Ivan Ives
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Ivan Ives

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Hip Hop Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Ivan Opens for another sold out performance with RJD2"

Sizzle reel .
Check it out! - rasclotfilms sizzle reel

"Ivan Directs New RJD2 Project Video"

Aaron Livingston and RJD2 are Icebird.
See new video "going and Going And Going"
Directed by Ivan Ives - rjd2.net

"Ivan Ives Getting His George Orwell On For New Album"

“We’re living in 1984 now; it’s just a little nicer cosmetically,” says Ivan Ives, the Los Angeles alt-rapper – deemed an “artist to watch” by Rolling Stone – whose epic new disc, "Newspeak", has just dropped on No Threshold Records.

“The album title is a reference to George Orwell’s novel ‘1984,’” he explains. “‘Newspeak’ is the language created by the government to make the public dimmer. By controlling vocabulary and restricting people’s ability to speak eloquently, Big Brother limits the complexity of their thoughts. American culture becomes more dumbed-down every day. Just watch the news or listen to the radio.”

Ives’ own approach to language is as a vehicle for independent expression and nonconformist ideals. “My lyrics do not coincide with the Orwellian concept of Newspeak,” he confirms. “So I thought I’d flip it in the songwriting for this album by writing in the opposite vein. The contrast is interesting, but also, for someone who might not get the allusion, I’m rapping, i.e. ‘speak’ing + this is my new music = Newspeak.”

see link for full story - The9elements


Ivan Ives is a goddamned prolific rapper. And he’s done so doing it by himself. He started his own label (No Threshold Records) to put out records his way and at his pace. - RACKET MAGAZINE


Truth Juice is delicious. LOVE ME some IVES and FRESH! - UGHH.COM

"Ivan Ives track Featured on "PORTLANDIA""

*** Ivan Ives - "California" SINGLE - Available on iTunes & AmazonMP3 Official Music Video. The second single off of Ivan Ives' "First Of The Month" project - in which he will release a new single on the first of every month for the duration of 2010. The entire video was made using a variety of 3D and compositing techniques. **AS HEARD ON PORTLANDIA 2012 - SEASON 2 EPISODE 1** Directed by James Elder. The track was produced by Fresh The Hitman, and written/performed by Ivan Ives. Copyright 2010 No Threshold Records (ASCAP) Additional Photography by Michael Norquest. - NME

"SPIN picks 8 bands"

SPIN Picks: 8 Undiscovered Bands Worth a Listen

FREE DOWNLOADS: Discover groups we picked from among 500 entrants to have their song spun on the radio.

Hometown: Los Angeles (via the USSR)

Recommended if you like… Jurassic 5, De La Soul

Why we picked him: With soulful beats and clever samples that hearken back to hip-hop's '90s heyday, this Russian expat deserves to get in the game.

Listen: Ivan Ives, "Got It" - SPIN Magazine

"Iconoclast Acclaim"

Up-and-coming rapper churns out his third outstanding album in less than year.

An iconoclast is defined as: One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions. Ives is doing a lot of the above. Firstly, and more important than the fact that he's a white hip-hop artist, he's challenging the idea that you must be backed by a label to make great music. With no one to pick up the tab but himself he has put out 3 exceptional albums in just the last year. It is obvious that he has dedicated himself to his craft in a way that few bother to. Whether this work ethic is based on a desire for the benjamins or a simple love of the rap game, I have no idea; in the end it doesn't really matter as a listener because the results are so pleasing.

The improvement over the last albums is evident from the first cut and carries all the way through to the last one; it is definitely his most accessible release to date. The beats, produced by Fresh going under the new moniker of The Hitman, are as tight and energetic as ever; there is nothing generic or rehashed about them. More so-called veterans of the genre could learn a few things about effort and devotion from this crew. I am also pleased to report that there is much more of a Russian language presence on Iconoclast, which I thoroughly enjoy.

The themes of the disc flow effortlessly from the financial struggles of a young artist to the feelings of frustration at a self-destructive lover and the way she has affected his life, they bob and weave between delightful tongue in cheek wit and a dark narrative about revenge and murder. The impact of the storytelling in "Revenge" is particularly tangible as the scene is set and we are walked through a dark house that "smells like coffee and dirty dishes" on our way upstairs as the protagonist convinces a cohort that it's all just pretend; wonderfully haunting. It will of course be difficult to avoid at least some comparisons to one Marshall Mathers and his cuts "Stan" and "Kim," the former on "Revenge" and the latter on the relationship themed "Olivia Josephs." The important thing to note is that neither feel at all like rip-offs or even homage to the Slim Shady cuts, they simply happen to deal with themes that people will find similar and when you throw that in a blender with the fact that this cat happens to be Caucasian, well, some people will find it hard to resist thinking of him as a knock-off. Those who are a little more open-minded will realize that what Ives brings is definitely his own.

This dude is certainly a student of the genre and knows how to combine the elements that have worked for those who have come before him while still adding a flair that keeps it fresh and original. One of the elements he has embraced is the guest appearance and it is a particularly strong component of this release. Whereas some of his collaborations on past efforts have been decent, here they definitely shine. Matched with some hip-hop heavyweights like 2-Mex and Wu-Tang's Capadonna, Ivan Ives holds his own and then some. Each of the guest appearances on Iconoclast are very strong and lend a nice amount of variety to the disc. My personal favorite is the cut featuring Vast Aire with his unique sound and semi-eccentric, yet fun, lyrics. Ultimately though the best compliment that can be said of Mr. Ives in regards to these tracks is that he never lets himself be outshined by the guests.

It seems apparent to me that Ivan Ives has a very bright creative future ahead of him, whether that future includes the backing of a major label and the devotion of millions of fans may have as much to do with timing and luck as anything; he most definitely will not allow himself to fail due to a lack of hard work. If you're a fan of hip-hop it would be well worth your time to check him out, there's a lot of satisfaction in "discovering" a rising talent before everyone else does, and it makes it all the sweeter when that talent is as obviously worthy your support as young Mr. Ives is.

www.myspace.com/ivanives - cdreviews.com

"CMJ Sonicbids Spotlight"

Sonicbids Spotlight Winner: Ivan Ives
Dec 12, 2008
Story by: Tom Duffy

This weeks Sonicbids Spotlight winner is free-flowing rapper, Ivan Ives. The MC, originally from the Soviet Union but now living in L.A., delivers skin-tight beats and slick rhymes. The music can best be described as alternative hip-hop, and has a slight hint of the Native Tongues movement of the 90's. As a child, Ives studied piano and Shakespeare, and his boyhood pal, Fresh The Hitman, is still his main producer. Ives was named one of Rolling Stone's To 40 artists to watch; he's worked with artists such as the Cool Kids and Cappadonna (Wu Tang Clan); and he's already released a slew of albums and singles through his own label, No Threshold.

www.ivanives.com - CMJ.com

"URB Next 1000"

Although Ivan Ives got roots in mother Russia, don't expect this dude to mostly spit raps about the former hammer and sickle country. Oh and don't take this guy lightly either. He's got rhymes that hammer and sickle the ears and then stamps a red star on the brain. "The White Russian, ain't a bitch drink, tight percussion, plus I make these kids think," spits the LA native on his track with Wu member Cappadonna on "Honor." Much like fellow Russian and current Pride Fighting champ Fedor Emelianenko, Ives' got the all lyrical skill and ability to become a microphone champion. - URB

"XXL Scratch"

Don't let Ivan Ives' indie-rocker persona fool you - this Russian-born Angelino is nothing but pure hip-hop. With Iconoclast, Ives ably balances both personal and punchline-driven raps over producer Fresh's tight sample-based production for a memorable journey. - Scratch Magazine

"Review Busters 9.75/10"

Hey Reviewbusters faithful! It's been too long! So, for today, I figured that I would find an amazing underground hip-hop album and share it with all y'all! Today, we're going to talk about my man Ivan Ives. Formerly of The Anything People and known as Nicotine, Ives is a rapper from the mean streets of LA. Now, I know what you're thinking. “BIG DEAL! Another underground rapper. (insert snoring sound)� Hold your horses! I only told you part of the story! Before Ives became a product of Los Angeles, he hailed from the snowy streets of mother Russia (OK, he lived in Brooklyn for a little, LAY OFF!) . You guessed it. Ivan Ives is one of the few multilingual flow masters out there.

Iconoclast is his third album name under the moniker Ivan Ives. (Deux ex Machina and LA Heat are the other two, check em out.) As one can see from the track listing, this album has some big name talent backing him up. Cappadona (of Wu Tang fame), O.C. And some other artists a little more underground (2Mex and Fresh). Let's talk about the beats. They're a little weird. You've got songs like “Lay Low� and “Soul�. They have you're sweet west coast style to them. But then, you have songs like “Victory� and “How It Is� that are just weird.

Lyrically speaking, to quote the man himself “Dude, Ives. The flow is incredible,� Socially conscious lyrics, with a watchful eye on the game of hip-hop. I could write some of the best lines of the record, but I would to have to write all the lyrics to all the songs.

The is the part of the review where I list the songs that I liked and the songs that I hated.........That presents a problem, as I actually liked all the songs on this album. Some, I would consider, songs that I will probably listen to for the rest of my life, like everyday. Those ones are “Victory�, “The Recepie� and “Life is A Bitch�.

Final Verdict:
Cat's out of the bag! I loved this album. I told you that when I started this damn review. I think you will too! This album has absolutely everything that it needs to be a classic hip-hop album. Great beats, amazing lyrics. What's not to love? Some times, it might sound like I'm trying to push records on ya. I really believe that you'll love the hell out of this if you love hip-hop.

9.75 out of 10 - reviewbusters.com

"Rollin' With Ivan Ives"

It's late afternoon in Downtown Los Angeles and I’m high atop a bridge. To my left is a local YMCA and to my right is the Bonaventure hotel, a monstrosity of a building that holds a salon, a gym and a variety of worldly cuisine. It’s also known as the setting for the infamous horse vs. motorcycle chase sequence from the film True Lies. I’m reminded of that by L.A. MC Ivan Ives, a fan of the film who—like the Governator—was a product of European shores, but now makes the Golden State his official home. Before I accompany him on a Bonaventure business excursion of DIY-ness (a meeting with a shop employee to discuss plans to sell several of his records in the store) I’m stopped by Ives' question on the bridge.

“What would happen if the bridge just collapsed,� he asks me. I’m clueless as to what to say in return. Sure enough, it’s met with a smile on his face. Joke or not, fear of the unknown is often a prevalent thing. And with artists it’s only increased tenfold as the pressures to rise from unknown obscurity to that of superstar status can be slim to none. In the case of rap music, it really is the only thing, as millions of up incoming rappers like Ives trying to make it when only one or maybe even two artists (arguably Jay-Z and/or Nas) can really be considered to be the greatest.

It’s only when I have my official interview with Ives that I ask him what are some of his general fears as a person and as a rapper. He responds rather concisely—“My only fear is failing myself.�

Born in Mother Russia, the travels of a young Ives from the cold haze of the former U.S.S.R to the warmth of the L.A. heat can be summed up in its entirety by one lyrical line: I moved from the U.S.S.R. to the USA/ NYC to be exact yo, da BK/ grew up ill then moved to L.A., thus I’m mo’ ilLA. In what's described by him as a “lonely� upbringing, it was the rap records that would help nurture. His adoration grew as he became more involved in the rap game. “Once I started writing hip-hop I realized how much skill was required to do so,� Ives remembers, “I fell in love even more so.� Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle—the first rap album he bought—would always be there, and the stylings of his favorite MCs from Notorious B.I.G to Jay Z would be closely embedded within his lyrical flow and overall swagger. Their influence was tremendous, shaping the man who frequently calls himself “The Greatest Russian Rapper Alive.�

It's early evening in Hollywood, and up in the apex of Hollywood and Highland is the office of Ivan Ives (yes, rappers have offices). Stocked with a Starbucks coffee machine, a pool table and an automated basketball game like the ones that you see at many an arcade (on which Ives eviscerates me, with a score of 74 to 25). The office is the primary headquarters for the release of “Victory� (the debut single off his second LP entitled Iconoclast) via MySpace. Ives' profile has garnered him 12,372 fans—and counting—and an average of 1,000 audio plays a day.

“Some people don’t realize the potential and possibility of MySpace as a grassroots movement to get music heard,� Ives says. The website has helped him achieve fans from California to Canada and all other parts of the world. “MySpace is largely responsible for my name being hollered out of the mouths of young, attractive girls all across the globe.�

For now he’s busy promoting “Victory� and its worldly timpani of horns a-plenty. It’s a perfect counterpart to his baroque-meets-block-party inflected track “Red Scare,� which was the centerpiece of his debut record Deus Ex Machina. “Victory� trumps its predecessor, prompting Ives to call it one of the “all-time greatest tracks� in his catalogue. Such distinction needs proper word of mouth, and Ives is a one-man advertising machine. He's in the middle of posting multiple comments to some of his 12,000 + friends, asking them to check out the track—and if they want to, give him a holler and tell him what they think.

Watching him from afar, just staring as he constantly copies and pastes, I realize he’s at peace with what seems to be an incredibly tedious affair. I can say that it's much more comfortable than having to market your music on the street, which Ives and I saw earlier in the day in Hollywood—two gentlemen asking any individual to take a listen to a rap album. I myself am not asked, but one of the men approaches Ives, doing his best to try and persuade him, forcing a CD on him. Ives ignores it, and as we enter into Hollywood and Highland complex, I’m struck by what Ives tells me. “Those rappers are garbage,� he blurts out.

Care to take a quick listen? It’ll take about 55 minutes, but it’ll be worthy of your time. Working with his lifelong producer/friend Fresh a.k.a. The Hitman, the two have progressed together from the early, aggressive stage of Deus Ex Machina to Ives’ EPs like the appropriately named LA Heat, which saw the two go from dark and murky to downright hyphy. Now for Iconoclast the two worlds have collided, boasting a hefty fifteen tracks that see the producer go even more expansive with his sounds and rapper skew much more personal, welcoming many of the uninformed.

“I feel like this record is really me coming to my own, and manning up to be who I was meant to be. I feel that the record challenges traditional expectations that people have for hip-hop music, but not while being some flat-out bizarro shit that no one can stand listening to for more than five minutes.�

Several prominent artists from various underground rap circles and even a member of the Wu-Tang Clan have joined Ives on this affair. He shares rhymes with Definitive Jux rapper Vast Aire (“Victory�), L.A.’s own 2Mex (“Carpe Diem�), and the capper, a seize-the-day track (“Honor�) with Wu-Tang Clan member Cappadonna. Still, it’s Ives' coming out party and by way of “Got It,� the infectious opener, he’s all but got your attention, mashing up references like the off-set drama that is Grey’s Anatomy to David Koresh in a single breath. Slicing up obscure film clips to branch tracks, the rapper is not one to follow suit with overdone rap skits (“They’re weird inside jokes that no one cares about,� he says) that often linger and plague. It’s really about creating original sounds for the dynamic duo of Ives and Fresh, never falling for anything hackneyed, always to the point of shooting for 'The Recipe,' a mixture of the most soulful of samples and a stirring of strings all backed by a confident lyricist not shy to be braggadocios, throwing out such quips as “I got rap in a chokehold� and “I sleep in my sneakers, I’m the truth, I’m rap’s resurrected Jesus.�

It’s also about not settling for the traditional run-through of verse, hook, chorus, second verse, hook and chorus. At their most playful, Fresh joins Ives on a mini-suite, or what Ives proclaims as a “two for one� in “World Wide Hits,� a smattering of scratches and a motherload of bass and drums, the breakdowns often veering from an early summer sublime to a final dash of electric march.

Premium party bangers are often a staple in Ives’ repertoire, but the self-aggrandizing that trumps the record takes a back seat for a triple dose of shock treatment. His first true linear track, “Revenge,� induces fanatical obsession amidst a sparseness of radar blips and what seems to be silver spoons on a pale knee. The Romani inflected “Zzyzx Road� wanders off to a hypnotic, gypsy-tinted chorus as Ives paints surreal images of psychedelic drugs, mental institutions and elderly communes. But it’s with “Olivia Josephs,� Ives ventures out onto uncharted territories. Misogynistic or not, Ives pinpoints the struggles with the one thing that rappers seemingly can’t get enough of: women.

“Olivia Josephs is the one woman that represents every woman that I’ve been with,� says Ives. “And yes, as a record, this is definitely me saying ‘This is how I feel about this, this and this.’ I guess you’d call that personal.�

“See the thing is, I don’t really drink much, I don’t smoke a lot of weed, and I don’t give a shit about being iced out or any of that other shit that other dummies do care about. And I speak out on it, so obviously I know some people will be mad or offended by shit that I’ve written. I don’t give a fuck. I’m not saying I’m on some holier-than-thou shit either, I’m a rotten individual. I’m just saying I’m too focused to get caught up in blazing every night. I never feel weak or vulnerable, pretty much ever. My heart is black and I’m too smart to ever truly be happy—but at least I can say that I never feel weak or vulnerable on my tracks.�


It’s been a month since the bridge to Bonaventure. Now late evening in L.A, I walk the streets of Lincoln Heights, my destination being the Airliner, a two-tier beacon that emanates underground hip-hop. Amongst freestyle rappers galore, t-shirts stressing the fact that real hip-hop isn’t played on the radio, chock full of alcoholic beverages (the Jagermeister machine cannot be expressed in words), the night’s location is funhouse central as it plays home to the CD release party for Iconoclast. Female rapper-supreme Avalon and the boisterous The Learning Curve thoroughly entertain, but the fanfare culminates when Ives, decked-out in a bright orange hoodie, arrives on the main stage—which from the exterior resembles that of a hip hop barn. The sweater is quickly removed, replaced by the brand-spanking new Ivan Ives t-shirt. As with any show promoting a sole album, choice cuts from Ives’ latest are showcased for the first time to many of his rabid fans who crowd the stage and the break dancers who pop and lock in the back. A huge circular fan is strategically placed behind everyone as Ives brings the heat elite. Plowing through “The Recipe,� “Got It,� “World Wide Hits� and giving the fans what they want in “Red Scare,� he goes as far as telling his DJ of the night, DJ Leviathan, to run through the beat again.

As night officially becomes day, the set drawing to a close, the plethora of female fans still dancing to a fervor, Ives still has a surprise in his sleeve. He calls upon his newly formed super-group, dubbed the I.V. League, which includes Grizz Pro, Menacin Johnson, Marc Spector, Kingslender and Amaze, all of whom join the rapper wonder for their first single “The Anthem,� a golden synth banger that Ives anchors, allowing his fellow associates to shine.

Beat fizzles. His microphone drops. Set over. His final word rings true: “Victory.� I’m not surprised at all…failure really was never an option.

Iconoclast is out September 25 on No Threshold

For more on Ivan Ives, including more cuts and tour dates, check here: www.myspace.com/ivanives - groundcontrolmag.com

"Rolling Stone Next 40 Artists"

Ivan Ives selected as one of the next 40 artists to watch for Rolling Stone 40 year anniversary.

Ivan Ives' "Victory" MP3 distributed on iTunes via a code that came with copies of the magazine. 1.9 Million codes were generated. - Rolling Stone Magazine

"4/5 Stars in Blender"

We don't have a high tolerance for misguided mock MCs that unwittingly disrespect hip-hop culture, but rapper Ivan Ives is funny and talented; and with the Beasties wallowing in a midlife malaise, Ives revives their classic style with shamelessness intact. His video for "Got It" is the perfect introduction. "Tryin' to get me on a track to impress ya peers?/ Nah, fuck that," he raps, as if he's getting tons of offers to appear on high profile rap albums daily. But we respect the brashness, especially when he goes onto claim "I bring heartache to women when they least expect it" while tearing a red paper heart in half. He references Perfect Strangers. He professes his love of Nerd Rope and cotton candy jelly beans on his MySpace blog. His press bio name-checks Dostoevsky and Tolstoy (Ives comes from a Russian background). This man is a nerd and he exploits it with just the right amount of D.I.Y. charm. "Believe me, you won't see me at Comic Con," he raps. - Blender Magazine

"MyCypher Worldwide Hip Hop"

So, I got my hands on this Mixtape and the name was so cool that I had to dig a bit deeper. Ivan Ives is a cat from LA by way of Mother Russia and his Mixtape, entitled Eat POP and Die is super-duper dope! This is what a Mixtape is supposed to be- all of the tracks are samples and only last about 2 or 3 minutes... enough to whet appetites of listeners just enough to have to check into this dude.

Ivan's flow is sick, and he sounds like he is an American emcee- no hint of any sort of Russian accent (which actually might be kinda cool), and his tone is reminiscent of a younger LL Cool J on some tracks. Subject matter includes everything from the standard girls, parties, etc. all the way to more tangible issues. The title Eat POP and Die is really interesting as all of the tracks on the Mixtape are pop tracks from varying eras. The overall message, at least as I understand it, is that pop music is the product of the corporate, capitalist machine and listeners ought to be extremely weary of what they hear. This is a cool perspective for an unsigned artist who releases all of his 4 full-length albums on his own imprint, No Threshold Records. Ives addresses Eminem comparisons, dealing with the major label system "sharks and snakes," and the grind and hustle of an independent artist trying to break.

Peep the track Victory below, and check dude's myspace here. Dude has gotten his fair share of press too- check out some below... And finally, if you are feeling homey, cop his Mixtape for free here. What's the word on Ivan Ives??? - mycypher.com






Ivan Ives is a member of ASCAP through his label No Threshold Records (ASCAP).



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." Born in Russia, but having grown up in Los Angeles - he's got a unique story to tell. 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. Having gone to film school, he Directs most of his own videos - which have racked up over a million streams on YouTube without major distribution. His 2010 album "First Of The Month" released a new video and single on the first of every month for the duration of the year; which kept fans engaged throughout. It has now been 2 years since his last release, and Ivan is coming back with a much darker, cinematic album - "Stranger." Teaming up with producers such as RJD2 and Aaron Marsh (formerly of rock band Copeland), Ivan paints a beautiful, twisted picture of an outsider looking in.

Band Members