Video: Ikey  – “When We Were Kings”

Preparing For the March 31 Release of His Green Card EP, the Nigerian-American Artist Reflects On Past Leaders In His Latest Visual, Premiered By Pigeons & Planes



Critical Praise for Ikey:

“His delivery is cool and calm with a bite… Ikey takes this shit to the next level.” – Pigeons & Planes

“…continuing to impress hip-hop fans all over the globe with his melodic and confident flow.”Okayplayer

The Video:

Born in Spanish Harlem, raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and based in the D.C. area of Maryland, rapper Ikey invades an abandoned building in D.C. and shares his testament of cultural awareness in a commanding visual for his Blvck Rose-produced single “When We Were Kings.” The video, directed by Xavia Inniss and premiered via Pigeons & Planes, acknowledges prolific African political leaders like Patrice Lumumba, while intertwining clips of Nigerian Afrobeat artist/human rights activist Fela Kuti. “Ikey’s ‘When We Were Kings’ represents his culture lyrically and sonically,” stated Pigeons & Planes, “and now the video makes it complete, with striking visuals and escalating intensity.”

From the effects of the Nigerian Civil War to the current struggle with Boko Haram, Ikey’s rhymes teach as much as they entertain. “This was the last song written and recorded for the project,” Ikey says of “When We Were Kings.” “It was recorded about 6 months after we had completed the other tracks. I felt like the project was missing an unfiltered [and] raw view of Lagos. Boko Haram had just bombed Jos not long ago and I remember talking to my Mom on the phone and hearing that the power had gone out. I felt a mixture of sadness, anger and defiance knowing that Nigeria was almost the same as it was years ago when I lived there. I feel like this song takes you there.”

“My job as an artist is to always show my appreciation, represent our story properly and do whatever it takes to make sure we all achieve that American Dream,” Ikey told Okayafrica in an interview feature about his Nigerian roots and how his experiences have influenced his forthcoming project. Leading up to the release of his Green Card EP, which is slated to drop March 31st, Ikey has shared several singles and videos. Complex debuted his “Olodo” video, and stated “the stunning, cinematic video is a pretty inspirational feat for the up-and-coming artist.” Teaming up with SaveMoney rapper Kami de Chukwu on “Lord,” Okayplayer premiered the track, and shared praises, saying “Ikey stays soulful as he stunts, dropping high-syllable-traffic verses that show thanks for finer things,” adding that Ikey “is continuing to impress hip-hop fans all over the globe with his melodic and confident flow.”

Watch “When We Were Kings”:

Check out the Pigeons & Planes premiere:

Listen to “When We Were Kings”:

Please contact Michelle or Rory if interested in talking with Ikey.

Ikey Background:

For Ikey, it’s all about the story. Born in New York, with roots in both Spanish Harlem and Lagos, Nigeria, Ike Obioha connected with music at an early age. The diverse palette of his father’s music collection painted a musical canvas that pays homage to everything from Elton John and Journey to the Neville Brothers and Igbo Nigerian highlife singer Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe.

Ikey’s unique, 1.5 generation immigrant experience influenced both the subject matter and creation of his music. Despite pressure to embark upon a more scholarly career, Ikey would ultimately find himself opening for the likes of Big Sean and have his music covered in the Washington City Paper. He balances his penchant for music representing all aspects of the human experience over tracks representative of hip-hop’s golden era while maintaining his unique Nigerian-American identity. “I’m just a young kid straight out of Lagos,” Ikey says. “When I see people like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie being sampled on Beyonce records, it makes me feel people want that true African story. I just feel there are a lot of Nigerian-Americans trying to tell that story, and I’m trying to tell it the right way.”

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“When We Were Kings”: //

“Lord” (ft. Kami de Chukwu):



Bio, photos, and more info on Ikey: