PLAYING CINCY: TRIIIBE’s Siri Imani Talks Gentrification on “513” She-mix

Photo by Taylor Hughes.

TRIIIBE‘s Siri Imani called out Cincinnati gentrification in her new “513” she-mix of Drake and BlocBoy JB’s 2018 hit, “Look Alive.” The addictive beat of the track puts it on instant replay as Siri brings light to the inequality and displacement currently affecting those in Cincinnati’s downtown Over-The-Rhine area.

TRIIIBE is no stranger to spotlighting – and helping to fix – societal challenges in their city.

“I haven’t lived in OTR my whole life; however, I’ve always went to school there and have countless friends and family,” says Imani. “Gentrification has shaped a lot of the community that was once inhabited by generations of families that grew up there.”

In the past decade, herds of new businesses have moved into the downtown area, providing retail and local eateries, but skyrocketing rental prices and chipping away at long-grown culture. Imani and her two TRIIIBE counterparts often dedicate their art to opening an honest dialogue within their community, and Imani doesn’t plan to stop with “513.”

“Music is universal and to me. It’s a more efficient way of getting my messages out,” she says. “We listen to, and memorize, songs better than we do the words actually spoken to us. Music resonates and evokes feelings on a level that can be hard to match verbally.”

As for remixing such a repeatable hit, Imani did that deliberately, too.

“All of the she-mixes use well known, male-dominated songs,” she says. “‘Look Alive’ was big last year and I needed something people could easily compare lyrics to.”

The Cincinnati songstress is currently working on her debut solo EP, Therapy, set to drop July 19. She, along with TRIIIBE, will also be performing at Bunbury Music Festival on Sunday, June 2.