I.K.P.’s Fourth Solo Album Now Out – The Hype Magazine
It has been a long time since I have been so impressed by a rapper’s lyrics. The lyrics, however, are not the only thing that I.K.P.’s fourth solo album has to offer. The lyricism is accompanied by A1 production, thanks to platinum producers Christopher Starr (CSP Music Group) and Ivan “MNDCFT” Corpening, among others. All in all, I.K.P.’s newest addition to his sterling discography goes beyond impressive and achieves “best album of 2021 so far” status.
The album is titled “11:11” to reflect that this is the New York based rapper’s fourth solo album (added all the “1’s” together). It was also released on his birthday, April 1st (4/1/21), hence 11:11.The album itself was written at a time of deep personal struggle for I.K.P. Not the least of which was depression, self-harm, drug abuse, etc. He is not the first artist to turn to his art for catharsis, but the music that came from it can certainly be considered as a personal favorite of mine. He just does it so well.
Lyrically, I have not heard many rappers, new or old, that are as versatile and creative as I.K.P. He uses his lyrical prowess to flex (such as in the song “Reflex”) and to reveal deep, personal scars (like in my favorite track “Nautica Lambskin”). In my opinion, that is what makes this body of work so cohesive and embodies it with an irresistible flow: the versatility. The album is a flawless mix of lighthearted and deeply personal lyrics. It keeps the album from ever feeling too heavy or too trite. There is a delicate balance and I.K.P. knows how to keep it.
Afterall, I.K.P. certainly has a great deal of real-life experience to draw from. Not only is he a survivor of sexual abuse from his time in the military, but he has also endured homelessness and drug addiction. All of his internal and external struggles certainly add to his artistry and make his music very layered. His music (this album in particular) requires multiple listens to even come close to appreciating where he is coming from. Especially if you take into account his impressive wordplay. While his previous albums are wonderful, I think this is his best so far.
His words make him a lyrical juggernaut and his multiple flows weave his lyrics into seamless stories, but the production plays its own crucial role in the album’s power. The late-night aura of “Madd Regulah” summon images New York City at night while “Eleven Eleven” brings its own sinister menace to the album. My favorite track on the record is probably “OPEN FLOOR.” The features are immaculate, the production cuts like a knife and I.K.P.’s rapid fire lyrical assault makes the track the most fun to listen to. I have hit replay on this song more times that I can keep count of.
It is safe to say that you are doing yourself a disservice if you have not given this album a listen. It is every hip/hop lover’s dream. It brings everything to the table that you could want in a rap album. Story, flow, lyricism, production and fun. It is obvious how passionate I.K.P. is about his work because it shines through his artistry. This album gets a solid 5 out of 5 stars from me.