On June 2nd, 2019, Cincinnati-born hip-hop group Triiibe performed at Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. The dynamic trio, composed of Aziza Love, Pxvce (pronounced peace), and Siri Imani, are vibing off the release off of their debut album III AM What III AM, released in October 2018. The three took some time after their performance to sit and talk with Alex Macon, Nicole Betscher, and Dana Mulvaney.
Alex: How did you start making music together?
Siri Imani: We’re all activists. We started off doing activism work and then afterward, we would have jam sessions and poetry events. All of our messages just naturally aligned; things that we wanted to see and do in the city, after that, it was really just a matter of making music. Pxvce is a producer, so he had beats ready for us. Aziza [Love] is a singer, lyricist, and poet. I’m lyricist and poet as well. So it was just really easy to come together and start making music.
CityBeat described you all as “Cincinnati’s most potent local music, art, and activist groups”? Do you agree with this?
Aziza Love: When it comes to most potent, I don’t know how I feel about that. However, I will say that we try very hard to make sure that our message matches what we do actively. We speak what we walk and vice versa. I personally wouldn’t say we’re the most anything, but what we do, you can see the fruits of our labor.
If any, what genre do you believe you align the most with?
Pxvce: Love music.
SI: Universal music.
AL: I say good music. Everybody has their own definition of what good music is. So whatever that definition is, we are that.
You have a great stage presence that is undeniable. What is it about performing that you all love?
SI: Connecting with the people. I look at everybody in the crowd, I watch the people in the crowd; it’s like everybody is in the same mindset, they’re sharing the same energy, they all come from different places, yet they’re all connecting on one thought. There’s power in that and it makes me happy to see all these people connecting with each other, jumping around with each other, bonding over our music. It’s an honor to bring people together. That’s my favorite part.
P: Transferring energy.
From the stage to the people.
P: And from the people to the stage. I think we feed—we always say the more energy you give us, the more energy we’re going to give y’all.
How do you think your performance today went?
AL: I think our performance was high energy. I think it really spoke to the true essence of Triiibe and how no matter the circumstance, no matter how we’re all feeling, no matter how things align; us three are always in tune with each other to get things done. We talk about “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”, but plant a whole lemon tree. What we did today was plant a whole lemon tree.
Y’all are full of quotes. I don’t know why I expected anything else.
SI: We’re like walking fortune cookies.
Let’s say you have a new listener; never heard of Triiibe before. What would be the best song to sum you all up and why?
[deep discussion and debate]
Each of you can answer the question.
P: “You Can’t Stop The Movement” embodies us, “Green Thumb”, “Destiny”; they speak to [us]. They’re the ode of everything we do. It’s a trying testimony to whatever the heck we may be doing. You can’t stop what we’re doing. You’re not stopping our movement.
AL: Hot shit. I think I say “Green Thumb” because I love the Earth! I love the Earth so much. That song is truly encapsulating how much we care about the Earth, about nature, about everything that it is and what it is right now and how we feel people and energy and moving forward for better.
SI: I say “Destiny”. I’m a big believer in destiny and purpose. I’m gonna do the spiel because I didn’t do it [today]. The spiel is that we could have been born in different centuries, even you [pointing at Dana Mulvaney]. You could have been born 3,000 years from now, but you were born in the same lifespan as me. All those people out there were born in the same lifespan. That just tells me that we were all meant to be together. There’s no such thing as coincidence. We’re not all here together for no reason. In the same time period. The idea of destiny, just knowing that there is a reason, a specific reason, an in-depth reason even, as to why you are here in this world. Your purpose. For me, even if I’m not Kanye, my music might inspire one person that’s able to have the charisma to change the entire world; that’s cool with me. I was designed that way. I believe that all of us in Triiibe were designed for a specific purpose, and us coming together—it’s real serendipity. This never happens, unless it’s designed strategically to happen. Ever since we’ve gotten together, everything has been open doors. Pxvce always says it: if you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go with others. That’s real to me. I think that all of us need to understand that. We’re here together. We weren’t meant to operate separately, we’re meant to go on as a unit. “Destiny” for me, it’s just a song that reiterates that. No matter how small you feel, no matter how insignificant you feel, you are a piece to this necessary ass puzzle. That’s gotten me through a lot of things, so I love performing “Destiny”, because I hope people listen to it when they feel less than or that they don’t have a purpose. They gotta know that they’re a part of this puzzle.
Your first album came out in October. How has life changed since then?
SI: It’s been dope! People mouth our songs when we perform!
AL: I literally cannot go to Kroger without somebody going like “Oh, you’re Triiibe, right?” That’s pretty cool. I love this connection that’s happening. This energetic family that we’re building; This…tribe that we’re creating. Just in sonic vibration. That for me is beautiful. I’m born and raised in Cincinnati and I’ve spent the last 21 years—I’m 23—vibing on my own, starting my own individual artistry. There have been fruits from that journey but working with Triiibe is really like being a part of this trinity. The power of supporting other people, raising our voices together, and seeing the comeback from that. That return has been nothing short of beautiful. We’re getting support all over the world. It’s flabbergasting!
You pulled out that SAT verb, huh?
[laughter] AL: Fucking flabbergasting! Yes, I pulled that one out. But it’s amazing that this is only the beginning.
Finishing up: What does the future look like for Triiibe?
SI: The future looks like Triiibe.
AL: It’s lit!
SI: It’s not just us. It looks like all of us. It’s that collective thought of togetherness. I really want Triiibe to be an era. I don’t want us just to be a music group. I want it to be an idea. When you think about peacefulness, acceptance, nirvana, karma, whatever—I want people to look at Triiibe and see peacefulness, acceptance, family, love, all those things I want to embody Triiibe. What we stand for. We fight for that every single day. I think having that represented in a big form, by platforms like [Bearcast Media], honestly, that’s what makes the big difference. This is history. What y’all write about us today, what y’all say about us today, is history. People thousands of years from now will hear that, and hopefully, it will help them. Either way, it’ll make them think. Even if we’re all completely separated in the future, at one point we were all together—and it was a beautiful thing.