Monday, November 14, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Monday, September 5, 2016
P4CM Official Poet Janette...ikz shares a beautiful piece during Lyricist Lounge 4 on "Waiting". Check out www.P4CM.com for more poems and the date of the next Lyricist Lounge.
Remember the days of great song duets? This is what a great Poetic Duet sounds like! Poets Crystal & Bles'd bring magic to the piece "Everyday" with deep and profound dialog that is meaningful as it is beautiful. Also on this track is fellow Poet that happens to be an excellent singer doing duty as a singer on this track most beautifully CMahmi. Ricardo Love provides the smooth bed of music that word love making is made on. Sure to be one of your favorites.
Friday, August 12, 2016
The Greatest Poet You've Never Heard (Is 12 Yrs Old)
Dec 19, 2012
12-year-old Kioni "Popcorn" Marshall has been writing poetry since the age of
five and performing at NYC venues since she was nine. In October, she was
invited to perform at New York's storied poetry mecca, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
Bronx 6th Grader Wows NYC Poetry Scene
Dec 19, 2012
Meet Kioni "Popcorn" Marshall, an extraordinary 12-year-old poet from the
Bronx. Despite her age, Kioni has earned the respect and admiration of the NYC
poetry community by developing her own unique voice and bravely exploring
mature themes like alienation, abandonment, loneliness, and abuse. Follow
Kioni's emotional journey as she prepares for her first featured performance at
New York's famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
Prodigy Poet Meets Her Idol
Apr 3, 2013
12-year-old prodigy poet Kioni "Popcorn" Marshall meets her idol and poet Poetic Asassin. Watch as they share their poetry and talk about everything from finding a voice to performance nerves to growing up.
PRODIGIES is a bi-weekly series showcasing the youngest, brightest, most talented phenoms from across the globe as they challenge themselves to reach new heights and the stories behind them.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Friday, July 29, 2016
Oshun - New life New sound Playlist
An early April morning in Brooklyn, one of the first bright and warm Spring days after the unrelenting winter. The air is palpably rejuvenating, the type of weather that inspires possibility, excitement, and exploration. Niambi Sala and Thandiwe, a/k/a the New York duo OSHUN, fully reflect that energy, as the two girls welcome us into Niambi’s apartment with warm hugs. Tracks ranging from Sade to Fetty Wap blare through the pad; each room is adorned with different colored walls and artwork.
I soon learned such variance is to be expected of the versatile, unabashedly Afrocentric DC-area transplants who released their debut album, ASASE YAA, on Earth Day. Both members of the band are from the DMV (that means DC, Maryland, Virginia) and shared the same friends back home, but didn’t meet until an orientation for an NYU scholarship program. They quickly developed an artistic kinship that combined their childhood musical influences into an intriguing fusion of jazz-inflected boombap, trip-hop and neo-soul elements.
Named after the Yoruba Orisha of water and love, OSHUN aims to radiate the beauty of the motherland with empowering lyrics, but do it with youthfulness and calmness that are refreshing in a genre prone to preaching. They displayed immense knowledge of self in our interview, but won’t force it down your throat. They’re too busy enjoying life to do such.
What were your musical inspirations?
Niambi: My mom, Andaiye, is a neo-soul, neo-funk, jazz singer. So I always grew up listening to my mom’s music, and listening to what she listened to. I was obsessed with Lauryn Hill. I still am. My parents are young, so my Dad was playing Nas, Kanye, Jay-Z. My grandparents and my family are family-oriented, so we all come together frequently and listen to music and dance.
Thandiwe: The people who influenced my music tastes were my mom, dad and brother. My dad used to listen to jazz. The first music I ever heard was probably jazz — some Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock. My mom had India Arie’s The Truth and would play it like every day for two years. My brother’s ten years older, so when I was 3, he was 13 listening to Slim Shady. He’d be like, “you gotta know Reasonable Doubt!” I got my hip-hop from my Brother, so I guess a mix of the neo-soul, hip-hop and jazz.
At what point did you realize, “we should do some music together”?
Niambi: Thandiwe was DJing in high school, and I knew she produced. I was in school for music, so she knew I did music.
Thandiwe: She sang, and would make dope songs. I was kind of shy with my stuff. I’d be like, [meekly] “I made a beat tape.”
Niambi: I didnt have anything out, I was just singing on campus. But one day, I had left to go home, it was three of us, really tight. Me, Thandi and our producer Proda. I left to go back to DC for a day or two and I came back and they were like “Yo, we made this song”, and I was like OK, thinking they collaborated on a beat. Then it was a beat and Thandi singing on it. I was like, “wait a minute, you sing?” That’s what I was waiting for! We were singing all the time. We would be in the dance studio in our building, and we would just sit down, make beats on the floor singing songs. One day we said, “:et’s start a group, let’s just do it!”
At what point did you decide to incorporate the Goddess Trilogy?
Thandiwe: Niambi was raised in a Pan-African community, so she grew up with the Goddesses and Gods being prevalent in her life. For me, I grew up in a Christian home, and I knew about them. I took an intro class (for my Africana Studies major) and there was a whole section on the Orishas. My professor introduced Oshun, and I was taken by her. Then, I started talking to Niambi and we started doing research. Oshun was very present in our energy. When it came to figuring out a name it was a natural decision.
Along with radiating the energy musically, do you feel like you have agency to raise awareness about the ancestors and the Yoruba tribe?
Thandiwe: Music is probably one of the most powerful ways to speak to people. You can be an orator, you can do a speech, but once you add those sound waves that are pleasing to the ear … it hits you more. If Malcolm X was spitting over a Dilla beat?!
Niambi: It’s beyond us. There are different deities and all these groups coming out and promoting it. I’ve seen mad girls on Twitter with their names being Oshun now. Two years ago that wasn’t even happening. Not even saying that’s just us, but now it’s a shift, we’re getting closer to the Sun.
Different music brings out different vibes. How does it feel to radiate positive energy towards the crowds you perform for?
Niambi: We both find ourselves to be Priestesses. Being healers. In our human vessels, we both feel our purpose is to heal, to uplift the people. To do that through music is validation for life.
Your Facebook profile says your Genre is “floetry meets Lauryn Hill meets Chief Keef.” Can you explain the dynamic of pulling from a diverse range of inspirations?
Thandiwe: When it comes to music, and what we like, it’s anything that has positive vibrations. That transcends genre. Even if Fetty Wap is talking about cooking drugs in the kitchen with his girlfriend, the song goes hard. It sounds good, it feels good. We’re just able to take the vibrations as an expression of an interpretation.
Niambi: There’s positivity in everything. Even in the darkest shadow, there’s light somewhere. You don’t necessarily dismiss something just because it’s dark. You let that light illuminate.
What’s the significance of your debut album being titled ASASE YAA?
Niambi: Asase Ya is a term for Mother Earth. Asase Ya, the project is in honor of Mother Earth, and respecting, loving, and appreciating the land in which we inhabit. She’s not gonna take care of us if we don’t take care of her. [It’s also about] Black Women as earth, uplifting and re-instilling certain principles and ideas.
The songs are very conceptual. The order is very conceptual. Our goal with this project is so the Black woman or anybody can transcend. We’re stuck in mental slavery. Throughout the project we go into liberation, freeing yourself and realizing who you are.
What does the album sound like?
Niambi: We got some acapella Orisha songs, Negro spirituals, some trip-hop, trap shit. We got some smooth, “I’m ’bout to smoke a spliff with some honey” shit.
Thandiwe: We got some boombap! The vibes are very feminine, but strong … it pushes through.
As Black Women, where do you think the line is drawn between pandering to misogyny and owning your individuality and sexuality?
Niambi: [Some people] are so concerned with telling someone how they have to live, and not respecting the fact that we’re all here having a human experience. Part of the human experience is free will, and literally experiencing it how you want to. When they’re trying to conform you it’s because they have that issue within themselves.
Thandiwe: Once you see the beauty in yourself you kind of don’t even care what other people think. Let them be mad that they’re not me.
Niambi: There’s never gonna be one thing, that’s just life. That translates to music. There’s never gonna be all conscious artists … we’re not all the same people. There’s always gonna be different [expressions of honesty], and that’s the balance.
Within the Black community, there’s a renewed solidarity based on shared oppression, but within that alignment there’s a sentiment of “We all Black” that could lead non African-Americans feeling marginalized or like their issues aren’t addressed as much as African-American issues. Do you believe that African issues are marginalized within our community?
Niambi: They might be marginalized but they’re definitely not unrelated. There’s kind of been a worldwide war declared on us, so you see it manifesting more in certain places. It’s so blatant here, but it’s no coincidence that Black people everywhere have been struggling. [Our survival is] a testament to how strong we are because they’ve been trying to kill us off for years.
Thandiwe: We have this shared experience of oppression but it’s been different for these different areas. It definitely was horrible in the Caribbean. It’s definitely been horrible on the continent. I’m one of the only straight up African-American people I know. Everybody that I really have been close with have had some Caribbean or know what part of the Continent they’re from. Both my parents are from the South, from American slavery.
Thandiwe: Yeah, Negro, I feel like it’s different in America. When you go to the Caribbean, even though those were colonies it’s still a majority Black place. You go to Jamaica, you know you’re gonna see Black people, but in America it’s like the white man’s country. That changes everything.
There are definitely some social issues in the Caribbean and Africa because of colorism and our people clashing with each other. The important thing to recognize about that is it’s no different than America because those things are happening because they were conditioned to think that way, they were taught and oppressed so much that they were pushed to oppose each other … Once you separate the people it’s harder for them to come together.
Niambi: Divide and conquer.
Oshun | B-Side
The Vocalist Magazine Presents OSHUN NYC
The Underground Renaissance: Oshun Interview
Sessions @ The P.M. is really excited about having OSHUN coming through to perform on June 21, 2014. They are originally from DC but based out of MANHATTAN/ BROOKLYN. Really talented ladies , check out this video to learn more about them, their music, and overall message.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Nayo Jones and Kai Davis - TU Alert
Imani Cezanne - Angry Black Woman
Kate Hao & Kristen Sze-Tu - "(Yet Still, I Wait)"
Safia Elhillo - "Alien Suite" (CUPSI 2016)
Aziza Barnes and Safia Elhillo - "To The Girl In My Jazz Class"
Venessa Marco "Off White"
Tonya Ingram & Venessa Marco - "Khaleesi"
Monday, June 13, 2016
March 14th, 2016 - Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II - Moral Monday architect, President and Sr. Lecturer with Repairers of the Breach - pays tribute to his friend Darryl Hunt, the Winston Salem, North Carolina man who spent nearly 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
“As educators, rather than raising your voices over the rustling of our chains, take them off.”
In his poem entitled “Lift Off,” North Carolina native and UNC graduate Donovan Livingston stepped up to the mic at his Harvard Graduate School of Education convocation to speak about the trials and tribulations black people have endured, especially in the education system.
The Master’s of Education student performed his powerful poetic speech at the 2016 Convocation Exercises for the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
What he didn’t imagine was that within hours, a video of his speech would go viral. By Friday, it had received more than five million online views, and additional viewers were discovering it every minute.
“How does it feel to go virus?” asked his father, Harold Livingston, slightly confusing the Internet term.
Though Donovan Livingston is proud – and a bit overwhelmed – by the response, he said it is not the online views, likes and retweets that he’s really concerned about. It’s the meaning behind the words that matters most, he said.
“I had no idea the poem would be so well received, but I’m certainly grateful for all the positive attention that it’s been getting, whether it’s from Hillary Clinton or friends that I’ve grown up with my entire life,” Livingston said. “It means the same to me that I was able to touch and inspire some folks for five minutes.”
“Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin,
Is a great equalizer of the conditions of men.” – Horace Mann, 1848.
At the time of his remarks I couldn’t read — couldn’t write.
Any attempt to do so, punishable by death.
For generations we have known of knowledge’s infinite power.
Yet somehow, we’ve never questioned the keeper of the keys —
The guardians of information.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen more dividing and conquering
In this order of operations — a heinous miscalculation of reality.
For some, the only difference between a classroom and a plantation is time.
How many times must we be made to feel like quotas —
Like tokens in coined phrases? —
There are days I feel like one, like only —
A lonely blossom in a briar patch of broken promises.
But I’ve always been a thorn in the side of injustice.
Disruptive. Talkative. A distraction.
With a passion that transcends the confines of my consciousness —
Beyond your curriculum, beyond your standards.
I stand here, a manifestation of love and pain,
With veins pumping revolution.
I am the strange fruit that grew too ripe for the poplar tree.
I am a DREAM Act, Dream Deferred incarnate.
I am a movement – an amalgam of memories America would care to forget
My past, alone won’t allow me to sit still.
So my body, like the mind
Cannot be contained.
As educators, rather than raising your voices
Over the rustling of our chains,
Take them off. Un-cuff us.
Unencumbered by the lumbering weight
Of poverty and privilege,
Policy and ignorance.
I was in the 7th grade, when Ms. Parker told me,
“Donovan, we can put your excess energy to good use!”
And she introduced me to the sound of my own voice.
She gave me a stage. A platform.
She told me that our stories are ladders
That make it easier for us to touch the stars.
So climb and grab them.
Keep climbing. Grab them.
Spill your emotions in the big dipper and pour out your soul.
Light up the world with your luminous allure.
To educate requires Galileo-like patience.
Today, when I look my students in the eyes, all I see are constellations.
If you take the time to connect the dots,
You can plot the true shape of their genius —
Shining in their darkest hour.
I look each of my students in the eyes,
And see the same light that aligned Orion’s Belt
And the pyramids of Giza.
I see the same twinkle
That guided Harriet to freedom.
I see them. Beneath their masks and mischief,
Exists an authentic frustration;
An enslavement to your standardized assessments.
At the core, none of us were meant to be common.
We were born to be comets,
Darting across space and time —
Leaving our mark as we crash into everything.
A crater is a reminder that something amazing happened here —
An indelible impact that shook up the world.
Are we not astronomers — looking for the next shooting star?
I teach in hopes of turning content, into rocket ships —
Tribulations into telescopes,
So a child can see their potential from right where they stand.
An injustice is telling them they are stars
Without acknowledging night that surrounds them.
Injustice is telling them education is the key
While you continue to change the locks.
Education is no equalizer —
Rather, it is the sleep that precedes the American Dream.
So wake up — wake up! Lift your voices
Until you’ve patched every hole in a child’s broken sky.
Wake up every child so they know of their celestial potential.
I’ve been a Black hole in the classroom for far too long;
Absorbing everything, without allowing my light escape.
But those days are done. I belong among the stars.
And so do you. And so do they.
Together, we can inspire galaxies of greatness
For generations to come.
No, sky is not the limit. It is only the beginning.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
It’s A Sisterhood! –
A Black Sisterhood!
My sister, I greet you
In love and in truth
I salute you in spirit
That makes my heart move.
I meet you with openness --
Greet you in maturity or youth --
Respect shining inside you
Your vision of Truth.
You are nature and nurture –
Our past and our future—
You’re a woman of virtue –
Diamond rent under pressure –
And here’s why I love you - All the day long –
‘Cause: It’s a Sisterhood – A Black Sisterhood
And it’s making us Strong!
We are moved by your passion.
You are reaching out for the goal.
That we’re all searching for.
You represent us in achievements
You stand up, straight and tall
You are the pride of our evolution
You are doing it all!
You’re the keys to our Kingdom
You’re the words to our song
Because: It’s a Sisterhood – A Black Sisterhood
And it’s making us Strong!
With you working for us
With you reaching out
We are raised along with you
And you’re making us proud.
Keep head up and shoulder high
Stay focused as you’re passing by
Leaving a trail of inspiration
Raising other’s new aspiration
Giving a reason
for change and for hope –
Continue advancing –
With a song in your throat.
And I’ve got your back
Whether right or if wrong --
‘Cause: It’s a Sisterhood – A Black Sisterhood
And it’s making us Strong!
Makes me want to move with you
As you march through the ages
Makes me glow deep inside
As we’re ever reaching new stages.
Keep working and thriving
Keep bringing others beside you
Keep using your new-found skills
To move us all up every hill
As you’re going on –
Keep us as your incentive
And you’ll always feel you’re “at home!”
Because: It’s a Sisterhood – A Black Sisterhood
And it’s making us Strong!
Yes, we want to always love you –
Hold you gently and hug you
For you are precious as we bond
When your heart is our collective “home.”
Stay faithful, stay strong
Keep fighting day and night long;
‘Till we next meet again,
We’ll always remain friends –
Whether we’re old or we’re young --