brave new voices slam/jamming with the fourth stream

yesterday sol y soul hosted the dc youth slam that determined who would represent the district on the national stage at this year’s brave new voices youth slam. i was there to help out and encourage/coach two of my friends. it was a great event, with some amazing surprises. an 11 year old girl named nini ali opened it up, and although she is technically too young to compete, she is for sure on par (if not better than) many of the 17, 18, and 19 year olds. very crazy talent coming out of this little bronx bomber.

the brave new voices show that is airing on hbo right now shows some of last year’s tournament, which was held right here in dc. this summer it is in chicago, and again this year i am proud to say that two of my friends are on the team. bianca davies, who was on the team last year, was in oudc class 13 and currently attends spellman college in atlanta. shoutout to my hbcu’s!

and my other student/friend is brandon douglass, a senior in high school here in dc about to graduate and go to bowie state. again, bigup the hbcu representation (hbcu= historically black college or university). brandon shocked the audience with an impassioned and hella loud scream while he was walking toward the stage to perform his piece, screaming on paper. b is in city at peace and is part of the spit dat family as well. definitely two spots/groups that have helped cultivate both his and my own poetry.

i am so happy for both of them making the team, but i am also super happy and proud of my other friends who slammed yesterday. particularly my buddy sei miao. i’ve been working with her on her piece for about a month, and this was her first slam. she’ll be back next year, for sure.

as for me . . . .

. . . my slam is coming up june 12th. . . . .

but i’ve been invited to spit on june 8th with this awesome jazz band called fourth stream. i’ve seen them at the kennedy center before, and they play some real eclectic and moving stuff. i can’t wait to see what kind of groove they’ll give me to rock with. but yeah, come on out to bossa, in adams morgan, monday june 8th at 8pm to see me and the fourth stream. i’ll improvise a lot, but ima also try to work in some of my regular spoken word set. this will definitely be a fun night though.

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