“My tongue is a brush, and with it I paint pictures with words from my stories and create art…. So just like Jermaine Cole I too allow these words to be my colors, I’m just painting my heart…,” Chi the Realist spit with a complicated eloquence before a room of the eager ears that filled the Charleston House. Chocolate fountains and white Sangria flowed at Friday’s Wine. Poetry & Art Showcase, the latest in a series of events designed to help get Rochester familiar with the performers that would be amongst the competition in the 2015 Roc Awards. There had been an evening dedicated to R&B and Hip-Hop the month before but this night belonged to Spoken Word and the Roc Bottom Slam Team was the feature of the night.
“The sky is my bowl, the Big Dipper my spoon. As I run in orbit for cardio, blood pumping through my solar system… I will perspire GREATNESS.” A.O.R dropped dramatically and captivated the attention of the room. The humble poet fell in love with poetry at first sound at the tender age of fourteen. He found the courage to ask her out at 17 and they have been going strong for four years, according to him. Eyes bounced from poet to the contagious laughter of the night’s host, Khadija Yawn to the brilliant colors of the paintings by artist, Tyrone Herron. Images of black celebrity, community and strength blessed each canvas as spoken word blessed ears in the room.
The night continued on with Ladii, “Hashtagging extracurricular assignments to word meaning; meaning baseless phrases for excitement…why can’t we just say we’re excited?”. A phenomenally talented young man, KT who both spits rhymes and spoken word…. “Reminisce on the innocence before the doors closed on my utopian imagination, and Spiderman aspirations. Before hormones changed my kiddish fascinating into women infatuations.” Gigi “The Rebel Flower Bomb” had the room at full attention, shouting in agreement, “We’ve worn fists as posters…knuckles written in brass spelling out CHANGE!”
One of Roc Bottom’s Creative Directors’ Kupid had us swooning with, “Love is blind but it shouldn’t be blinding. It’s the glue for the binding. It’s the centrifugal force in the unwinding. It’s the fermentation in a bottle of wine dammit….And its in the tip we leave when we finish dining.”
Anthony Aceyon Owens, Lyric and Anderson Alley (Poetry Undefined) round out The Roc Bottom Poetry Slam Team. This group of thinkers, of lyricists, of verbal Olympians will play an integral role in the 2015 Award Show and enthralled all in attendance on Friday night. The Roc Bottom founder, Lu Highsmith’s vision was to cultivate a cohesive team of creative, diverse and risk-taking poets who could effectively represent Rochester via the art of Slam Poetry in competition and at events while simultaneously cultivating a “Word Movement” for artistic expression via poetry. The soul of the team caught possibly the most succinctly in Lu’s own words: “The words are leaking from my lips, seeping from my soul. Attempting to leap into your psyche to penetrate the embedded lies. Exploding on impact, like some guided missile. Yes, I must Poet for you.”
If you are missing these showcase events you are truly missing a tremendous opportunity as both audience and as potential nominee to get in the game. They are previews of some of the incredible talent that lives and breathes in the heart of Rochester and they are a tremendous opportunity to get your name and your talent out to the Roc Awards voting audience. In the future they will help choose a People’s Choice performance during the Show. So stay tuned for the next event!! The Roc Awards is putting on for our City…and for the love of the Roc.
#GetNominated12/7-1/5 #RocRise #2.15.15