Up until 2003, I was just a rapper, writing rhymes on beats. I knew about Spoken Word, or I had heard some at any rate on the album “SLAM: The Movie soundtrack”. Most of the time it just sounded like ‘accapela’ rhyming to me, and then sometimes there was no rhyme as much as there was like a rhythm, not necessarily in the words but in the flow and the attitude and the energy. It was obviously connected to the culture (Hip Hop) somehow and that was enough for me to give it its due. That and the fact that the Spoken Word pieces I heard never failed to impress me with their style and substance, something that I had found lacking in plenty of rap music that was prominent at that time.
It was not until I witnessed Spoken Word first hand, live, that I began to consider my own potential to perform such. I watched a solo show by UK artist JONZI D, where he blended his pieces together in a loose narrative style that created a seamless flow of energy and ideas, without any backing or significant staging other then a desk and some spotlights. I was impressed, overawed even. I watched the performance together with the choreographer of the Flatfoot Dance Company who was also a lecturer of mine. It formed part of my university studies at the time. She knew I was an aspiring rapper and she approached me to perform one of my pieces as part of a second year dance project. It didn’t seem like much to me, just a rap without a beat. In fact my ego was probably boosted somewhat by the focus this gave to my words. That was the worm, Spoken Word was the line, I was hooked.
I went on to create my own one man Spoken Word shows like Jonzi, and even had the pleasure of meeting him at our National Arts Festival a couple years back. I invited him to my show, he watched, I wonder what he thought of it really? He was polite enough to congratulate me afterwards, but I wonder what he really thought? That show goes down as one of my most introspective and indulgent pieces, but it was entirely necessary to get that off my chest so that I could write and produce, together with my talented wife and love for life Karen Melissa Logan, my latest own autobiographical show called “SERIOUSLY?”.
Spoken Word has taken me farther then any other of my creative pursuits, around the world, and connected me with some of the most significant heads and influences on my career who I am proud to call my contemporaries, my colleagues and my connections. In 2007 I approached a family friend who was considering pursuing a career in publishing and pitched him my work as a possible product. We have released two anthologies together under his company Echoing Green Press: “WORD: Customized Hype” and “Pimp My Poetry”. The books are collections of all of my one man shows, my work with Flatfoot Dance Company and numerous additional lyrics and poems.