ST. IVAN THE TERRIBLE

  ST. IVAN THE TERRIBLE         BRONX, NEW YORK

ST. IVAN THE TERRIBLE         BRONX, NEW YORK

ST. IVAN THE TERRIBLE IS A LONG TIME VETERAN IN THE RAP GAME. HAILING FROM THE BIRTHPLACE OF HIP-HOP, THE BRONX; IVAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY MUCH INVOLVED WITH EVERY ASPECT OF THE “CULTURE". FROM LIFE, THE STREETS, TO THE MICROPHONE, IVAN BRINGS TO THE GAME A NO NONSENSE STYLE. HE’S AGGRESSIVE, DISPLAYS HUMILITY AND KINDNESS, IS INFORMATIVE, AS WELL AS UPLIFTING, AND CAN PAINT VIVID, CINEMATIC PICTURES THROUGH HIS WORDS. AFTER BEING APART OF RAP GROUPS, IVAN IS NOW DETERMINED TO APPLY THOSE SAME ETHICS AND HARD WORK AS A SOLO ARTIST. VALIDATED RECENTLY SPOKE WITH IVAN TO DISCUSS HIS LATEST PROJECT AND EARLY INFLUENCES PERTAINING TO HIP HOP.

VALIDATED: WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR RAP NAME?

ST. IVAN: PEACE. FIRST AND FOREMOST I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY, AND FOR THE LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU ALWAYS SHOW ME. I'M FROM THE X [THE BRONX]. 171ST AND THE GRAND CONCOURSE [170TH, THE 0H, 170!]. NEW YORK CITY, BORN AND RAISED. THE NAME "ST/SAINT IVAN THE TERRIBLE" WAS GIVEN TO ME TO COINCIDE WITH MY OTHER NAME "MIGHTY TERRORIST OF GOD". NOT A "TERRORIST" IN THE SENSE OF AN EXTREMIST, [LOL] ALTHOUGH I AM DEVOTED TO MY FAITH. BUT A "TERRORIST" WITH THE RHYMES, ON THE MIC, IN THE BOOTH, ON STAGE, ETC. THE ACTUAL MAN IN HISTORY "IVAN THE TERRIBLE" [THAT I SHARE MY NAME WITH] WAS A MAN OF COLOR THAT LIVED DURING THE BYZANTIUM EMPIRE IN RUSSIA. LIKE MANY PROMINENT FIGURES THROUGHOUT THIS ERA AND EARLIER, BUT THEY WERE "WHITE WASHED" DURING THE "RENAISSANCE" WHICH MEANS "THE REBIRTH". THE "IMAGES" WERE BEING "REBORN" BY THEIR IDENTITIES AND PHYSICAL APPEARANCES BEING CHANGED AND ALTERED. THIS IS REAL HISTORY.

VALIDATED: GROWING UP, WHAT KIND OF MUSIC WAS PLAYED IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD AND HOW HAS IT INFLUENCED THE MUSIC YOU CREATE?

ST. IVAN: MAN, I HEARD A VARIETY OF FLAVORS. FROM SOUL TO FUNK, FROM REGGAE [THAT DEEP ROOTS AND CULTURE REGGAE] TO DISCO AND R&B, TO SALSA AND FREESTYLE AND HOUSE TO OF COURSE HIP HOP. MY POPS HAD LIKE 30 PLUS CRATES OF RECORDS. HE EXPOSED ME TO A LOT, REGGAE, SOUL, FUNK, AND HOUSE. MY MOMS ROCKED OUT TO THAT TOO, BUT SHE EXPOSED ME TO THE REST.

VALIDATED: TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD GROWING UP AND HOW IT INFLUENCE YOU?

ST. IVAN: I SAW IT ALL. GRAFFITI ON THE TRAINS, THE B-BOYS, EVERYTHING. I WAS A SHORTY, BUT I WENT TO A FEW OF THE JAMS WITH MY AUNT [MY POP'S YOUNGEST SISTER]. WE WERE CLOSER IN AGE. I THINK SHE GOT ME BY LIKE 4 OR 5 YEARS? SO FROM A YOUNGIN' I WAS AROUND EVERY ASPECT OF THE CULTURE [HIP HOP].

VALIDATED: NAME THE HIP-HOP ARTISTS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR FLOW AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING DID YOU BORROW FROM THEM?

ST. IVAN: THE FIRST RHYME I UNDERSTOOD, AND WAS ABLE TO RECITE THE WORDS TOO WAS "THE MESSAGE" BY GRAND MASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS FIVE IN 1982! [LOL] MELLE MEL! THEN THERE WERE OTHER JOINTS. BUT MY TEEN YEARS, IT WAS KRS1, RAKIM, [BIG DADDY] KANE, KOOL G RAP, SLICK RICK, PUBLIC ENEMY, GURU [RIP], LL, EPMD, NWA, MOBSTYLE, SCARFACE... MAN THERE WAS SO MANY! I DIDN'T "BORROW" ANYTHING FROM THEM, AS FAR AS FORMATTING WHAT I DO. BUT THEY DEFINIETLY WERE MENTORS AND TEACHERS TO ME.

VALIDATED: WHAT SACRIFICES HAVE YOU MADE TO INVESTED IN YOUR ARTISTRY?

ST. IVAN: WELL RIGHT NOW THE BIGGEST SACRIFICE IS TIME [SLEEP, LEISURE AND FAMILY]. EVERYTHING ELSE IS PRETTY MUCH A GIVEN. BEING INDEPENDENT, WHO ELSE IS GONNA FUND YOU? LOL SO YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO COME OUT OF POCKET FOR EVERYTHING. STUDIO, PRODUCTION, VIDEOS, ARTWORK, TRAVELING, ETC. IT'S DIFFICULT AT TIMES WHEN OTHER OBLIGATIONS AND PRIORITIES PRESENT THEMSELVES. SOMETHINGS CANNOT BE COMPROMISED. BUT TO EACH THEIR OWN. WHATEVER WORKS FOR ME AND WHAT I DO MAY NOT WORK FOR THE NEXT PERSON, AND VICE VERSA.

VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP, THE CULTURE?

ST. IVAN: MY EARLIEST MEMORY WOULD HAVE TO BE SUGAR HILL GANG "RAPPER'S DELIGHT" AND JIMMY SPICER "ADVENTURES OF SUPER RHYME". I JUST REMEMBER MY MOTHER RECITING THE LYRICS OVER THE SONG WHILE DANCING AND GRABBING MY HANDS TO MAKE ME DANCE WITH HER. SOME GREAT MEMORIES, WORD!

VALIDATED: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON LYRICS REMERGING AS THE FOCUS IN HIP HOP AGAIN?

ST. IVAN: FOR ME, I DON'T BELIEVE LYRICS EVER LEFT! THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE. IT'S JUST COMMERCIAL RADIO SEEMS TO DICTATE WHAT'S WHAT BASED ON WHAT'S BEING PLAYED OVER THE AIR. ONE MINUTE THERE'S ALL KINDS OF SOUND EFFECTS BEING DROPPED ON OR OVER A SONG THAT'S PLAYED 100X'S A DAY. THE NEXT THOSE SAME PEOPLE ARE DISSING THAT MUSIC, ETC. BUT AS LONG AS YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, YOU HAVE ACCESS TO HIP HOP, REAL HIP HOP WITH LYRICS. LIKE GUERILLA GROOVES, BUSHWICK RADIO, NO IDEA'S ORIGINAL, DSNBX, AND A WHOLE LOT MORE. I ALWAYS TELL PEOPLE HIP HOP IS OUT HERE. Y'ALL JUST LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACES.

VALIDATED: WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT FROM YOUR LATEST PROJECT, "THE INEVITABLE: ALL OR NOTHING!"?

ST. IVAN: THAT PROJECT WAS PRODUCED BY MY FRENCH CONNECTION [SISMOGRAPHE]. ALL TRACKS PRODUCED BY L'UNDERCOVER [PARIS] [SHOUTOUT TO HIM, TONER AND KONSPI]. IT'S A CLASSIC FEEL, RAW, HIP HOP WORK OF ART. ALL HOOKS FEATURING CUTS FROM DJ JABBATHAKUT [ENGLAND]. I ACTUALLY VISITED PARIS LAST YEAR WITH MY BRO/COMRADE MIC HANDZ WHO ALSO HAS A PROJECT WITH THEM. WE BASICALLY WAS OUT THERE PROMOTING BOTH OUR PROJECTS AND PERFORMED OUT THERE AS WELL. HIP HOP IS ALIVE AND WELL OVERSEAS, PLEASE BELIEVE IT. I WAS ABLE TO SHOOT A VIDEO OUT THERE TOO BY A DOPE DIRECTOR, 404WORKSHOP. TOP NOTCH! MY NEXT PROJECT, YOU CAN EXPECT A "REAFFIRMATION" OF WHAT I STAND FOR AND WHAT I'M ABOUT. ALTHOUGH I PRIDE MYSELF IN BEING MULTIFACETED, AND BEING ABLE TO BE DIVERSE AND VERSATILE, BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE TO BE PLACED IN A BOX AS A CERTAIN TYPE OF ARTIST, THIS NEXT PROJECT IS THAT ESSENCE. THE TITLE IS "FROM THE DIRT & THE MUSCLE".

VALIDATED: WHAT PRODUCERS AND ARTIST DID YOU WORK WITH ON THIS PROJECT?

ST. IVAN: ON THIS ONE, I WORKED WITH A UPCOMING PRODUCER FROM ENGLAND BY THE NAME OF "HOBGOBLIN". HIS TRACKS COMPLIMENT ME AND HE TOLD ME MY VOICE COMPLIMENTS HIS STYLE OF PRODUCTION. DEFINITELY BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR HIM! I WORKED WITH A COUPLE OF FELLOW BARBARIANS ON THIS ONE. SOME OF THE ELITE THAT I HAVE A HIGH AMOUNT OF RESPECT FOR. SHOUTOUT TO THE BROS/COMRADES DON STREAT [ANIMAL GANG] AND SKANKS THE RAP MARTYR [BANKAI FAM]. ALSO SHOUTOUT MY FAMILY DJ ONESHOT DEAL FOR MIXING IT AND DISPLAYING HIS CUTTING SKILLS ON A COUPLE JOINTS. HE'S ONE OF THE ILLEST, "THE MOST HATED BLEND DJ PERIOD!"

VALIDATED: HOW DIFFICULT IS IT CREATING YOUR OWN LANE WHILE TRYING TO STAY TRUE TO YOU AND YOUR BRAND OF HIP-HIP?

ST IVAN: FOR ME, IT'S NOT DIFFICULT AT ALL. I RARELY LISTEN TO THE RADIO FOR ONE. LOL I DO HEAR NEW RELEASES OR WHEN SOMEONE I KNOW DROPS SOMETHING OR TAGS ME IN THEIR POST. I'LL LISTEN OUT OF LOVE AND SUPPORT. BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT. I MAINLY LISTEN TO A LOT OF INSTRUMENTALS, AND I HUM TO MYSELF PATTERNS ACCORDING TO THE TRACK I'M LISTENING TO, TO CREATE A FLOW/CADENCE TO THAT TRACK. NOT EVERY TRACK CALLS FOR THE SAME DELIVERY OR APPROACH. SOME TRACKS I APPROACH INTENSE, AND SOME WITH A SOFTER TONE. IT ALL DEPENDS.

VALIDATED: TELL US ABOUT OTHER VENTURES YOU'RE CURRENTLY WORKING ON.

ST. IVAN: RIGHT NOW I'M JUST FOCUSED ON WRITING. AFTER BEING APART OF GROUPS BEFORE, AND NOW MOVING OFFICIALLY SOLO, AS A SOLOIST; I'M JUST WORKING ON KEEPING THAT IN MIND, THAT I'M ALONE. I MEAN I GOT AFFILIATES, COMRADES I ROCK WITH ETC. BUT THE FOCUS IS ST. IVAN THE TERRIBLE, MEDIEVAL SLANG MUSIC. I PRODUCE AS WELL, SO I'M JUST TRYING TO LEARN AS MUCH MORE AS IT IS TO LEARN TO THAT AVENUE AS WELL. NO CLOTHING BRANDS [THOUGH I HAVE SOME IDEAS LOL], NO WEB SERIES [THOUGH I WOULDN'T MIND GETTING MY "THESPIAN" ON [LOL]... AS LONG AS THE ROLE IS SOLID AND NOT COMPROMISING, I'D GIVE IT A GO, WHY NOT.

VALIDATED: WHERE CAN THE READER SUPPORT YOU AND YOUR MUSIC ONLINE AND SOCIAL MEDIA?

ST. IVAN: "THE INEVITABLE: ALL OR NOTHING!" IS AVAILABLE NOW FOR PURCHASE [DIGITALLY] VIA WWW.CDBABY.COM/STIVANTHETERRIBLE, IT'S ALSO AVAILABLE ON ALL DIGITAL PLATFORMS [SPOTIFY, TIDAL, DEEZER, ITUNES, AMAZON MUSIC, ETC.] OR IF YOU WANT THAT NOSTALGIC FEELING OF PHYSICAL COPIES, YOU CAN GET THAT COLLECTOR'S EDITION [YOU GOTTA DM ME FOR THAT THOUGH LOL]. YOU CAN STAY IN TUNE WITH THE LATEST FREESTYLES AND SONGS THAT DIDN'T MAKE WHATEVER PROJECT I'M RELEASING ON SOUNDCLOUD WWW.SOUNDCLOUD.COM/ST-IVAN-THE-TERRIBLE MY TWITTER IS: @STIVANTERRIBLE MY IG IS: STIVAN_THETERRIBLE MY FACEBOOK IS: STIVANTHETERRIBLE

I REGISTERED A SNAPCHAT [BUT I NEVER BE ON IT]. OTHER THAN THAT, FOR SHOWS, FEATURES, ETC. ST.IVAN.MSMBIZ@MAIL.COM

 

 

Troy Hendrickson