By Morgan Coby
“Detroit is a place for most, to me it’s a verb. I Detroit with my music.”—Khary WAE Frazier.
The Hip-hop artist and community advocate has lived in, worked in, performed for and in honor of Detroit for over 16 years. Saturday June 27, 2015 9PM-12AM at the Jam Handy, Khary WAE Frazier will be presenting Homemade Music: The If Detroit Were Heaven Album Release Concert. Since 2011, the vision of “Detroit Heaven” was created in the shadows of the negative, tragic, and painful imagery. The tasteless depictions of Detroit, Hip-hop, and young Black men inspired Frazier to make the album “If Detroit Were Heaven.”
Frazier is a hip-hop artist carrying a mantle of the creativity & vision of his passed friends & mentors: Civil Right’s Attorney Chokwe Lumumba, Focus :HOPE founder Eleanor Josaitis, Judge Claudia Morcom, and the Songstress Ortheia Barnes, while balancing the lessons of Detroit-based rap from passed icons MC Breed, Proof, J Dilla and Blade Icewood who all served as cultural & personal inspirations for Frazier.
The If Detroit Were Heaven album release performance will highlight several songs from the album. Drummer Alex White (currently touring with Jazz legend James Carter) is the composer for this musical potluck of Jazz, Hip-hop, Soul, and Latin sound. The album captures the eclectic mix of energy, passion, and emotions Detroiters express about neighborhoods, people, places, and events that have impacted the city. Frazier’s lyrics take listeners on journeys through his days at Northwestern HS, to the beauty of a family embracing a neighborhood, and the tragedy of racial misunderstanding that has restrained Detroit historically.
The concert takes place at the Jam Handy multipurpose artistic space run by new Detroiter Simeon Heyer. Located blocks away from Motown Record’s Hitsville USA, the Jam Handy sits at 2900 E. Grand BLVD Detroit MI, 48202. The reconditioned production studio serves as a connected vision that speaks to finding the ‘Heaven’ in Detroit.
Collaborating for this event are: Slow’s Bar B Q to Go, Spectacles Boutique, Our/Detroit Vodka, and Urban Organic. All four entities are adding to the rich culture anchoring the vision of Frazier’s website www.detroitisdifferent.com. There, you will find people and places that make the culture of Detroit universally distinct. For tickets, more information, and to hear the music, please visit www.detroitisdifferent.com.