Edge

Coming up next: Def Hurricane Jam

On Friday, Jan. 21, the University of Miami Rathskeller hosted the first spoken word night sponsored by the United Black Students. Although this was one of the last events on the calendar for that week celebrating the eternal dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was definitely the most popular one, pulling a very diverse group of students to share their poetic and artistic talents with their fellow students. The doors opened at 8 p.m., and by 8:15, the list was nearly full with young, gifted performers, but none of them could measure to the strong and inspiring performance the feature artist, J.Ivy, was about to deliver.

Formally known as James Ivy Richardson, the Chicago native, currently living in New York, has been blessing poetry venues from Los Angeles to Toronto to Jamaica, and other hot spots in the U.S., for the past 11 years. This spoken word impresario with the features of an Ethiopian king has been stimulating us to connect poetry and hip-hop in the soulful melodies and deep thoughts that we can find in his flavorful LP, Down at the Loose Skillet.

“I want to share what I went through to those who are just coming up and it feels real good to get back to that,” Ivy said to the audience of college students that supported him with cheers and applause.

In 2004, Ivy introduced himself to the world as the first African-American to represent Chicago on the award-winning Russell Simmons’ HBO Def Poetry during its first season. That same year, he recorded with Kanye West in his triple-platinum, Grammy-nominated album, The College Dropout, where he is featured on “Never Let You Down” with hip-hop extraordinaire Jay-Z. Although these appearances are Ivy’s most noted ones, his talents in the art of poetry have permitted him to work with amazing artists such as John Legend, Lil’ Mo, hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari and even dive into the world of cinema with voiceovers for MTV and the NFL.

“I am still learning myself, and I am trying to better that. I often come up with melodies but I am not a producer, so it would be nice to have a producer to put my joints together,” he says. In this learning process, Ivy has discovered a new style of writing; he is working on a book titled I’m Not That Good with Words that will be sold along with his upcoming album, Izn’t It Ivyous?

Although he savors the status of hip-hop icon he has attained, Ivy still enjoys the natural pleasures of life and the beautiful struggle of getting to his envisioned destination. He releases his frustrations with a pen and a pad and encourages newcomers to stay real to their experiences by always remembering not the beginning, but the feeling from the beginning.

“I’m starving because I am far from where I wanna be,” he says. “And I am working on it so I see myself as OK…an OK good, because everyday I want to get better.”

Going by his now-famous quote, “Dreams don’t come true, they are true,” Ivy is living proof that we have the power to do it all. In fact, that’s what he wants his audience to do. “We can’t get caught up in insecurity, but we should simply stop being scared to succeed and be who we are here to be,” he says. “Nobody owes you anything but you.”

Nathalie Guillaume can be contacted at n.guillaume@umiami.edu.

February 1, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Lonnie Walker excelled on the court during the NBA Combine in Chicago last week. The potential lotte ...

Athlon Sports released its projections for the 2018 college football season Monday. The predictions ...

Here is some impressive news for the University of Miami football program: All but one of the remain ...

Lonnie Walker IV stood out on and off the court at the NBA Draft Combine, which ended on Sunday in C ...

University of Miami incoming prep star Will Mallory, the other half of the soon-to-be No. 1 freshman ...

Voters head to the polls in a historic election to choose the country’s next president. ...

From boathouse to marine research powerhouse, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Scienc ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Over his more than two decades at the U, the dean of students from 1976-1989 always put students fir ...

No. 7 seed Hurricanes staged a late comeback to win their opening game at the 2018 ACC Championship, ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned ITA National Player to Watch hon ...

University of Miami senior Christian Langmo and freshman Adria Soriano will face Arkansas' Osca ...

The bracket for the NCAA Singles Championship is set and Miami sophomore Estela Perez-Somarriba will ...

Sinead Lohan and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned ITA Southeast R ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.