from a renaissance

coming to you live from the heart of a renaissance, renaissance meaning a rebirth, detroit being a city that has been born again over and over. when i first started coming around the D, i knew that a movement was afoot in hip-hop. i saw invincible, finale, guilty, black milk, buff 1, miz korona, mz jonz, slum village, and so many others coming together in a way that was unprecedented and unapologetic. what i heard over and over was: this is the home of j dilla and big proof and we won’t deny anymore the unique and raw creations that come out of this place.

i first heard monica blaire on a cd, which blew me away AND didn’t even come close to the joie de vivre she injects in an audience in a live performance. she is the best live performer of her generation anywhere in the world based on my experiences, and she is right here, close enough to touch, humble enough to hug and big up all those around her. [here’s a trio of short videos from my phone shot last night when she jammed impromptu with the marvelous and adorable and allaroundgreat chilean hip-hop star anita tijoux: one, two, three.]

so for a while i know it has been happening, absolutely, but then i moved here, and my immersion in what is happening every night and day all around this city…it is so exciting to be here at this moment in detroit, where the energy of new things emerging out of an old soul city is present and palpable.

just four days ago detroit brought us jessica care moore‘s black women rock, a concert in tribute of the delicious and edge-slicing betty davis, brief wife of miles davis, sex-flinging artiste who still elicits a frenzy today when her words and images and fashions reach us.

the artists who slipped through, including brooklyn rock divas imani uzuri and tamar-kali and internationally renowned artist marcia jones, were thrilled to be in motor city, and kept talking about the creative energy alive here. steffanie christian was my discovery of the weekend…she got up and rocked 5 songs that moved me outside myself in 5 different ways.

the next day jessica hosted a brunch for the women who performed, and there was an impromptu song session where folks shared what they had to offer, what was in their souls at that moment. what i felt in that room was the miracle-worthy experience that can happen when creative people realizing their potential share space. it was historic, and healing, and so easy to take in.

attendees included the incomparable piper carter, who has envisioned and uplifted The Foundation as a weekly Tuesday night fertile space for the growth of women artists in the D, featuring DJ’s Mel Wonder, Sticky Niki, & La Jedi with B-Girls Mama (Hardcore Detroit), Ri$ Money, & Teena Marie & Graffiti Artist Riku. the night often lends itself to the kind of inspired spontaneous moments only possible when great talent smashes into a liberated open welcoming zone and can expand to its full size. miz korona and mz jonz, who i call comedianne-rappers, regularly play here.

and of course i have to say that my partner invincible is a key player in every aspect of this moment, and in my own life. only a few weeks ago, invincible took two showcases to SXSW – a Detroit showcase, and a Women in Hip Hop showcase. she has seen the groundbreaking transformative potential of this city for as long as i have known her.

there is a hip-hop renaissance here, but there is simultaneously and intersectionally a thrilling movement of female artistry and creativity happening in Detroit which aligns with the shift to the feminine that is happening in every arena, internationally, philosophically, politically, in families, in structures. everyone is welcome to visit, and co-create, and bring it all to visit, and showcase it, and let it seed and scatter and grow within you.

6 Responses to “from a renaissance”


  1. 1 Piper Carter

    Great Article. You really captured the energy of these experiences. I moved to Detroit a year ago and each day gets better. Detroit is a Dynamic Place with Amazing People and now is the Best time to be here. It is a Renaissance City in every aspect. It’s Full of Art & Culture, & Dedicated People making Positive Changes. I am so Blessed to be a Part of such a Beautiful Community. & I’m especially Proud to be working with a Core of Increadible Women who have diverse talents & use their Power for Good.
    Thank You for recognizing all the hard work & being a huge part of this every evolving puzzle.

  2. 2 Miz Korona

    This is a really dope article. I’m honored that you chose to write this piece not only about the artist but about the rebirth of the cities musical community. I’m proud to be apart of such a powerful movement here in Detroit. And I thank you for sharing what we’re on a path to rebuild here on your site for the world to see. Thank you so much. Miz Korona

  3. 3 KenyattaM

    Thank you for expressing about our city what so many seem to miss and thank you for seeing the (like many others) the potential that Detroit possesses artistically abd socially. And last, but certainly not least, Welcome to the “D”!

  4. 4 Shamarr W

    There is something magical moving through the city. I can feel it every where. That same magic is what drives us. In my opinion the artists are the true historians, they capture the spirit of the times and lock it into place. This monent right now is what inspires the art, therefore it forces us to be true and honest to what we believe in. Though we are indeed against all odds we continue on…. It has often been said that some of the most beautiful work is formed through pain and desperation. I would have to agree in fact WE would have to agree because we see it, we hear it and we live it every day. The city is on the rise and we are on the front lines like “What updoe!”
    Fantastic and inspiring article thank you for writing it…
    -Shamarr W

  5. 5 Whodat

    Thank You Adrienne. Detroit Hustles Harder! Let’s Go!

  6. 6 Marcia Jones

    Detroit is a beautiful survivor just like it’s people!!!!. Abundant gratitude to everyone I meet there!! On a very visceral level I felt Detroit is summoning it’s rightful place at the forefront of global creative revolution!! A city that honors Women in Hip Hop, Art, and Rock the way ya’ll do thats revolution!! What an amazing blessing to witness… Detroit may Universal Blessings bestow upon you! I was honored..and I’ll be back :)

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