Capturing the culture that makes Detroit what it is.

Monthly archive

February 2023

How a Jam Session got Detroit Artists performing music on stages, the Story of D Cipher

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Jam sessions are a kinetic, eclectic, and improvisational expression of creativity. Juuni, Nique Love Rhodes, and Sophia have expanded that energy into D Cipher. Juuni is a world-class drummer. Nique Love Rhodes is a band-leading emcee meshing live instruments and hip-hop. Sophia is an expression of keys and mixed medium art. Together with (Allandra Bulger, aka Insite The Riot) created a mastermind collective of musicians, a non-profit advocating for music equity in Detroit and beyond.  Juuni, Nique, and Sophia sit down with Detroit is Different and open up about how, why, and what their work means to Detroit’s musical performance artists. Learn how their roots connect to deeper culture across the diaspora into Haiti, Jamaica, New Orleans, and certainly Detroit’s Joy Rd.  

As Trauma Opened his eyes to the World, Faith guided the vision for Dexter Sullivan

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Dexter Sullivan’s family’s roots are grounded deep in Detroit. Passion for the people, culture, and essence of Detroit is the reality for Dexter Sullivan. Today his work in mentorship, communication, and Faith all place him in positions of influence nationally. In his Detroit is Different feature, we discuss the ways he discovered opportunity in having the courage to leave Detroit for Tulsa, OK. The Oral Roberts graduate further developed skills, talent, and self-confidence. Returning to Detroit, Dexter better understands how he plays a role in all community development. We also discuss the lack of Black Men in the church and why. This feature is a fruitful discussion.

On Campus organizing led Brandon Jessup into Social Justice Fights with Data & Technology

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Eastern Michigan University welcomed one of the largest collections of Legacy Black Detroit students from 2000 – 2015. Ypsilanti was filled with an active Black Greek Life, Spoken Word Poetry collectives, Open Mic Hip-hop, and a rebellious NAACP Chapter. Brandon Jessup was one of the Legacy Black Detroiters ready to debate, challenge, and engage any students about the best practices and methods towards advocacy and empowerment. Brandon’s brash attitude and intellect connected him to the Proposal 2 Affirmative Action fight. Since then, he has become an experienced analyst in political strategy and community organizing. In this Detroit is Different, I introduce you to one of my homies and a key asset for Detroit politics, Brandon Jessup. We discuss voter suppression, political media, Black Male Leadership in Detroit, and more.

The Afro-Latina experience of 90’s Detroit & Puerto Rico has shaped Angela Lugo-Thomas’ World

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The 1990s welcomed the talking points of melting point, the Browning of America, and English as a Second Language programming. Today these concepts are seen as insensitive at worse and antiquated at best. For Angela Lugo-Thomas, the dual reality of living in Detroit and Puerto Rico impacted her deeply. Metro-Detroit is home to many cultures of the Arab world, Asian world, and a huge Mexican population. The ways other Latino cultures have a presence in Detroit are similar to the Caribbean cultures here. Living as a proud Boriqua (Puerto Rican Woman) left an impression on Angela to love culture and understand the value of identity. As a wife and mother, this has strengthened her journey of connecting with Highland Park’s social & political landscape. Today Angela has raised a family in Highland Park and poured love, commitment, and understanding into the city initiative. Our interview discusses the relationship between Highland Park & Detroit & Michigan. Surprisingly this also has similarities to Puerto Rico and America. Check out this Detroit is Different feature with one of the anchors of Detroit’s Black Land Farmer Fund. 

Almighty Dreadnaughtz, Big Proof, and a Grand Dad protecting Linwood’s Black Jesus, Supa Emcee Stories

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Battle rapping, performing, break dance, and hip hop culture captured the heart and mind of Supa Emcee as a child. One of the youngest emcees to cipher and freestyle with Proof (RIP & honor) has become a staple in all things Highland Park, MI. Kent ‘Supa Emcee’ Brown has used hip-hop as a gateway through Hollywood, NYC, Atlanta, and every stage rapper’s travel in Detroit. His charisma and presence are signatures and are recognized by any that have witnessed his talents. His music and voice have become part of Detroit’s hip-hop soundtrack. We discuss the Almighty Dreadnaughtz, Iron Fist Record, Proof, also the interesting relationship his grandfather had with Linwood Ave’s Black Jesus. 

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