LA based indie/alternative rapper Ivan Ives, has just released his highly anticipated new album, Stranger (available on iTunes). Stranger features production from RJD2 and Aaron Marsh (Copeland) as well as guest appearances from Blueprint, Roots affiliate Greg Porn, Aaron Livingston and more. To celebrate the release of the album yesterday, Ivan premiered a video for the second single off the record, “Higher,” with Diffuser.fm and TheDrop.fm. The animated video features intense visuals of psychedelic skulls, an astronaut, and more than enough bright triangles to add to an ultimately trippy experience. Ivan had this to say about the clip, “I wanted the video to be an adequate visual counterpart to the sonically unique song. I teamed up with a talented young graphic artist to make my off-kilter story about an astronaut lost in space a reality.” “Higher” features guest vocals from Ivan’s longtime friend and collaborator Aaron Marsh of Copeland fame.
Stranger is the follow up to 2010’s First of the Month album, and embodies a much darker and cinematic feel. Ivan recently spoke candidly about the making of the record, “As an artist, I feel like it's all the stuff I've been wanting to say for years... whereas before I was releasing something once or twice a year on average (whether it be album, mixtape, EP) - I really took my time with this one. I recorded more than I needed and took tracks off the album until I felt I couldn't take anymore off, and I was left with Stranger.”
Ivan Ives originally stepped into the hip hop world in 2007, manifesting a name for himself with his clever aggressive wordplay and innovative musicality. Rolling Stone named him among the next 40 artists to watch; SPIN called him one of 8 top unsigned artists; and XXL said "Don't let his indie rocker persona fool you - this guy can spit." He's worked with the likes of Cappadonna (Wu-Tang), Tre Hardson (Pharcyde), Percee P & Oh No (Stones Throw), The Cool Kids, Black Milk, O.C. (DITC), Vast Aire (Def Jux), Ceschi (Fake Four Inc), and many more.
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