Triiibe Uses Activism and Music to Unite and Uplift

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Photograph by Aaron M. Conway

Local (for now) hip-hop group Triiibe, made up of poets and musicians Siri Imani, Aziza Love, and PXVCE, have found a way to harness the power of the spoken word to combat issues like homelessness and child poverty in our own backyard. Catch them live June 2 at Bunbury Music Festival.

S.I.: We’re all activists and specialize in different things. I work with children, doing expression and decompression classes (Raising the Barz), art therapy—anything to do with writing or literacy.
A.L.: I’m more focused on holistic healing. I also do the decompression classes, it’s kind of like emotional management for kids through art. Siri and I came together during the women’s march, we both wrote poems and performed pieces. With PXVCE, all three of us were heavily involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. Partnering together and using our voices to bring people together transformed into music. We would freestyle over pieces, which turned into songs, which turned into our album.
P: We were all good in our music, and we wanted to use our music for good as well, to shed light on the community, and I think that’s what drew us together.

S.I.: Music can be used to explain the activism you are doing, and it can also invoke activism. We use music to explain our message, and we also use it to inspire others. It’s based on community building, and bettering the community; that’s what we like to put in our message, and that’s what we want to inspire.
A.L.: We each express ourselves genuinely. We speak about who we are, who we’ve been, who we wish to be, and those things are revolutions in themselves. True expression is activism. When that true expression is of love, and when that true expression is about betterment in some way—whether that’s in yourself or in your community—that, in itself, is a revolutionary act.
P: Art is a revolutionary act. When you have a message behind it, and the message speaks on things that are going on, and trying to change things that are going on, that is a form of activism. It doesn’t have to look like one specific thing. There are many different ways to be active, and to speak your truth.

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway

S.I.: You can’t have light without dark. A lot of the things that we speak about are becoming more apparent now. It definitely amplifies the need for the message.
A.L.: It’s not just the music, it’s the conversation behind and around the music. If someone has a question, or wants to challenge an idea, the demand for visibility and truth is there.

S.I.: Visibility and representation are so important right now, because they show others that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When there’s a lot of hate, it’s beneficial to everyone when someone is showing love. That’s our intent.
P: We understand that media is a powerful tool that can be used for good and for bad. We’re trying to use the same tactics that have been used on us negatively, and reversing the cycle.

S.I.: We’re activists first. That’s what brought us together, and that it the core of Triiibe. The music is just something that stemmed from that. It’s a very big something else, but still the activism is first. We can use the music to create the visibility that we need to get these messages out and make the biggest impact that we can to try and make the world better, the community better, and ourselves better.
P: A lot of times people will do things to be seen, or as an gimmick, but [we] honestly feel like activism is a need. Regardless if we were making music or not, if Triiibe were here or not, people are still starving; people are still homeless; these things still need to be addressed.
A.L.: Yes we feel music is powerful, but, I mean, we wrote it. We only hope that our message is received, and our love is received, and then I feel more doors will open for other people to speak their truth. Our goal is to create the space for other people to speak their truth, and be seen and heard.

S.I.: We’re always looking to expand our outreach, which hopefully will encourage people to donate their time and whatever resources they can to the people it is directly benefiting. Some of the events we’ve done, even on a small scale, (Triiibe Drive, Potluck for the People) have benefited a lot of people. With more people behind it, we can really make a dent in some of the issues in the city.
A.L.: We want to create spaces of love. That’s something that is felt and reciprocated everywhere we go, and that’s something we’d like to continue to spread.

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