Running Through The 6 With ISO: Tchaikovsky and Drake

ISO: Tchaikovsky v Drake The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) presented us with an experience in music that was heavily saturated with both the musicality of the bourgeois and, of course, the necessity of the  “lit”. A fluid mesh of classical instrumentation and hip hop, “Tchaikovsky and Drake”  is a concert experience that will have you crooning to the intricate melodies while subconsciously (or intentionally) singing and rapping along. Conductor and Arranger Steve Hackman has given us the gift of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony woven over by a compilation of songs from famed hip-hop lyricist and Canadian rap artist, Drake. Started from the bottom, now the whole orchestra is here and so were we! Take a moment to join me as I relive this unforgettable concert experience, and unearth a newfound love for “controversial” music collaborations and celebration of urban music continuing to cross new barriers.


On January 5, 2017, there was a disruption in the chill of winter by the exhilarating sounds of Time for Three, who wowed the crowd from the beginning to the end. These three men played cover tunes with violins and a double bass. The entire audience sang and clapped along, as the emotion and passion poured from the strings of the instruments into our hearts and tapping feet. This was the perfect precursor to the Views we were about to ingest--see what I did there?

file_000The orchestra was joined by three of the most dynamic, skilled, uniquely exuberant vocalists: India Carney, Mario Jose, and Malia Civetz who absolutely slayed the choruses, bridges, and varying harmonies of Drake songs such as “Crew Love”, “Headlines”, “Take Care” and “Over My Dead Body” along with our personal Drizzy, artist Jecorey Arthur who embodied the rapper in a way that was enticing through and through. What I enjoyed most about the addition of the singers and the rap artist was that they, with the music, were telling a story: having a conversation among each other, in the lyrics of the songs, rearranged perfectly to flow as one melodic tune.Other selections included “All Me”, “Jumpman”, HYFR”, and “Hotline Bling”. Hit after hit.

Images by: Clyde Sims, M.A.D.E. by Glyde

As I rose from my seat to dance in full concert style to the musical renditions of some of my absolute favorite Drake hits, I could not help but think Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony is the perfect way to listen to Drake. Here we were, a diverse crowd, in full joy and harmony, fully engulfed in both the composition and arrangements of rap lyrics, an urban community jewel, over classical music by a timeless composer. Top it off with an encore selection of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” remixed with Jecorey spitting a hot 16 made it pure culturally infused, artistic, barrier breaking bliss. If this becomes the new music wave, I hope it never, ever dies.




Tyler Marie LawrenceHey yawl Tyler Marie, or Ty as she's come to be called is a (West-Side) Chicagoan ‘til Chicago ends. She attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School here in the city and went on to attend the first Private HBCU, Wilberforce University (OH) where she obtained her B.A. Sociology in 2012. It’s probably pretty clear now that writing is kind of ‘her thing’ but she's more than okay with that. Other hobbies include eating, playing basketball, modeling and singing. Basically, Tyler spends all of her time trying to be as fly of a Black Girl as she can be. Connect with her via: Twitter & Instagram at @_Mighty5