I.K.P. (The Infamous King of Positivity) is the professional name of Alternative Hip-hop artist Kenny M. Alvarez. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Virginia and now based back in the Big Apple, as a rapper and producer he has spent the past decade creating space for new voices in Hip-hop. As both a solo artist and as a member of the quartet The AlliYance, he has used his art to advocate for the underrepresented. His music deals with the struggles of women, veterans, the mentally ill and the Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ+ communities.
With his distinct personal history, I.K.P. is uniquely positioned to speak to the subjects which matter most to him. As a veteran, a victim of sexual assault, a survivor of mental health issues, a Black man and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, he brings a powerful and authentic point of view. The rapper speaks directly to LGBTQ+, Black, and Urban audiences’ everyday experiences.
It isn’t absolute, but understanding what other Black and Queer men endure, I wanted to share my experience to help others find their healing that isn’t concerned with external pressures.I.K.P.
“11:11 | eleven eleven” is the brand new album from I.K.P., released worldwide on the artist’s birthday April 1, 2021. The sixteen track record is a wildly creative exploration of musical styles from across the spectrum of popular music, mixing Hip-hop grooves old and new with EDM, Latin, Pop and Rock vibes. Lyrically, the rapper boldly explores subjects ranging from PTSD to Black Lives Matter. His writing is rich and nuanced. Forgoing common modern Hip-hop tropes he uses beat-poet style visual imagery and word association to make connections between complex intersectional issues.
From the childhood memories and life experiences of the old-school opening track “Thirty-Six // No Ordinary Trade” to the touching tribute to his mother “You Deserve the Best //Superwoman” and the wild electronic salsa of “Seremain // Thank You” he tackles tough topics with funky and soulful grooves. Throughout the album he faces his own demons head on and relates them back to the struggle of others. The artist explains that “11:11 | eleven eleven” was created at a time when was recovering from mental health issues. He had suffered from substance abuse, depression, and self-harm stemming from a toxic relationship, homelessness, and PTSD from a sexual assault while he was serving in the United States military. This is a record of healing.
Stylistically, “11:11 | eleven eleven” is a deeply satisfying listen. Throughout the course of the record, I.K.P. mixes and matches Dance, Hip-hop and Caribbean sounds. P-Funk and Prince style grooves (“Elixir”) meet old-school breakbeats (“Black By Popular Demand”). He hits the club with the EDM vibes of “Don’t Plae” and adds a bit of Synthwave flavor on tracks like “Reflex.” Some of the most sonically adventurous moments come during the dark Trip-Hop moods of tracks like “Nautica Lambskin” and “Madd Regulah.” There is plenty of new-school on the record as well, as on the slow and low Trap of “Eyez Heavy,” “Feel Me /Guidaba” and “Black + Blue,” and the Dancehall inspired jam “Open Floor.”
The new album “11:11 | eleven eleven” by I.K.P. will get you thinking and dancing. He tackles the heaviest of subjects with the writing skills of a poet and the flow of a Hip-hop veteran. Listen to the album in its entirety below. You can also hear the track “Elixir” on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. In addition to his music, I.K.P. is the co-host of The Herbal Tea Podcast on which he and EarthTone discuss issues and news from the LGBTQ+ community and cannabis culture. Follow the links below the video to connect with the artist. Get on his socials and get in the loop on all of his many ongoing projects.