Dopeness : Capoeira – Noah St. John

This is a spoken word performance by Noah St. John. One of my friends put me on to this a few weeks ago, and it just woke me up creatively.

Noah speaks about practicing the Brazilian art of Capoeira, which was born during a time of African slavery. Capoeira incorporates songs, flexible acrobatics, and is played almost like a game. Noah displays all of those elements in his performance.  He sets aside the mic stand from the beginning and makes use of the entire floor space. He admits that this art form is not from his culture, but that he is borrowing it in order to understand and share in the experience.

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Re/Verb : #GradLife – Sans

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Re/Verb is an analysis of poets and the works that they make, however, Sans (aka Sterling Higa) is more than just a poet.  Sans is a Hawaii native (Aloha and CHEE-HOO to all my people in Ewa Beach), public speaker, and scholar with a new project that runs in the vein of Lil Wayne’s ‘No Ceilings’.  The album#GradLife, is a one man slaughter-fest of industry beats.

#GradLife (a cappella)

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The Lyric Review: Female Energy – Willow Smith

At 14 years of age Willow Smith does a lot more than just whip her hair. In a few short years, we have watched this young lady go from simply sharing her appetite for wonder to exploring topics in a way that people rarely share. It is remarkable to watch her growth and there is no better song to highlight that growth than ”Female Energy”.

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Listening to “Female Energy” makes you feel as though you’re meditating somewhere above the Milky Way. The sound is tranquil with futuristic elements, and some of Willow’s ad-libs are reminiscent of spiritual chanting. It’s one of those songs on your playlist that you just relax and vibe to.  Lyrically, the song is beautiful and contains a refreshing amount of thought and depth.  It explores the process of letting your own energy manifest while learning how to let go.

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Re/Verb Book Review : Love is for SUCKERS – Nate Mask

Re/Verb is expanding into book review territory to give writers and lyricists a chance to promote their work on page.  The challenge it takes to get a book printed and published in any form is worth great merit.  The poets featured not only took great strides in writing these works, they took further strides in the production of a means to distribute this art.

The debut writer featured in our Re/Verb Book Review is Nate Mask, an artist who has been quickly gaining esteem in Atlanta’s Spoken community.  His ability to remain sincere in all crowds has garnered him a following respectful of his ability and tenacity.

Love is for SUCKERS is my second book”, he says. “the first was called ‘Well This Is Awkward…’. My inspiration really just comes from personal experiences. Poetry really started as therapy for me, so most of my poems start out as something that I feel like I need to get out. This book in particular started out kind of as a joke because it’s not really what I thought people would expect from me, but then I realized that I had a lot of material, and it morphed into a look at my growth as a person and in my relationships.

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The Lyric Review : Black Rage – Lauryn Hill

Gemini season is upon us, and for some strange reason this season has birthed many of today’s beloved hip-hop favorites including Andre 3000, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur to name a few.  Regardless of how much you may like or dislike these artists, there’s one undeniable trait that these artists have in common – the ability to be unapologetically true to themselves. This trait can occasionally have negative side effects, but little is greater than knowing who you are, your gifts and flaws, and still having the courage to share those intimate components of self with the world.  “Black Rage”, a song by a hip-hop artist, actress, songstress, and Gemini, Lauryn Hill, gives us a glimpse of the importance of self-knowledge and courage on the societal level.

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Re/Verb : The Open Mic Pt. 1 – Idlewild

When you listen to The Open Mic Pt. 1, LISTEN. Turn off your TV, tell your friend to hush, go on a walk, ignore your cellphone.  Idlewild’s ‘The Open Mic Pt. 1′ demands your attention, and if you’re not listening, you’ll miss everything.

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Dopeness : Burundi – Saul Williams

Saul Williams is little else than an innovator in the Spoken Word community.  With movie and broadways credits, meaningful written word, as well as multiple albums worthy of acclaim, Saul Williams has done it all.

With a new album on the horizon, MartyrLoserKing, Saul has officially released his newest track, Burundi.  Burundi is a treasure trove of lyrical flair examining technology, activism, and the current social unrest in Burundi/ Central Africa.

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Re/Verb : What You Will Need In Class Today – Matthew Foley

Matthew Foley is a teacher.

By teacher, I don’t mean someone paid to stand in classrooms, repeat text books word for word, and assign classwork.

By teacher, I mean someone committed to the education and well-being of future generations.

Matthew Foley is a teacher.

As an active writer and Spoken Word artist, Foley takes his teachings beyond the classroom.  Entertaining and uplifting, Foley specializes in pastoral, often bohemian imagery that is irresistibly inspirational while smacking of spirituality.  Foley’s debut album, What You will Need In Class Today, combines these stylings with Foley’s passion for the classroom.  The result is a classic spoken word album with great production, that should be celebrated by pop-folk poets nationwide.


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Say Hello To The Bad Guy (Featuring) : Tommy Bottoms

Tommy Bottoms is a fire-starter in the Spoken Word community.  Maybe “fire-starter” is putting it nicely, but with connectionsTommy Bottoms 5 throughout the Spoken community and poetry that is both entertaining and mind-opening,  no one can deny the work that he has put into his craft.

As co-host of The Ugly Truth Radio, perennial performer for BET’s Lyric Cafe and Russell Simmons presents… Def Poetry Jam, and writer/producer of Educated Gangster 101, Bottoms is a veteran of the Spoken Word scene and ongoing innovator.

His skills have taken him throughout the United States to universities such as Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, and Auburn University, as well as abroad to London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East.  His work has brought him in contact with Spoken Word greats like Amir Sulaiman, Queen Sheba, Malik Salaam, and Jon Goode.  Tommy Bottoms has been around the game.

Tommy Bottoms with shiny headHe has a style all his own.  Each one of his performances treads the line of melodic and lyrical, yet aggressively intellectual.  His subject matter – most often sociopolitical, tackles complex problems while remaining accessible to a wide range of audiences.   With clever word play and booming voice, he commands an audience’s attention with words as entertaining as they are prolific.  However, Bottoms lives his poetry.  He is unafraid to piss off his audience if the message needs to be heard, and loves to shine an unflinching light on the ugly side of things.


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