J. Ivy

by Raven from New Haven


To me, a hero is some one who cares a lot for others, but is also aware of what’s best for them. Heroes think of the consequences before taking action, and aren’t afraid to stick up for what they think is most beneficial for the situation. A true hero is not afraid of the truth, and most of all, not afraid to keep it real. This is why my hero is James Ivy Richardson, a.k.a. J. Ivy.

J. Ivy is spoken-word poet from Chicago known all around the country for his infectious flow of words. Many times he has been portrayed as the fork in the road where poetry meets hip-hop. I think of him as a hero because he has truly made sacrifices for his love of poetry to get where he is now. His determination inspires me, let alone his remarkable use of word-play and mesmerizing verses.

J. Ivy has been a huge success in his short career as a poet. He has performed on Russell Simmons’ HBO Def Poetry during its first and fourth season, the world-renowned Apollo Theater, and has been seen on ABC for the BCS Selection show. He has appeared on B.E.T.’s Lyric Café, hosted the Big Easy Poetry Slam at the house of Blues in New Orleans during the Essence Jazz Festival, and played ‘Jesus’ in Kanye West’s 3rd version of his hit single ‘Jesus Walks’ music video. J. Ivy has been featured in 7 magazines like Mugshot and Complex, etc. He has recorded with the RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, and Kanye West featuring Jay-Z on his triple platinum/ Grammy nominated album ‘The College Dropout’. He has even shared stages with legends like Famer Bo Diddley, Patti Labelle, The Last Poets, and new schoolers like Erykah Badu, Carl Thomas, Jill Scott, John Legend, etc.

Promotional poster (
Promotional poster (

Recently J. Ivy has been working on his upcoming book "I’m Not That Good with Words" and his next album “Izn’t It Ivyous”.

Here is his poem from Kanye's track "Never Let Me Down", a collaboration with super-producer Kanye and legendary Jay-Z:

Artist : Kanye West f/ Jay-z, J. Ivy
Title : Never Let Me Down
Album : College Dropout
Genre : Hip Hop

When it comes to being true, at least true to me
One thing I found, one thing I found
Oh no you never let me down
Get up, I get down
Get up, I get down
Get up, I get down
Get up, I get down
Get up, I get down
Get up, I get down
We are all here for a reason on a particular path;
You don't need a curriculum to know that you're apart of the math;
Cats think I'm delirious but I'm so da[]n serious;
That's why I expose my soul to the globe; the world;
I'm try'na make it better for these little boys and girls;
I'm not just another individual;

My spirit is a part of this that's why it's spiritual; But I get my hymns from him;
So it's not me it's he that's lyrical;
I'm not a miracle, I'm a heaven sent instrument;
My rhythmatic regiment navigates melodic notes;
For your soul and your mental;
That's why I'm instrumental, vibrations is what I'm into;
Yeah I need my loot by rent day;
But that ain't what gives me the heart of Kunta Kinte;
I'm try'na give us us free like Sinke;
I can't stop, that's why I'm hot;
Determination, dedication, motivation;
I'm talking to you of my many inspirations;
When I say I can't let you or self down;
If I were on the highest cliff, on the highest riff;
And if you slipped off the side and clinched on to your life;
In my grip I would never ever let you down;
And when these words are found;
Let it be known that God's penmanship has been signed;
With a language called love;
That's why my breath is felt by the death;
And while my words are heard and confined to the ears of the blind;
I too dream in color and in rhyme;
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house;
Cuz whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth;
A touch of god reigns out

Page created on 5/17/2005 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/17/2005 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.
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