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Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Memoirs of an Overacheiver: The Blendtape by Ivy Sole

Who is Ivy Sole?

Around a month ago, I was asking the same question but the North Carolina based femcee answered my question with the drop of her first mixtape, Memoirs of an Overacheiver: The Blendtape.  I’ll admit. I was a bit hesitant to give her a listen. I have plenty of people on my Facebook and Twitter dropping wack ass songs and I, frankly, was sick of people shouting over tracks with random burst of onomatopoeia and calling it ‘music’.

But I digress, and redirect to this mixtape (which does NOT feature shouting or random burst of onomatopoeia).

The tape is 14 tracks long, full big band and jazzy samples, something most people aren’t accustomed to hearing in music these days. No synthesizers or auto-tuning here. Sole samples such classics as Anita Baker’s ‘Apologize’ (on ‘No Apologies’) and some new school, Erykah Badu’s ‘On and On’ (‘Faith Talks’) and shows her skills as a lyricist on all of them.

 She makes sure you know her name with the opening track, ‘Sega’. First of all, the beat is siick. With her line, “allow me to introduce myself, allow me to tell you who I be. Don't mean to sound like a spelling bee, but it's I-V-Y S-O-L-E”, you may think she’s gonna be cutsie for some of this mixtape.

Not likely.

‘Takeoff’, the next track, you get hit again with the classy brass samples where the femcee gets a little feistier on this track, with lines like “You say it’s lonely at the top? I’ll be there in a jiffy”. Ivy Sole stays firing shots with tracks like ‘Supremacy’, where she comes out the gate spitting fire. “The definition of my competition is nonexistent. A plate of rap careers. Mmmmm. Sounds delicious”. This chick is taking no prisoners and if you’re not an emcee or a femcee (aka a rapper. There IS a difference…), to please take a seat and let the people with skills take the wheel.

Now, I’m not gonna lie. You can tell some this stuff was done in a bedroom sans padding and an iffy mic (When I’m Gone) but, don’t sleep on her just because some of the tracks lack studio quality. Her rhymes make up for anything lacking in the sound quality department.

We have ‘Aqua’: I love this track because it sounds like she was inspired by the beat and started to flow. None of this sounds rehearsed! This chick knows what she’s doing.

We have ‘No Apologies’: for the nay-sayers and anyone that doubts that she’s got skills. “Producing masterpieces. Rhymes so immaculate. I speak life so my diction is ejaculate.”

Sick, no?

 Then, we get to see a more vulnerable side of Ivy Sole within the track, 'Candy Rain'. She gets a lil grown rapping about sex and being in the moment but, we’re all adults here. You can handle it. Reminiscent of Jean Grae with her singing her hooks along with rhyming on the track, the beat is a bit slower, and again, Sole shows versatility when she flows over various tempos on her tracks.

I can understand why she calls Memoirs a blendtape. Ivy Sole shows here diversity of her flow by showing just what she can rap over. Plus, the mix of styles of music on this thing. This tape is blended with 90’s Hip-Hop and inspirations of jazz and R&B soul. We can’t forget the multi-dimensions of this femcee. On ‘Star Chaser’, we learn about her coming to grips with herself as a writer and as a musician. This may be my favorite track on the blendtape, for the reason that you understand her struggle and you gain more respect for her, if her sheer lyrics didn’t already seal the deal for you. Speaking of Ivy Sole as a writer, we hear the poet within on ‘Faith Talks’. The majority of the second half of the track is pure spoken word. In all honesty, all of the tracks are poetry in motion over a pretty slick beat.

As I draw to a close, I urge you to give this chick a listen and a download (the links are below). Ivy Sole is coming after anyone who’s doubted this existence of Hip-Hop in the 21st century, those that have the audacity to put ‘Hip-Hop’ in the ‘Genre’ section when they title their tracks.

Memoirs Of An Overachiever by Ivy Sole is where Hip-Hop lives.

We can hear the origin of her roots are in R&B soul and can see that she respects the greats. All good emcees pay homage and understand whom paved the way. The crazy thing is… she’s good yet she has plenty room to grow. Ivy Sole was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of her major influences are Skyzoo, the Jamla Army and early and 90’s Hip-Hop. Sole is currently unsigned but has aspirations to be part of Jamla Records and to be on the cover of XXL Freshman Class by 2014. In the meantime, she’ll be getting helluva education up at UPenn in Philadelphia (what a backup plan, huh?)  and hopefully putting out more tracks like those on this debut mixtape.

So, I hope you give her a listen. She’s got skills. I wouldn't steer you wrong! Hit her up on Twitter and Facebook. Show her some love if you like what you hear.To tie you over if you love the mixtape, she just released a new track called ‘Noche’ . Enjoy. Remember to tell her who sent you :) Deuces!


featurned on the the blog, Not Quite Millionaires, for the underrated and up & coming

Ivy Sole's Facebook fan page

Twitter: @IvySole_panache

THE MIXTAPE (yet again): Memoirs of an Overachiever

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Peace, Love and
☮ & ♥


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