos

* Blues from Chicago 06'
* We gonna Fly 09'
* What's up Joe 10'
* Never sold crack 10'
* So Crazy 10'

Photos

Bio

VISUAL was recently on a tour of South France and is finishing up his next project "Hello Hip Hop" ...

If you don't know what he is on, you should get to know. A man with a plan, Visual is the hardest working independent artist in Chicago. His signature blue collar work ethic is evident when you consider that he has individually managed a majority of his career. This includes delivering on public relations, promotions, and booking responsibilities as an artist as well as pushing forward the initiatives of his Community Service record label as a manager. A brief look at his accomplishments will establish his title of "Working Class Legend".

Visual grew up in the Logan Square community on Chicago's northwest side. The diverse urban setting, combined with the stereotypical living conditions associated with the area, provided Visual with a lot of inspiration and experience to begin writing poems which evolved into the raps we hear today. Being the youngest of four brothers, one of which is Panik from the Molemen, helped shape Visual's identity as a hard working and independent artist. Although he could have leveraged Panik and Molemen's fame to ensure success in the industry, he decided to pursue music on his own terms.

"Sometimes people try and jump ahead when it's something they haven't earned or it's something they aren't ready for. I just don't want anybody to say 'I put you here'. I always tell myself I'm going to take my own steps and I'm going to get somewhere". - Chicago Tribune

This unique approach along with his work ethic has equipped Visual with an edge we do not usually see in the industry. David Vidal at Urb Magazine said it best in their Next 1000 Feature, "The ego-smashing trend of ultra-realness has reached the windy shores of the Chi. Visual presents himself to be nothing more than who he is, just a regular guy".

Growing up around other local legends like Juice, Rhymefest, Vakill, and Capital D has been both a learning experience and one that has come full circle. Collaborations with local legends include songs with Capital D from his Working Class Legend album and a song with Juice from the Figured it Out album. During the course of his career Visual has shared the stage with artist such as Lupe Fiasco, The Pharcyde, Atmosphere, Glc, Dj Vadim, DJ A-Trak, Brother Ali, and Swollen Members with much fanfare. It is important to recognize his involvement around Chicago as not only a trendsetting musician, but also as an actor, television show host, and youth advocate. Visual's relentless pursuit for success has landed him positive media attention across a wide variety of channels. This includes articles, features, and reviews in the following: Urb Magazine, Hiphopgame.com, Hip-hopkings.com, Fakeshoredrive.com, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Red Eye.

Visual's work ethic will continue to test the limits set forth by the "business as usual" way of doing things in the industry. Visual will continue to deliver the TRUTH by doing and being the hardest working independent artist in Chicago. Fuse TV has aired Visual's "We Gonna Fly" as part of Fuse On Demand Chicago Presents: Fuse Music Loop. Fuse TV can be seen on Comcast, Direct TV, Dish Network, and many other cable providers across the nation. Visual can also be seen on History Channel's "Gangland" in a dramatization and as a host on Chicago's UGtv.
For more on Visual please visit www.iseeitall.com.