Yo, I don’t even know if “spoken wordist” is the legitimate term. Let’s roll with it. Most of us who got into it got in by accident anyway.
Today is World Poetry Day! And in commemoration of that, I have decided to make a post featuring spoken wordists who make me happy. So, in no particular order, let’s go!
If you know me, you know she rocks my world. I think the first poem I ever saw from her was A Poem About Weed, which you should definitely check out. But even after that poem, she has grown exponentially. Check out Jig-a-boo, and American Persecution as well, which are all stellar.
Oh, I love how spoken word can so easily translate into rap, so it’s cool how she raps too. She has a free album out called The Art Of Joy. And once you decide to check that out, just check out everything else Humble Beast has, because I mean, it’s all free anyway.
Jackie’s subject matter is always culturally relevant, and rooted in scripture, which you can learn from, whether or not you are a Christian. And I must say, her wordplay blows me away. If there’s anything greater than speaking sense, it’s speaking sense in the most intelligently artistic way. Don’t give up if you don’t get it; rewind and figure it out, man!
He’s another person I knew from spoken word, even before I knew he was a rapper. But Prop is one of those guys who makes the two similar art forms seamlessly integrate into one. He’s also very scripture rooted, and loves to say things that get people mad. Shamelessly. Check out Be Present, and his apparently most controversial song, Precious Puritans.
You would notice that both of the people I have mentioned so far have dreadlocks. Coincidence? There’s just something about us that rocks. LOL, don’t even fight me. *flips dreads*
I almost forgot! Don’t even leave here without watching Bored of Education! Don’t!
Strictly speaking, Akua Naru isn’t a spoken wordist, but she happens to be classified in my mind as one, because the first time I saw anything of hers was on Youtube, and it was a poem. At least I think it’s a poem. It was called Poetry; How Does It Feel? And I was absolutely blown away. Well now I have two albums of hers – the only ones whose existence I am aware of – The Journey Aflame and The Miner’s Canary. Check them out. Her sound is amazing. She’s like jazzy hip-hop. And her messages are also pretty relevant.
Oh, and look what hairstyle she’s got. Hee-hee!
Just yesterday, I was being blasted by a friend for lamenting that Sophia Thakur is way too cool, because she’s so young and getting it, and I’m stuck in boarding school, doing the IB. I think she’s probably about 20, and so I must have heard of her when she was like 18.
Generally, everything she does is fire, so I’m going to recommend the video she performed at a Tedx event, My Boyfriend Isn’t Allowed To Cry, Unfortunately, but honestly don’t stop there. Search her until you’ve listened to everything she has, including and especially Beatbox, and her EP, called the Silver Linings 3P.
Important note: Don’t spell her name with two a’s. (Side note: don’t spell mine with one.) Poetra impresses me time and time again. She’s so extraordinary – and it’s even more confounding because she’s so ordinary. I’ve met her and I’ve talked to her and I don’t know how you can be so normal and so brilliant at the same time. There are a million things that she does and I could write an entire blog post on her alone, but obviously I have to focus on her spoken word, over here.
The most important place I feel I can direct you to is her EP, released a few months ago, called Motherfuckitude: The Naked Ones. Some people have heard the name and expected truckloads of swearing and sex or whatever, but if that’s what you’re expecting you’ll be disappointed. Yes, Poetra is badass – but in the way that she says the things that actually need to be said, and I swear she isn’t just trying to please an audience. So after you’re done with Motherfuckitude, follow her on all her social media, and stalk her, like I do.
Eventually I’m going to write an extended blog post on Motherfuckitude alone. (I know I’ve been saying this for months, but chale, life is hard.)
This woman is the reason I do poetry in the first place, and the reason I fell in love with spoken word. And somehow, she seems to be everyone’s favourite female poet. It might be something to do with how easily she can get you into your feelings. I don’t know man, if Dzyadzorm went into acting, she’s probably be just as natural at it. It’s like she was built for the stage. The first thing I ever saw her perform was Stay, and if you see that live and you don’t fall in love with her, I don’t know what is wrong with you. Also, listen to her piece, called War.
Dzyadzorm is brilliant.
100% – HONDRED PERCENT
I don’t even care that he’s married. He was supposed to marry me, and I’ll keep saying this. Hundred is super cool because he’s an entertainer all round. Another natural performer, and word-player, who can deliver the most clever jokes with the straightest face and not a pause in his flow. I don’t know how he does it. He can freestyle anything and make it look like it was ten times rehearsed. I am telling you, I do not understand it.
Watch his collabo poem, Power, with Poetra Asantewa.
When he comes out with officially downloadable content, I promise I’m going to be on that faster than Harmattan dust on a horizontal surface.
He’s also a really cool person in real life and happens to be my favourite adult in all the world. Don’t tell him I said this, but…he might be twice this age in reality, but somehow he still manages to be fifteen. Which is also why I love him.
Her messages are so positive! I’m talking about pieces like Suicide (with Alyesha Wise and Ki NG), and This Is What It Feels Like To Be Depressed. Don’t think I’m being ironic. Go and find these pieces and listen to/watch them. Then go and find anything else you can find on her.
Is it rap? Is it music? Is it spoken word? All I know is, they can talk over production and it sounds really cool. The first thing of theirs I found which hooked me is Signs and Symbols, which also happens to feature Propaganda. They’re Humble Beast too, so just go on their website and download all their stuff for free. It’s like listening to sermons with rhythm.
This list is by no means exhaustive and if I could mention all the poets I am in love with, this post would take two days to complete. So I’ll leave it here for now and hopefully through other blog posts, other loves of mine will be adequately exposed.
Happy World Poetry Day!
P.S. Ha! I bet you expected me to feature myself.