Nearly a year ago, Chicago producer and engineer Ivan “Ikon” Pryor nearly died in a fire that destroyed suite 42 at Fort Knox, an Irving Park building that housed several rehearsal spaces and recording studios—including the facilities of hip-hop collective and indie label Private Stock. Ikon had been resting his eyes in suite 42, and left the room just before the blaze. As my March Reader feature detailed, the Private Stock family have rebounded, and they’ve focused on getting out a mess of music this year. At the end of last month they put out Ikon’s EP Auragami.
Of the collection of beat makers involved in Private Stock, Ikon especially likes to play with contemporary pop tropes. That’s evident in “Believe That,” a collaboration with fellow Private Stock producer Rob Lyrical and Rochester MC Ishmael Raps. The single features wobbly synth lines that would feel right at home in EDM, Top 40 pop, or rap, and Ikon blends elements from all three. Ishmael likewise straddles genres with rapping that’s almost indistinguishable from singing, and his vocals help heighten the song’s euphoria. “Believe That” was clearly made to get people moving at a party, and that’s where the track’s video is set. My favorite bit is when Private Stock co-owner Richard Molina arm wrestles with a child—though honestly I’ve never been to that kind of party.