At the end of 2012, National Public Radio published a public survey of prominent musicians, music industry folks, writers, programmers, and DJs to discuss their favorite things of the year and anticipation for 2013. Constructed in a series of short quotations, the survey explores all genres and caliber of musical projects.
"I thought it was phenomenal," said Lauren Spencer, LGBT Resource Center's program coordinator. "I really like that Invincible was able to get so many different identities and stories and truths involved in the show." Among the three slam poets who opened for Invincible, Lansing Community College sophomore Quinton Robinson said his poetic and musical inspiration comes from the surplus of truths and stories in his hometown, Flint, Mich. "Once I saw the gap between the music we listen to now on the radio and what hip-hop was designed to be as a means for cultural change, I realized that these words actually have power," Robinson said.
My vision is more on community sufficiency, creating self determination for impacted communities. One of the ways I see that happening more is through crowd-sourcing and Community Supported Agriculture/Art subscription models that limit outside strings from deciding the direction of your work. I hope more artists are able to take this path and stop waiting around for someone to discover and put them on, or compromise their work in order to fit into a cookie cutter industry.
This is also why I feel the TPG Academy is so important, because it facilitates learning of the philosophies and concrete tools needed to overcome the intimidation hurdles you have to clear in order to start your own business. If enough people learn to fish we can organize together to stop the dam, and make sure the river remains part of the commons.
What does a basket of art look like? Dozens of metro Detroiters will find out when the distributions of Community Supported Art (CSA), a new model of buying art, take place over the next three months. Traditional CSAs - where the "A" stands for agriculture - are familiar. In spring, people sign up to receive weekly baskets of farm products, from garlic to greens, throughout the growing season. ArtServe Michigan will bring a fresh crop of art to art collectors using the same idea. A dozen artists will create nine original works. The first three will be delivered late this month, including jewelry made of shattered auto glass, a paper helmet, and a music box.
The music box blends art, history, technology and music in a way that's innovative and unique. Much like Taylor himself. And that's just a small sample of the multimedia projects he and Invincible have in mind. The pair have also partnered with music producer Waajeed to win an MAP Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop "Complex Momements," an interactive hip-hop performance using video projection, sculptural art, and technology to explore relationships between complex sciences and social-justice movements.
""Last year, Ilana Weaver (aka Invincible), threw a couple of key showcases in Austin that highlighted the crème de la crème of Detroit hip hop such as the "DXSW" event and The Revival: SXSW Women in Hip Hop showcase that ended up being, in the opinion of many, two of the best received shows in Austin, regardless of genre…"I was at the show that Invincible did in Austin last year, and I really enjoyed it," DeVries says. "I told her that I want to be a part of it next year, but because [Invincible] decided to be more of an artist this year, she's not organizing a Detroit show. She had so much on her plate last year. I was kind of intimidated to take on the role in her absence this year, but I realize it's important to the Michigan hip-hop acts to have a showcase to play, so I'm doing it."
Coney's and Cuervo happens Friday, March 11, at The Shelter (431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-MELT) $10, $25 VIP. Danny Brown, Ro Spit, Invincible, Finale, Jon Connor, MarvWon, FowL, Quest MCody, Cold Men Young, J Young the General, Red Pill, PL, DRG, Young Scolla, Pato, and DJ Soko will all perform."
"It may have been hard to come by a strong female presence in the hip-hop game years ago, but these days it's the ladies that have been putting in some serious work. Invincible is one such female rapper that Detroit is blessed to call one of its own. Not only is her lyricism created out of sheer genius, but her work towards a social revolution far surpasses any expectations people had for her. Intelligent, kind and a trailblazer, from the creation of her own label, Emergence, to her activism, peer influence and solid catalog, Invincible is a role model for an entire city."
"It isn’t just scenes of Belle Isle and vivid shots throughout downtown Detroit but the way director El Iqaa captures the uplifting feel of the city during the summer months that makes this double music video stand out."
"Art Threat: I’ve had your track Shape Shifters on repeat for a while now. Can you elaborate a little bit on the concept?
Invincible: Shape Shifters was inspired by reading Octavia Butler’s The Parables series and Wild Seed. It was my first attempt at writing a hip-hop science fiction song. Hip-hop is based in sampling, and when writing the song I imagined creating a time capsule of music and movements from today — that could be sampled in the future, and uncovered in some post-apocalyptic rubble. I’m excited to see how the lessons of music and movements now can be sampled into brand new unimaginable evolutions of our current approaches to self and world transformation.
You spent up to five years working on your docu-music videos Locusts and People not Places. What’s simmering on the back burner these days?
My new concoction is a full-length album, multimedia installation, and curriculum project in the works with Detroit producer Waajeed. It is focused on complex science and social movements, learning from the ways they intersect and overlap. I hated science class growing up and now somehow all I think about is the ways science can be reclaimed by marginalized communities. A few years ago I was inspired by Grace Lee Boggs, the long time Detroit activist and philosopher to think about the ways our movements are being dictated by old science paradigms. People think change happens incrementally on a large scale, which is in a sense a Newtonian approach, rather than holistically on a small scale, which is the way complex science works. Waajeed and I recently released a single for the song Emergence along with Detroit Summer which is an appetizer for the full-length project."