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.
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.
Tommy Bottoms is a fire-starter in the Spoken Word community. Maybe “fire-starter” is putting it nicely, but with connections 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 ofThe Ugly Truth Radio, perennial performer for BET’s Lyric Cafe and Russell Simmons presents… Def Poetry Jam, and writer/producer ofEducated 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.
He 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.
The artist is an activist, especially in the spoken word community.
More than once have the words of a poet changed my outlook on any number of social-political issues. In part, this is the beauty of the form. Those who know more than I do seem so willing to share their ideas all with the aim to better the world around them with their collective voices.
Recently I was in Charleston, SC for a Diversity Conference. The conference was taking place only days after the killing of Walter Scott in North Charleston. Needless to say, the conference was abuzz with the controversy.
Enter Omari Fox.
Fox arrived with a solemn face and reserved energy that afternoon. Having just attended Walter Scott’s funeral, he was a man drained, but unerring in his mission. (more…)
Yes, he is a great lyricist with a mastered cadence, but what makes him special is his perspective. Too often I find that subject matters regarding race appear relegated to a black/white binary. Race is much larger than white and black, and Tran’s widened perspective of a long established dilemma feels fresh. Tran performance is making several powerful statements that not only make the piece Dope, but timely. (more…)
Ever hear of Lyric Michelle? Chicago born, Houston raised — Poet/MC and feature of the latest Dopeness. Powerful subject matter meets robust wordplay against a dope background track. Lyric Michelle weaves a story that needs to be heard, you need only listen to The Rhetoric.
Original poem , “The Rhetoric” is performed over “Intro”, the introductory track to MissDirectionLP produced by Chris Rockaway.
It’s time for some more Dopeness. This time we’re featuring Freeman Word who speaks deep and oozes urban heat on this piece, These Streets, Abandoned.
“These Streets, Abandoned is part condemnation, part vindication. I both suspect and experience a great deal of criticism for St. Louis as a failed city, since it is both a great source of crime as a discarded city and a major urban cultural center as America’s geographic historic heartland. The poem is an ode to all of its failures and success, to its beauty and reckless abandon — the sadness of its glory and the triumph of its misery. With particular attention to the many many many abandoned buildings you will find anywhere within, a nod to some of the causes and effects thereof, and ultimately an acceptance of its intrinsic royalty.” – Freeman Word