Beyond Kid Rock





Students and faculty at Detroit Mercy can get passionate about Detroit music.

The Detroit area lays claim to musical giants like Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin; Motown stars Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson; rockers Bob Seger, Jack White and Kid Rock;  rappers Eminem and Big Sean; and many, many more.

But the region also is producing new artists everyday.

Jonathan Zhu, a senior DMS major, feels it is important to check out new bands and sounds. He uses SoundCloud.

G-Rex from Detroit is a local electronic music producer that Zhu recommends. He also likes The Sneeks from Lansing and Primitiv Parts from Hamtramck.

Eminem, one of the city’s famous products, has made ten number-one albums and won multiple Grammys.

He has supporters on campus

Paul Rogers, a CIS senior, feels Eminem could easily be misunderstood.

“Eminem is humorous,” said Rogers. “He may come across as homophobic and offensive, but he is just bringing attention to problems in our country.”

Radio stations do seem to focus on the same bands and songs, but one station has stepped out and designed a country music contest to recognize the country music scene in Michigan, naming the Nash Next 2017 regional winner as the Drew Hall Band.

Robert Schrah, also a CIS senior, recommends checking out Drew Hall Band, which has four albums and has opened for artists like Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley and RaeLynn.

“He has a mix of rock and roll and country,” said Schrah. “Reminds me of the Zac Brown Band.”

Detroit female rapper DeJ Loaf grew up with the sounds of 2Pac and Miles Davis.

In 2013 she released her first mix tape. She has worked with many famous artists, including Eminem and Nicki Minaj.

Amber Auram, a freshman biology major, says DeJ Loaf has made her feel like everything is going to be okay.

She and her boyfriend consider “No Fear” to be their song.

“Things may get crazy,” Aurum said, “but as long as her boyfriend is near it will be good. Just like the lyrics say in her song.”

Kid Rock has been in the news lately, with his performance in the new Little Caesars Arena stirring controversy.

Melina Stojkovic, another freshman biology major, tries to look positively on his performance.

She attended one of his latest concerts with her dad, brother and sister. She said it was amazing.

“My dad got me onto him,” said Stojkovic. “If it wasn’t for my dad, I wouldn’t even know who Kid Rock was.”

Some professors at Detroit Mercy were eager to talk about Detroit’s musical heritage.

Rich Heide, an adjunct communications professor, has a passion for Detroit’s jazz culture.

He recommends students broaden their Detroit experience and listen to some local jazz and blues.

Vocalist Thornetta Davis can be found playing many gigs around Detroit, including Arts Beats And Eats. She is accessible and has a good following.

“One of her best songs is ‘Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On,’ ” said Heide. “It is a very sexy song.”

English professor Nicholas Rombes, an author of several music books, was wearing a T-shirt for 1970s punk band Black Flag on a recent day.

He noted that Detroit contributed to punk history.

He said that Iggy Pop was a “precursor to punk rock in the ’70s and to bands like The Ramones.”

Rombes also mentioned Destroy All Monsters, a punk band from Detroit, featuring female vocalist named Niagara.