Performance

Dopeness: Negro – Christian Richardson

“I’m here to strike fear into a utopia”.

Christian Richardson has tapped into the root of the Spoken Word movement with this piece, ‘Negro‘.  Loud, passionate, and revolutionary, Richardson holds nothing back in his authentic diatribe and look into his culture.  Short and sweet, this piece is a spark waiting to light a greater fire to come.

Dopeness : The Top Secret Recipe For Aunt Phyliss’ Fried Chicken – Michael Harriot

The recipe for a great Spoken Word poem:

A tablespoon of witty word play.

Two cups of Hard-hitting imagery.

Three teaspoons of thought-provoking.

A pinch of dramatic performance.

First, mix your wordplay, performance, and imagery until a compelling flow is created.

Then, when the crowd is connected to the piece, sneak in your teaspoons of thought-provoking.

Mix well, bake beneath a lime-light for 3 minutes.

Voila.



“The Top Secret Recipe For Aunt Phyliss’ Fried Chicken.”  Poignant in it’s deception of the audience’s expectations, this poem is great for many reasons.  This classic will grab hold of your attention, and may not let go.

What did you like about this piece? Do you want to see more like it?  Let us know in a comment below.

Art & Renaissance (Featuring) Camil. Williams

Camil Williams is a recent transplant from Chicago just trying to settle into the Atlanta vibe.  As a world traveler and troubadour, she is more than experienced in her art.  I’m putting emphasis on the word ‘art’, because Williams is more than just a poet, she is an artistic powerhouse and renaissance woman.

She has performed and presented art workshops at a host of conferences, high schools, and universities; locally and abroad, as part of the women centered activist-performance duo, AquaMoon. Using Hip Hop Feminism as a tool for creating awareness and dialogue on issues that marginalize and affect women of color, the duo co-authored several choreopoems, including Love Does Not Hurt and Aqua Beats and Moon Verses Vol. I.

Williams has also authored and released her debut, Butta to Fly: a collection of poetry, art and music (2007). Her artworks have been featured in the Ascend: Live Art and Jazz Showcase and the Humboldt Park Art Exhibit in Chicago. She’s appeared in several short and full-length films, including The Lies We Tell and Secrets We Keep and the hit web series, Between Women. She also writes and produces music for commercials, films and stage productions.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Re/Verb : #GradLife – Sans

gradlife

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)

(more…)

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.

Idlewild 3 (more…)

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.


(more…)

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.


(more…)

The Lyric Review : Twice – Little Dragon

  Twice, both a song and an example of poetic brilliance, is only 4 stanzas long (two of which are a refrain) yet carries the weight and depth of a thousand stories. The poet within me is absolutely mesmerized by the artistry of pieces that are concise and poignant, yet engorged with layers of meaning. Almost anyone can find and/or lose themselves within the words because they’re ubiquitous in nature.

Each time you listen to this song you could take a different meaning from it based upon where you are in life. Once you add the instrumentals, a simultaneously soothing and gripping arrangement of soulful and ethereal sounds, the weight of that meaning is intensified. The foundation of it is a set of rich, deep and somber tones accompanied by lighter airy tones that make you think of water and bird song. Couple the track with the creative imagery of ‘Dreams from the Woods’ by Johannes Nyholm, and the song morphs into an experience. The counterbalance of it all is enchanting, haunting and yet heavily reminiscent of life. Each listen has the potential to touch you on a deeper level.

(more…)