NYC 7.25.12 / by J. Ivy

Grammy Award Winning, HBO Def Poet – J. Ivy Presents “HERE I AM” The Book Album Concert Launch – at New York’s (le) Poisson Rouge – July 25th, 2012 NEW YORK, July 2, 2012 /Press Release/ ‐‐‐ Known as “Hip‐Hop’s Favorite Poet,” J. Ivy has followed up his latest album, “HERE I AM,” with his book “HERE I AM: Then & Now.” Often referred to as a modern day Gil Scott‐Heron, J. Ivy's breathtaking work has been seen, heard, and experienced by millions, whether on the opening of NBC’s Sunday Night Football alongside Faith Hill or multiple appearances on Russell Simmons HBO Def Poetry. Most noted for performing one of Hip‐Hop’s most historic verses alongside Jay‐Z and Kanye West on the song “Never Let Me Down,” this Grammy Award Winning Artist has been coined as one of the most notable hip‐hop poets to date. This Chicago native J. Ivy has found a unique way of taking his poetry, music, writing and storytelling to levels never quite seen before. Moving forward with his current “HERE I AM” Book Album Concert Launch, J. Ivy is set to bring this must see experience to New York City. Performing live with his band, 2x Grammy Winning Singer Tarrey Torae, singer/songwriter Nikki Jean and International Dj The Twilite Tone, J. Ivy is sure to be more than captivating blending poetry, music, and Hip‐Hop into one synchronized sound. Hosted by television personality Yasmine Richard, this event will take place at one of Manhattan's premier performance venues, (le) Poisson Rouge, located at 158 Bleeker Street. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $20. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to J. Ivy's Write To Live Poetry & Leadership Academy, which teaches young boys and girls the art of poetry and writing. Show Link: Additional Bullet Points: ‐ Featured recorded and written pieces from memorable collaborations alongside of The Last Poets, Jessica Care Moore and Amanda Diva. ‐ Featured dedications to the late Gil Scott‐Heron, Ernie Barnes & Michael Jackson. ‐ Live Stream Available ‐ Limited Press Comps Available ‐ Book Signing and Press Talk to Follow. More About the Artist: As a true artist, J. Ivy has found a unique way of taking his poetry and storytelling to heights unseen. His breathtaking work has been seen, heard, and experienced by millions, whether on as a featured host and performer on Fuse TV’s Hip‐Hop Shop Freestyle Cypher, or a guest speaker at Deepak Chopra’s Annual Symposium. Currently he is also a guest speaker/performer for NBA Veteran Etan Thomas' "Fatherhood" Book Launch Summer Panels, and is the current spokesman for the Bombay Sapphire & The Rush Arts Foundation International Artisan Series. More Information on the Artist J. Ivy go to www.J‐ ‐ Follow on Twitter & Instagram @J_Ivy. Link:!/J_Ivy Watch his latest music videos/clips & Subscribe to his YouTube: ‐ “War” ‐ “Shades & Blades” ‐ “Never Let Me Down” ‐ “Dear Father” “Here I AM” Book & Album Available on all digital formats/limited hard copy distribution. Contact: Ivyous Entertainment, LLC., 312.523.9965, Book/Album Description "HERE I AM," the new album from Acclaimed spoken word artist, J. Ivy, affectionately and respectfully known as Hip-Hop's Favorite Poet, tackles topics of everyday life, love, war and spirituality with a few feel-good, poetic party anthems thrown in all with an intelligent, edgy hip- hop swagger. This collection of songs is the perfect bridge of Poetry and Hip-Hop Music. The Conversation of this Hip Hop Poetic Art/Music Album Collection is extended in the written work of J. Ivy's writing in his book Here I AM: Then and Now Book/Album Track List: 1. Here I Am 2. 2012 ft. Twone Gabz & Mikkey Halsted 3. Stay In Your Lane 4. Focus 5. You ft. Jessica Care Moore & Jesse Boykins III 6. War ft. Blitz the Ambassador 7. Here We Are 8. Shades & Blades 9. Did He? 10. Little Brother ft. The Last Poets, Yaw & Khari L. 11. Jim Richards 12. It Is What It Is 13. Promise 14. Everything ft. Chris Rob 15. There I Go 16. End-Titled 17. Message with Amanda Diva 18. Fade & A Fitted Reviews/Quotes: WHAT WE ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!! By Melanie Massey From start to finish, this compilation is dynamic and full of good vibes. J. Ivy say's what we have all been waiting for our "favorite," rapper to say. I am grateful that someone has taken a creative stance. This album, although it is spokenword, should be offered as a challenge to all rappers to get their game tight. --I Tunes J. Ivy Hits the Scene with Here I Am. Hip-Hop's Favorite Poet emerges with hottest poetry album of the 21st century The 18-track project, which features cameos and guest appearances by The Last Poets, Jessica Care Moore, Jesse Boykins II, Mikkey Halsted and Blitz the Ambassador all who collectively bridge the gap between hip-hop, poetry and soul will be released in two installments. J. Ivy's Here I Am is the highly anticipated album from one of America's most visible and vocal poets, whose powerful voice is known as the mouth of the unheard, the orator of the hip-hop generation and the linguist on pop culture's progressive side of the tracks. Music is the universal language, and hip-hop is the number one music in the world, says J. Ivy. I am focused on the genre of hip-hop because that's what I grew up on. I am a hip-hop baby. I wholly embrace it. J. Ivy stands as the most successful poet in contemporary memory. As one of HBO Def Poetry Jam's earliest Def poets, the Grammy Award-winning J. Ivy has collaborated with high-caliber artists like John Legend, Kanye West, Jay-Z and The RZA of Wu-Tang Clan. Such a back story, combined with such a strong connection to the spirit of hip-hop, gives Here I Am an unmistakable, authentic and intoxicating vibe, perfect for just ridin' and tapping into the original seeds of rap. Produced by J. Ivy and other talented producers, Here I Am tackles topics of everyday life, love, war and spirituality with a few feel-good, poetic party anthems thrown in all with an intelligent, edgy hip-hop swagger. --PR Log Current events had me thinking about Shades and Blades, the eighth track on J. Ivy s excellent spoken word CD Here I Am. The song tells the story of a wife and mother who is the victim of domestic violence. She wears sunglasses and applies makeup to conceal the damage inflicted by the man's blows. She justifies his violence by reckoning that she brought the violence on herself: "Why I have to act that way/bring him his beer/leave him alone/it s been a hard year and all he want is peace at home." In the end, the woman solves her problem with a knife. This record came in the mail on Saturday (April 23), which is the same day that I learned about the NFL player with a history of domestic violence who allegedly got stabbed by his wife. Life imitated art, and I had to admit that the song's hook, She keep a pair of shades/she got a sharp blade is the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the news. There was a time when the news reports left me grasping for explanations that could best expressed in the lyrics of a hip-hop song, but these days that seems so 1989. And I know that Ivy is a poet. The 18 tracks on this album may rock a steady hip-hop beat, but Ivy is not beholden that beat. The Chicago based artist makes that point clear on End-Titled, an unaccompanied joint where he says “they say he off beat/I m a poet/the beat follows me.” In that regard, Ivy owes as much to jazz as he does to poetry and rap music. Jazz vocalists use the melody as a starting point to embark on creative flights of fancy. They often sing behind the melody, and sometimes it is wise for poets who use musical accompaniment to improvise off the melody in the same way that a sax player or pianist might do. Ivy is an artist whose vocals swerve from a machine gun rapid fire delivery to fire and brimstone style preaching, so he can’t be too beholden to the beat. Not being tethered to the beat grants Ivy a level of lyrical, musical and topical freedom that allows him to take his listeners on a journey to places where many mainstream artists no longer feel free to tread. For example, the tune “Did He” describes a crossroads experience that takes place in abandoned building where the young protagonist sought shelter from the police after a shooting. The young man desperately wants to turn back the clock, and a sinister figure gives him a way out by offering to make the case go away if the boy uses his musical skills to create music that will encourage his young listeners to continue making bad choices. At one level, “Did He” sounds like Ivy is using fantasy to attack the record industry bent on destroying the culture and ripping naive artists off to boot. I guess the A&R guy is the devil. Yet, anyone with kids knows the stakes are much higher than that. “Did He?” speaks to a belief held by many teens that some of their favorite artists made a Faustian bargain to obtain artistic and commercial success. Seen in that light, the song's hook, did he sell his soul/I hope he ain’t sell his soul/did he sell his soul for the gold/did he sell his soul for the gold/ did he sell his soul for the hoes, not only sounds insightful, it rings downright prophetic. “Did He?” pretty much sums up J. Ivy s stance toward poetry and music. On Here I Am, J. Ivy seeks to transform minds and save the youth. His aim is high, but so is his talent level. Artistically, J. Ivy consistently hits the mark and gives us an album that delivers all the promised goods and more. Highly Recommended. By Howard Dukes --Soul Tracks “J. Ivy is Hip-Hop Royalty. He is one of the most prolific lyricists in the game. Don’t Sleep! I’m trying to show you something...” ---Michael Eric Dyson “J. Ivy is my Favorite Poet. He’s Bad! He is Hip-Hop’s Favorite Poet. Everyone should hear this guy spit his poetry! It’s truly amazing!” ---Dave Chapelle “J. is the only poet I know that can do it big! He is really our generation’s biggest voices in poetry! It is great to see someone like J. Ivy doing his thing” ---Talib Kweli “I really dig what J. Ivy does with poetry. He’s Dope!” ---Common “Oh yeah J. Ivy... Yeah, he is a great Poet! I am a fan!” ---Black Thought (The Roots) “J. Ivy is my favorite Poet” ---Ernie Barnes Other Social Links: J. Ivy on Facebook:‐Ivy/105983203407?ref=ts J. Ivy on Wikipedia: Nikki Jean: Twilight Tone:!/TheTwiliteTone Yasmine Richard: Tarrey Torae: The Last Poets: HBO Def Poetry: Jessica Care Moore: Amanda Diva: Blitz the Ambassador: Mikkey Halsted:!/mikkeyhalsted Twone Gabz:!/twonegabz Etan Thomas: Bombay/Rush Arts Foundation: