Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: Tha GIM

Fresno rapper Tha GIM is a few days away from the release of his first national CD, "This Iz My Life."

Tha GIM (which stands for God In Me) has partnered with Infinity Music Distribution to release the album, which follows his recent successes: touring with Kurtis Blow and getting honored at the Holy Hip-Hop Awards earlier this year.

Here's what he had to say about the new album:

What's the anticipation like for next Tuesday? It's pretty crazy as far as me and my team goes. We're just trying to smash as much more work into this week as possible. I have an album release party in L.A. hosted by a friend of mine who's a DJ at Stevie Wonders' KJLH (102.3 FM). It should be a pretty big turnout.

What will you be doing on Tuesday? I'll be back in L.A. We're having an in-store at one of the biggest gospel retailers out there called Word of Life. So that and just celebrating the day and focusing on executing the moves ahead.

Are there goals in place for the album's release? We have two. We have a quality video for "Freedom Song." It is done and was picked up by Gospel Music Channel, which can be seen on Comcast and DirectTV in Fresno, and is being added to BET along with online video sites. Another was radio play for that song, which is the first single. It got picked up on a nationally syndicated station out of Nashville called Hype Radio, as well as by the radio promoter at Hidden Beach Records, Jill Scott's. I'm hoping B95 (KBOS, FM 94.9) and KDUV (FM 88.9) out here will take the initiative and support it.

What's your favorite thing about "This Iz My Life"? Its many dimensions. It's a quality album with a clear message of the gospel. Its content is relevant to anybody and the bars and bangin' production are there for those who appreciate those things in hip-hop.

Where exactly will people be able to get the album? It won't initially be available at the Target and Best Buy. I gotta get my paper weight up for those accounts, but I will say that if your favorite store other than the major retailers doesn't have it then ask them, "Why not?" So that they can. It will, however, be on those major retail online stores though, FYE, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. And definitely digitally on iTunes and everywhere else.

When should we expect your next Fresno performance? I'm planning a concert for the beginning of the year. I'll most definitely let you know.

It's been a long road for you to get to this point. What's one piece of advice you'd offer to other local artists? Don't count God out. That and getting in the door isn't "making it," it's half the battle. Getting in, rewinding your grind and not being fooled by an artificial lifestyle is what will determine your success in music and in life.

For music and more: Go to thagim.com or myspace.com/thagim.

Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda, mosegueda@fresnobee.com.

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