Fiending To Get Off
In a rap game teeming with hungry MCs fiending to get put on, Invincible’s story is all about fiending to get off. At 17 she came to NYC from Ann Arbor, MI, and hung out at the Lyricist Lounge, eventually joining the all-female Anomolies posse. She stayed for the next three years and blew everyone’s fucking mind with some of the illest freestyling ever. In the short time she was in New York, she won props from Mobb Deep during a Blaze Battle, wrote for MTV’s Lyricist Lounge show, and was approached by record companies like Rawkus and Stimulated/Loud (who offered several hundred thousand dollars just for recording). She declined all offers. As word of her skills spread, she also declined interview requests from all major music magazines, including The Source and Vibe. In January, though still repping for Anomolies, she returned to Michigan to hang out at her parent’s house, get high, and watch HBO. When the phone rings for Invincible (AKA Illana Weaver), she usually says “fuck off.” Somehow, when VICE called her up she decided to break the silence.
VICE: What did you look like as a kid?
Invincible: I was a child trannie. I had a bowl haircut with spikes when I was six. It was my idea. I went to the joint and I was like, “Yo, I want spikes.”
Like a crusty punk with a big mound of droopy spikes?
No, like a fade with a peace sign in the back, you fucking idiot. I said a bowl haircut but with spikes. For real, people were like, “Yo, I heard you got a sex change, kid.”
What did you do for fun?
I played basketball for a while, but that ended with my weed-smoking days around ’94, when Ann Arbor was the center of the US weed trade. After that came the MC days.
We can’t believe we got you. Not even major labels with infinite cash can get you to talk to them.
It’s not so much about “I don’t want to sign.” It’s more about integrity. I went to some offices just to see what it was like but I wound up losing money: Having a lawyer look over a contract cost me a G. Rawkus and Stimulated approached me, but mostly it was individuals, people trying to shop the situation, like, “Hey, I’m a visionary. How about working with Fiona Apple?” They wanted me to be this white- angst poster girl. I wasn’t really feelin’ it.
Why couldn’t they be happy with Invincible?
It’s like there’s these archetypes but there’s only room for one woman in each. People have said to me, “The market’s not looking for another hardcore female MC, there’s already Rah Digga.” With dudes there can be ten to a style, but once it’s time to market that girl it’s like, “Are you gonna put on this dress or the camouflage joints, because we already got someone in the camouflage joints?”
What’s in store for next year? Come back to New York and take it over?
My twenty-first birthday’s tomorrow. I gotta celebrate somewhere.