To Her (And I’m the “Her”!)

You know when you feel like you’re doing actual work in the world? Like actually making a difference? For me that doesn’t happen often, but somehow, someway, this summer, it did. And I freaking freaked out.

In April, I released a spoken word video called Anti-Indoctrination. It’s “lexivist” – encompassing my lexical activism, encouraging anyone with a passion for words to freaking go for it. And do you know what happened? It actually touched someone enough to inspire them to write. To write spoken word. To write spoken word “to me”!

I was sitting at my dining table one day when I got an instagram DM from @its_boham. I had a vague idea of who she was because she’s friends with some of my friends, but I had zero personal connection to her. Then she told me she’d listened to Anti-Indoctrination and she’d written a response to it and that she wanted me to hear it. I was like, cool beans, gave her my number and asked her to send it to me on Whatsapp.

She sent it to me on Whatsapp.

And I.

Was.

Flabbergasted.

She wrote a poem and spoke it with music playing in the background and crude though it may have been given the limited resources, I felt at that moment that it was the best thing I had ever heard in my life. She was sixteen years old (she’s seventeen now) – and then I began freaking out about how brilliant she was and how kindred! Why? Well, I’d written Anti-Indoctrination when I was sixteen years old! (I’m eighteen now.)

In my freaking out, I hit up my manager immediately and told him he had to listen to this! Of course, he thought I was exaggerating because admittedly, I freak out pretty easily, whereas he is one of the most difficult-to-please people I have ever met. But to my utter surprise…he freaked out too! To the extent that he told me to ask her if she wanted to record it at studio quality.

So one day early in August, we went to a recording studio. Bae, AKA Reynolds ‘TheGentleMan’ did a fantastic live rendition of the same music he had composed and used in the original Anti-Indoctrination. And now it’s released, free for everyone to listen to and be amazed by this gem who should be more famous than me. For real.

If you haven’t listened to Anti-Indoctrination, I advise you do that before you listen to To Her, because as much as Boham’s poem can stand alone, it has a lot of references to mine.

Here’s To Her.

And here’s Anti-Indoctrination.

Boham, if you’re reading this (and even if you aren’t), I love you, and you made my life!

-Akotowaa

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