Nothing about Jonny iLL’s fairly nondescript childhood would lead one to believe that he would be where he currently is today. He grew up in a two-parent household as the oldest sibling of two in the smaller, middle class neighborhood of Lancaster, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.
However, in some ways, hip hop raised the young rapper. After being taken under the wings of his older cousin’s rap clique at the impressionable age of 12 years old, he never looked back. Jonny iLL claims it was the classic hip hop track by Common Sense, I Used to Love Her, that sealed the deal for him. At 14 years old, he knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.
More interested in emceeing than taking classes, Jonny iLL regularly skipped school to attend freestyle battles and practice honing his craft. After graduating, he made the mistake of delving into the criminal lifestyle that is often glorified in rap music, but eventually that caught up with him, landing him with a year of probation and the perspective to make better decisions in the future.
Nowadays, Jonny iLL can be found rapping about the frustrations and struggles of the everyday man: the monotony of going to the same dead-end job every day, struggling to come up with rent payments and basically, trying to achieve your dreams even when it may seem as though the odds are stacked against you.