"From Tha D" Artists Look Like "Us"

Leave it to music to transcend borders of geography, philosophy and race.

While, in recent weeks, key members of the Detroit City Council have further divided our region with publicly disseminated venom regarding Cobo Hall and Jay Leno, a show of regional and racial unity has come from three unlikely ambassadors—rappers Eminem, Kid Rock and Trick Trick—with their hot new song, “From Tha D”.

All best known for their connections to Metro Detroit (Marshall Mathers is originally from Missouri and Bob Ritchie from Louisiana), their collaboration is particularly symbolic for a region already segregated and, in light of recent events, now even more so. With an urban artist (Christian Mathis) from the city, a country rocker from the suburbs and an 8 Mile straddler with ties to both, “From the D,” (lyrical machismo and profanity aside) is an anthem symbolic of Detroit pride and unity.

While the Detroit Convention and Business Bureau would never, in a million years, think to utilize such a song (and rightfully so), they should feel good about the fact that their “D” brand has resonated, from the top down, to cultural opinion leaders; and, influencing at a “grass roots” level via an initial “grass tops” approach is not an easy thing to do.

One almost has to wonder what Monica Conyers thinks of the artists that have banded together on this song. Do they ‘sound like her’ or ‘look like her?’ Yes—and no. And that’s the beauty of it all.