Optimal I.M., a.k.a., Ian Mitchell, was born in Longmont, Colorado on June 30th, 1979. Optimal's childhood and adolescence are described in detail on 'It Sucks' from Optimal's first classic release 'The Highlander'. Optimal started writing songs at age 11, started rapping at age 12 and producing beats at age 14. In 1995 Optimal I.M., then known as Etude Double Play, competed in the 'Battle for State Supremacy'. Unfortunately the competition had no winner because of extracurricular activity in the audience, which led to the audience fleeing for the exits and the termination of the competition. Fortunately 'Chill', even then a well known and respected underground Colorado emcee, told young Optimal that he was 'wicked', giving Optimal much needed encouragement in a time when the Hip-Hop community only thought of Vanilla Ice whenever seeing a white emcee. In the later months of the year 2000 Optimal I.M. started his own record label 'Optimal Entertainment' in hopes of promoting his own perfected, collected works, uniting with other talented emcees and producers, and putting Colorado on the Hip-Hop Map: with his first release 'The Highlander', Optimal I.M. is laying down the foundation to just that.