In April, members of Vinyl Me, Please Rap & Hip Hop will receive the first vinyl pressing of Ivy Sole’s 2018 breakthrough LP, Overgrown. One of our most unfairly overlooked LPs of 2018, Overgrown is an amazing LP of rhymes about tough times. Ivy recently played our SXSW showcase, and you can read an interview with her here. You can sign up to receive Overgrown here.
Below, read why we picked Overgrown and the details of our reissue.
This started with Amileah, who was beating the drum for this album the moment it dropped, right? She wrote about it for our Overlooked Albums list.
Alex Berenson, Senior A&R: Yeah, it was both Amileah and Courtney at VMP, to give them both their credit where it’s due. As soon as it came out, they both slacked it to me and said, “You need to make sure you’re on this, she’s a Philly girl, it’s awesome. Listen to it.” It took about a week or two after that for it to move up my queue, and then as soon as I did, I was like, “Holy shit. This is amazing. How are more people not freaking out about this?”
So, I reach out, told them we’re really interested in featuring it in the Rap & Hip Hop subscription because we think it’s that good, and over the next couple weeks I’m obsessed with the album; listening to it all the time. I walk home from work listening to it, and I leave my AirPods in while I’m making dinner, and I got the email from Ivy and her folks that they wanted to work with us while I was listening to the album for the 30th time. It was a cool moment. They’ve been so involved from the packaging, to the roll out, to our SXSW showcase. It’s a dream project for us to be able to be this closely involved with the artist in making this vinyl happen.
She’s not on a label, so we’re helping with all of that, which is amazing. In some ways, this release dovetails with VMP Rising, our emerging artists program, which you spearhead for us. We did a few new releases in Rap & Hip Hop last year, but a lot of them were “more established” artists. Why is it important to you that VMP does releases like this with unsigned emerging artists that are more of an introduction that a big name reissue?
Because they’re the future of music. I push for stuff like this so hard, because amazing records that are established in history are incredible and fun to reissue and reexamine, but it’s important to look forward, specifically in music. We have to celebrate what’s happening now, because these are the records you’ll care about in 10 to 15 to 20 years. If you’re not up on the stuff happening now, you’re not going to have records you care about in 15 years. Really big artists don’t necessarily need Vinyl Me, Please to sell their records, but for Ivy Sole, this release is going to get her record in the house of potentially thousands of people who have never heard her name before this. We have such an important ability to do that, that if we ignored the younger new artists, what a missed opportunity, you know?
We could be a very successful company if we just sent people Led Zeppelin and Beatles records every month, but that’s not helping anybody, you know?
This one is a split light blue and clear record with a yellow splatter, to complement the cover. The stencil says “Overgrown” with some flowers around it. It’s my favorite stencil so far because it looks like something you’d tag around the city if you were on her street team.
And this one is DMM at GZ, because it was recorded all digital. This might be our only new release in Rap & Hip Hop this year, so I’m excited for this one to land.
Andrew Winistorfer is VMP’s Classics & Country Director, and a writer and editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need In Your Collection and The Best Record Stores In The United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 20 VMP releases, and co-produced the VMP Anthologies The Story of Philadelphia International Records, The Story of Quincy Jones, The Story of Impulse and the VMP Classics release of Nat Turner Rebellion's Laugh to Keep From Crying, and executive produced the VMP Anthology The Story of Vanguard. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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