By Traviss Cassidy | 17 June 2008
Fledgling rhyme-spitters, take note: this is how you make an entrance. Though, to be fair, Ilana Weaver, aka Invincible, isn’t what you’d call a rapping tenderfoot. Since joining all-female hip-hop outfit the Anomolies in the late-‘90s, Invincible has amassed a steady rep in the Detroit scene on the strength of her live performances and guest spots on other rapper’s albums. With the release of long-in-the-works debut album Shape Shifters, that modest fan base seems poised to expand upward and outward.
But first, back to that entrance: “Looongawaited” doubles as a cocksure address to Invincible’s enduring followers (“You want a classic? / You gotta wait for it”) and as a concise summation of the rapper’s strengths and mission plan. And she spares little time laying all of that on the table at once: “I’m striving to be one of the best, period / Not just one of the best with breasts and a period,” she boasts, right before unleashing a rapid-fire barrage of rhymes equal parts extended, internal, and multi-syllabic, paralyzing the listener before s/he might call bullshit. Which is about her cockiness as much as her gender, but then, grinding as a female rapper—especially one sporting Caucasian skin and a petite frame—can carry a Caddy-load of commercial disadvantages; it’s refreshing that Invincible never overcompensates. Rather than trying to overpower the track (which, with its mastodon-sized beat and negative-space killing horns and synths, would be a feat daunting to most rappers not named Pusha T), she studiously picks away at your eardrums with her verbal darts, always on point and always venomous. Invincible? Not quite. Still, I’d keep my distance.