Tag Archives: invincible

How the Ghost of Vanilla Ice is Saving Hip Hop Right Now

By Resident Alien

You know when you’re watching some really extra crime on the news, and you have that split-second hope that it’s not a black guy?

Well, all too often for the last couple years, DJ A-See and I will be nodding along to a dope new lyricist and find ourselves hoping it is a black guy.

Somebody’s got to say it: white rappers are really bringing their A-game, and black rappers… well, I’m not saying we’re pulling a Custer, but we need to get our weight up. (Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of History Channel lately.)

Over half the new rappers that make me lean forward and say, “that’s kinda nice” are white dudes now. There are still incredible black rappers, but they get shouted over by locust swarms of video-lifestyle rappers. How many ways can you talk about partying, drinking and making paper? Fuck it, it’s BORING.

Whereas, white rappers like Yelawolf, Invincible, Surreal, Atmosphere, Eternia, Brother Ali, even MGK, are bringing a diversified flow set, nice lines, strong concepts. And why?

Vanilla Ice. To The Extreme is the soundtrack of their nightmares. Vanilla’s pale, dreadlocked face wakes them up in the middle of the night, driving them to the pen and pad. It’s a legacy of whackness that has been motivating white rappers to do better for the last 20 years.  As successful as he was, no one wants to be the next Vanilla Ice.

Among black rappers, on the other hand, about a jillion wannabes are praying through gold grills to be the next Waka. They don’t care about the effect all this bad music is having on hip hop culture, because they don’t care about the culture as a whole. They just care about peddling the most inane, unchallenging, hookiest trash lyrics to as many people as possible.

So the ghost of Vanilla Ice is fueling a lifeline of good hip hop: independent, creative and insightful, that may keep us going until we make it to the next Golden Era. Unless—God Forbid—we’re already there

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ALBUM of the WEEK: Invincible – Shapeshifters

Straight out Motown is Invincible (gotta show some love for my city). Now we didn’t post her on Album of the Week ’cause she’s from D, we posted cause you’ll dig the album. Resident Alien has burned a few copies and given them to folks just so they can check her out.

*Reminder: These are not the complete songs, just 90-second clips so you can get a feel for the music. If we want good hip hop to flourish, we’ve gotta show support. If you like the album, go to Invincible’s website here and cop one.


Music Playlist at MixPod.com

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Interview with Invincible

from Michigan Hip-Hop.com

Invincible is releasing her first album this year, but don’t get it twisted: the Detroit emcee has been reppin’ the mitten for years. Moving to Ann Arbor from Palestine when she was seven years old, she learned English through Hip Hop by writing down lyrics to her favorite songs and looking up the words. The rest is history: earning a rep in open mics and ciphers led to her working with Michigan all-stars like J Dilla and Dabrye, and to thriving in New York as a member of the all-female Anomolies crew and a writer/performer of MTV’s defunct Lyricist Lounge Show. She’s also been deeply involved with Detroit Summer, an organization that develops youth leadership and addresses community issues. Anyone who really knows the history of Michigan’s Hip Hop scene doesn’t have a choice but to respect her longevity and her grind.invincible1

It looks like all of her hard work is starting to pay off. ShapeShifters finally sees her on the solo stage, where her talented cohorts—Wordsworth, Buff1 and Finale on the mic with Black Milk, Waajeed and HouseShoes on the boards—are adding to her vision instead of the other way around. A large facet of this vision is independence: studying Waajeed’s operation of The Bling47 Group has helped her develop the know-how to release her album through her own label, EMERGENCE Media, with distribution from Fat Beats. In an in-depth interview with MichiganHipHop, Invincible talks about her album, being “an A&R’s worst nightmare,” and what it means to be a ShapeShifter.

Up until now, you’ve done cameos for other artists. What was it like having an entire solo album to yourself for the first time?

Doing a full album was amazing, because I was able to focus on all the personal stories and concepts I always put on the backburner when working with other artists. At first it was overwhelming because I usually work really well with other emcees; I mean, each person I work with brings out something new in me and I try to compliment where they’re coming from as well. But once I got in a rhythm with writing and recording, it created a sense of freedom that I didn’t have anyone else to answer to. It was also dope to have all my longtime fam do cameos on the album.

One thing that’s really stuck out to me is that in both your cameos and your work with Lyricist Lounge, you’re always working with really dope artists. How did that help you?

I’m just blessed to have all those cats around me: from Athletic Mic League, to Finale, to Anomolies, all the way to Wordsworth of the “Lyricist Lounge Show,” he’s a huge mentor to me. Everyone I’ve come across throughout the years has been a huge influence, but a huge inspiration moreso, and I think I serve that same purpose for them, so it’s kind of a mutual support. Especially with me and Finale, we keep each other on our P’s and Q’s; it’s not competitive in a real way, but you kind of push each other, make sure each other is reaching the highest potential. I think all those people I’ve worked with over the years have brought out the best in me, and I’ve been able to help them bring out the best in themselves. That’s why I think it took so long for me to do my thing, I wanted to make sure I was at my highest caliber when I dropped my first project. I didn’t want to just come out with something random and sloppy. I wanted it to be really eventful and something that represents me fully—not just content-wise, but stylistically, with the technical skills, and all of the above to make it well-rounded project. I learned a little piece of each of that from everybody I worked with. I just take all the best parts, mix it up with my perspective, and make it my own.


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