Hailing from Norfolk, Virginia, the dynamic Hip-Hop artist, producer, and rapper I.K.P. highlights a deeply atmospheric single, "Boiler Room," off his recent 15-track album, '11:11 | eleven eleven.'
After serving for five years in the U.S.A Marine Corps, I.K.P. found his passion and skill for music creation. Graduating with a bachelor's degree in Music Business from Full Sail University, I.K.P. went on to receive various nominations and vast recognition through his refreshing approach to hip-hop.
Getting us in the groove with his recent banger, "Boiler Room," I.K.P. serves an incredibly reflective and dominant performance while riding the down-tempo blues-like beat with nothing but poise. While the production offers an unconventional approach to hip-hop, it maintains this steady and hearty groove for any listener to nod their heads to.
Hitting play on "Boiler Room," the track opens with a plucky electric guitar that sweetens the sonic atmosphere with this overall alternative/blues sound while I.K.P. makes his way in and surprises listeners with his innate dominance and power. As he continues rapping about his continuous elevation, he stops us dead in our tracks with his unique vocal tones and charismatic delivery.
Diving deeper into the track, we must mention the vocal similarities between I.K.P., A$AP Ferg, and more nostalgic acts like Del the Funky Homosapien. While continuing to leave his mark on any listener who graces this track, I.K.P. leads us towards the hefty outro with help from his organic and soulful instrumentation that pierces our speakers with incredible soul and rhythm.
Watch as I.K.P. sets a fire within the "Boiler Room" on his scorching single, now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic I.K.P.. We truly admire the unique approach you've taken with your recent single, "Boiler Room." What inspired you to create this downtempo and soulful track?
This song is really all about facing the world with your head held high and your faith guiding the way when your back is against the wall and the chips are down. I had gone through a tough time when I felt like I was rock bottom. I was going through a very painful breakup, dealing with drug abuse, my mental health wasn't being addressed and I didn't know how to come to terms with all of it. So I was writing an album a lot about feeling hurt and abandoned. But then my main man EarthTone, who is the co-producer on this track, did this loop that called on all my anger and fighting spirit to bubble to the surface and really helped me remember who I am. So I made this record for all those that every night and day they put their best foot forward believing in themselves and keeping the fire in them alive.
Did you have any artistic influences in mind when creating "Boiler Room?" Did you have a specific vision of the sound or vibe you were going for?
My artistic influences for this track are very much baked into my style. Biggie pretty guided me to start it out. Lil' Kim is another of my favorite rappers and in the opening of the 2nd verse, I borrow a bit from her 1st album Hard Core with the line "to my hittas that trick a little, to my hoes that suck dick a little..." I used a little of her opening bars of Verse 2 of "Drugs", but I flipped the words a bit like an homage. She is an absolute legend and wholly influential to me. Then of course there are influences from Jay-Z to Project Pat, to Kanye West and Timbaland, Ronny J, and Juicy J in the hook and in the production as well. My whole goal was to bridge the classic and timeless aspects of traditional hip-hop to modern tones and techniques. I had added some production elements to the loop EarthTone sent me. From there, my ancestors took over. It all felt right.
What was your personal songwriting process like for "Boiler Room?" What message or concept did you want to get across to your audience?
At the time I wrote Boiler Room, I was searching for a new approach to the project that became 11:11 but that title hadn't even crossed my mind yet. I was messing with different ideas for songs while at the same time really healing. I use songwriting just to help me find my way through things. It was a tough time and I wasn't sure what was gonna happen with the overall project. Boiler Room however marked a shift. Before that song, I was very hurt and dwelling on the raw emotions of realizing how people use you, walk all over you then blame you when things go left. People you think care about you just shitting on you and leave you for dead. I had never felt so betrayed in my life. Then, I went to record Boiler Room and it made me turn a corner. I started to recognize my own value. That's what I want to get across. Once you know your worth, you can start manifesting all that you deserve because you'll just be walking in the path towards it without a doubt in your mind. You claim it. It comes out in how you speak and carry on. People start respecting you differently. You learn how to set boundaries. Then whatever you go after is bestowed and you might even be surprised with the way the universe delivers it to you. Something like peace of mind. It does take work. Taking accountability. A hard look in the mirror. Self-love eventually becomes an everyday thing like muscle memory. These are ideas I started believing in. "Elevation be a constant."
How does "Boiler Room" fit into the overall vibe and concept of your recent 15-track album, '11:11 | eleven eleven?'
I made 11:11 to help me heal from all that turmoil that had been brewing from years and years of denial. I had very strong suicidal ideations at a time and at that point, I had begun to seek treatment. But it wasn't that easy or that simple. I went down a long road of increasing drug abuse and drinking. I was homeless and unemployed for a time. I had unresolved issues with sexual assault that happened to me while I was serving in the Marines. Then I entered a very toxic relationship that had done more damage. So navigating through all that was what inspired what eventually came to be 11:11 and Boiler Room was a turning point creatively and personally. It was a years-long process. So the album is just filled with all the different ways I coped. All the ways I prayed, the connections I made, and rediscovering my truest self. Boiler Room might have been the crack of sunshine in a long, dark, damp tunnel. It's a song made up of real-life experiences that couldn't exist for me at any point before.
What's next for you? My album 11:11 is finally here and I'm looking for more opportunities to get it out there to different people. In addition to that, I think by now the debut full-length album with my group The AlliYance is out. I was doing that album while finishing 11:11. More from my group coming down the line. I also have The Herbal Tea Podcast with EarthTone. It's a bimonthly platform we dedicate to reviewing music from Q+ artists (LGBTQ+), and music from allies as well as sharing news from our local community and information on cannabis culture.