Tagged with "king"
Jazz Legend - Joe "King" Oliver
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: jazz legend king oliver voices music word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

King Oliver is said to have begun music as a trombonist, and from about 1907 he played in brass bands, dance bands, and in various small groups in New Orleans bars and cabarets. In 1918 he moved to Chicago (at which time he may have acquired his nickname), and in 1920 he began to lead his own band. After taking it to California (chiefly San Francisco and Oakland) in 1921, he returned to Chicago and, with some of the same musicians, started an engagement at Lincoln Gardens as King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band (June 1922). This group was joined a month later by the 22-year-old Louis Armstrong as second cornetist. With two cornets (Oliver and Armstrong), clarinet (Johnny Dodds), trombone (Honore Dutrey), piano (Lil Hardin), drums (Baby Dodds), and double bass and banjo (Bill Johnson), Oliver began recording in April 1923. Many young white jazz musicians had the opportunity to hear him then, either on

John Burnett travels to the Crescent City of New Orleans, in search of the jazz masterpiece West End Blues. Joe "King" Oliver wrote the tune, but it was Louis Armstrong's 1928 recording that put it in the jazz pantheon.

(Courtesy NPRJazz.org)

By late 1924, after a tour of the Midwest and Pennsylvania, the completely reorganized band included two or three saxophones, and played in Chicago as the Dixie Syncopators (February 1925 to March 1927); the most distinguished of the saxophonists who played with this band were Barney Bigard and Albert Nicholas. Soon after a brief but successful engagement at the Savoy Ballroom in New York (from May 1927) the members began to disperse and by autumn the group had disbanded, but Oliver stayed in New York, recording frequently with ad hoc orchestras. From 1930 to 1936 he toured widely, chiefly in the Midwest and upper South, with various ten to 12 piece bands; he himself seldom performed during this period, and he made no further recordings after April 1931. He spent the final months of his life in Savannah retired from music.

Oliver is generally considered one of the most important musicians in the New Orleans style. Like other early New Orleans cornetists, he played in a relatively four square rhythm and clipped melodic style (contrasting with the deliberate irregularity of the younger Armstrong and his imitators) and had a repertory of expressive deviations of rhythm and pitch, some verging on theatrical novelty effects and others derived from blues vocal style. He frequently used timbre modifiers of various sorts, and was especially renowned for his wa-wa effects, as in his famous three-chorus solo on Dipper Mouth Blues (1923), which was learned by rote by many trumpeters of the 1920s and 1930s and which, as Sugar Foot Stomp, became a jazz standard. As a soloist he may best be heard in a number of blues accompaniments, notably with Sippie Wallace.

In contrast to his near-contemporaries Freddie Keppard and Bunk Johnson, Oliver integrated his playing superbly with his ensemble, and was an excellent leader; the Creole Jazz Band may have been successful largely because of the discipline he imposed on his musicians. Indeed, of the earlier New Orleans cornetists, only Oliver was extensively recorded in the 1920s with an outstanding ensemble, and the revival of New Orleans style, which began shortly after his death, owed much to the rediscovery of his early three dozen Creole Band recordings, which were internationally known by the 1940s. After 1924 the quality of his recordings declined, partly because of recurrent tooth and gum ailments and partly because his style was at odds with that of his younger sidemen; but with a good orchestra he was capable of coherent and energetic playing even as late as 1930. Almost all of his recorded performances have been reissued.

Oliver's influence is difficult to assess: his playing during his New Orleans period (his best years, according to Souchon) was not recorded, and by 1925 his style had largely been superseded by Armstrong's. He had an obvious formative impact on Ellington's sideman Bubber Miley, and perhaps on such white musicians as Muggsy Spanier; his mute tricks were copied by Johnny Dunn; and trumpeters such as Natty Dominique and Tommy Ladnier, who remained apart from Armstrong's influence, may have derived their styles in part from Oliver. The extent of Oliver's influence on Armstrong himself, though clearly audible and significant, has yet to be examined properly. Oliver is credited with many melodies on record labels and in copyright registrations; it is not known how many of these he actually composed.

Source: PBS

We celebrate the life of the King of the Ring - Owen Hart Tags: owen hart king ring word life production honoring those lost word life production new

Owen Hart was born on May 7, 1965, in Calgary, Canada, into a large family with 12 children. His father, a professional wrestler, trained him in a basement studio. Hart, a champion college wrestler, joined his father's professional team in 1986 and 1988 entered the World Wrestling Federation. He died on May 23, 1999, when he fell 90 feet during a pre-match publicity stunt.

Professional wrestler Owen Hart was born on May 7, 1965, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The youngest of 12 children, Hart was one of six brothers and four brothers-in-law in the Hart family to become professional wrestlers. The Hart boys studied wrestling from an early age in a basement studio under the watchful eye of their father, Stu, himself a talented wrestler.

Successful Wrestling Career

Owen wrestled at the amateur level and became a Canadian college champion before making his professional debut in 1986 as part of his father's Stampede Wrestling tour. After touring in Europe, Japan, Mexico and Canada, Hart entered the World Wrestling Federation in 1988.

As "the Rocket" or "the Blue Blazer," Hart became a popular fixture in the WWF. His fierce, although staged, rivalry with his older brother, the five-time WWF champion Bret "the Hitman" Hart, attracted viewers, as did their teaming up to form "the Hart Foundation" in 1993. Individually, Owen won the King of the Ring title in 1994 and the Intercontinental title in 1997. After Bret unofficially retired in late 1997, Owen was the only remaining Hart on the professional wrestling scene.

Untimely Death

Over the years, Hart became disenchanted with the outrageous character of the WWF and especially with federation owner Vince McMahon. In early 1999, he was reportedly preparing to retire and spend more time with his family—he had a son, Oje, and a daughter, Athena, with his wife Martha. He thought of beginning a teaching career.

An accident during a pre-match publicity stunt on May 23, 1999, at Kansas City's Kemper Arena put an abrupt and tragic end to those hopes. In front of more than 16,000 fans, most of them totally unaware of the chilling reality of what they were watching, Hart fell some 90 feet when a release mechanism disengaged on a cable affixed to the ceiling from the safety vest he was wearing, hitting his head on one of the wrestling ring's padded turnbuckles. He was later pronounced dead of internal bleeding.


The circumstances surrounding Hart's death sparked much discussion about the increasingly dangerous nature of the WWF's publicity tactics and provoked calls for some action to be taken by the federation to protect its wrestlers. A wrongful death lawsuit filed against the WWF by Hart's family, who accused the wrestling organization of making dangerous demands on Hart in pursuit of money and television ratings. They reached an out-of-court settlement in late 2000. The WWF is pursuing its own lawsuit against the company that manufactured the equipment used during the deadly stunt.

© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.

In honor of those we have lost, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tags: martin luther king jr celebrate life activist leader barack political word life production feature

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I Have a Dream."

Early Years

Born as Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. The King and Williams families were rooted in rural Georgia. Martin Jr.'s grandfather, A.D. Williams, was a rural minister for years and then moved to Atlanta in 1893. He took over the small, struggling Ebenezer Baptist church with around 13 members and made it into a forceful congregation. He married Jennie Celeste Parks and they had one child that survived, Alberta. Michael King Sr. came from a sharecropper family in a poor farming community. He married Alberta in 1926 after an eight-year courtship. The newlyweds moved to A.D. Williams home in Atlanta.

Michael King Sr. stepped in as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church upon the death of his father-in-law in 1931. He too became a successful minister, and adopted the name Martin Luther King Sr. in honor of the German Protestant religious leader Martin Luther. In due time, Michael Jr. would follow his father's lead and adopt the name himself.

Young Martin had an older sister, Willie Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. The King children grew up in a secure and loving environment. Martin Sr. was more the disciplinarian, while his wife's gentleness easily balanced out the father's more strict hand. Though they undoubtedly tried, Martin Jr.’s parents couldn’t shield him completely from racism. Martin Luther King Sr. fought against racial prejudice, not just because his race suffered, but because he considered racism and segregation to be an affront to God's will. He strongly discouraged any sense of class superiority in his children which left a lasting impression on Martin Jr.

Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr. entered public school at age 5. In May, 1936 he was baptized, but the event made little impression on him. In May, 1941, Martin was 12 years old when is grandmother, Jennie, died of a heart attack. The event was traumatic for Martin, more so because he was out watching a parade against his parents' wishes when she died. Distraught at the news, young Martin jumped from a second story window at the family home, allegedly attempting suicide.

King attended Booker T. Washington High School, where he was said to be a precocious student.

He skipped both the ninth and eleventh grades, and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta at age 15, in 1944. He was a popular student, especially with his female classmates, but an unmotivated student who floated though his first two years. Although his family was deeply involved in the church and worship, young Martin questioned religion in general and felt uncomfortable with overly emotional displays of religious worship. This discomfort continued through much of his adolescence,

initially leading him to decide against entering the ministry, much to his father's dismay. But in his junior year, Martin took a Bible class, renewed his faith and began to envision a career in the ministry. In the fall of his senior year, he told his father of his decision.

Education and Spiritual Growth

In 1948, Martin Luther King Jr. earned a sociology degree from Morehouse College and attended the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. He thrived in all his studies, and was valedictorian of his class in 1951, and elected student body president. He also earned a fellowship for graduate study. But Martin also rebelled against his father’s more conservative influence by drinking beer and playing pool while at college. He became involved with a white woman and went through a difficult time before he could break off the affair.

During his last year in seminary, Martin Luther King Jr. came under the influence of theologian Reinhold Niebbuhr, a classmate of his father's at Morehouse College. Niebbuhr became a mentor to Martin, challenging his liberal views of theology. Niebuhr was probably the single most important influence in Martin's intellectual and spiritual development. After being accepted at several colleges for his doctoral study including Yale and Edinburgh in Scotland, King enrolled in Boston University.

During the work on this doctorate, Martin Luther King Jr. met Coretta Scott, an aspiring singer and musician, at the New England Conservatory school in Boston. They were married in June 1953 and had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott and Bernice. In 1954, while still working on his dissertation, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. He completed his Ph.D. and was award his degree in 1955. King was only 25 years old.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

On March 2, 1955, a 15-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus in violation of local law. Claudette Colvin was arrested and taken to jail. At first, the local chapter of the NAACP felt they had an excellent test case to challenge Montgomery's segregated bus policy. But then it was revealed that she was pregnant and civil rights leaders feared this would scandalize the deeply religious black community and make Colvin (and, thus the group's efforts) less credible in the eyes of sympathetic whites.

On December 1, 1955, they got another chance to make their case. That evening, 42-year-old Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home from an exhausting day at work.

She sat in the first row of the "colored" section in the middle of the bus. As the bus traveled its route, all the seats it the white section filled up, then several more white passengers boarded the bus. The bus driver noted that there were several white men standing and demanded that Parks and several other African Americans give up their seats. Three other African American passengers reluctantly gave up their places, but Parks remained seated. The driver asked her again to give up her seat and again she refused. Parks was arrested and booked for violating the Montgomery City Code. At her trial a week later, in a 30-minute hearing, Parks was found guilty and fined $10 and assessed $4 court fee.

On the night that Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter met with Martin Luther King Jr. and other local civil rights leaders to plan a citywide bus boycott. King was elected to lead the boycott because he was young, well-trained with solid family connections and had professional standing. But he was also new to the community and had few enemies, so it was felt he would have strong credibility with the black community.

In his first speech as the group's president, King declared, "We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice."

Martin Luther King Jr.'s fresh and skillful rhetoric put a new energy into the civil rights struggle in Alabama. The bus boycott would be 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence and intimidation for the Montgomery's African-American community. Both King's and E.D. Nixon's homes were attacked. But the African-American community also took legal action against the city ordinance arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court's "separate is never equal" decision in Brown v. Board of Education. After being defeated in several lower court rulings and suffering large financial losses, the city of Montgomery lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Flush with victory, African-American civil rights leaders recognized the need for a national organization to help coordinate their efforts. In January 1957, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and 60 ministers and civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches. They would help conduct non-violent protests to promote civil rights reform. King's participation in the organization gave him a base of operation throughout the South, as well as a national platform. The organization felt the best place to start to give African Americans a voice was to enfranchise them in the voting process. In February 1958, the SCLC sponsored more than 20 mass meetings in key southern cities to register black voters in the South.

King met with religious and civil rights leaders and lectured all over the country on race-related issues.


In 1959, with the help of the American Friends Service Committee, and inspired by Gandhi's success with non-violent activism, Martin Luther King visited Gandhi's birthplace in India. The trip affected him in a deeply profound way, increasing his commitment to America's civil rights struggle. African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who had studied Gandhi's teachings, became one of King's associates and counseled him to dedicate himself to the principles of non-violence. Rustin served as King's mentor and advisor throughout his early activism and was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. But Rustin was also a controversial figure at the time, being a homosexual with alleged ties to the Communist Party, USA. Though his counsel was invaluable to King, many of his other supporters urged him to distance himself from Rustin.

In February 1960, a group of African-American students began what became known as the "sit-in" movement in Greensboro, North Carolina. The students would sit at racially segregated lunch counters in the city's stores. When asked to leave or sit in the colored section, they just remained seated, subjecting themselves to verbal and sometimes physical abuse. The movement quickly gained traction in several other cities. In April 1960, the SCLC held a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina with local sit-in leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged students to continue to use nonviolent methods during their protests. Out of this meeting, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed and for a time, worked closely with the SCLC. By August of 1960, the sit-ins had been successful in ending segregation at lunch counters in 27 southern cities.

By 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. was gaining national notoriety. He returned to Atlanta to become co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church, but also continued his civil rights efforts. On October 19, 1960, King and 75 students entered a local department store and requested lunch-counter service but were denied. When they refused to leave the counter area, King and 36 others were arrested. Realizing the incident would hurt the city's reputation, Atlanta's mayor negotiated a truce and charges were eventually dropped. But soon after, King was imprisoned for violating his probation on a traffic conviction. The news of his imprisonment entered the 1960 presidential campaign, when candidate John F. Kennedy made a phone call to Coretta Scott King. Kennedy expressed his concern for King's harsh treatment for the traffic ticket and political pressure was quickly set in motion. King was soon released.

'I Have a Dream'

In the spring of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. organized a demonstration in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Entire families attended. City police turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators. Martin Luther King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, but the event drew nationwide attention.

However, King was personally criticized by black and white clergy alike for taking risks and endangering the children who attended the demonstration. From the jail in Birmingham, King eloquently spelled out his theory of non-violence: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community, which has constantly refused to negotiate, is forced to confront the issue."

By the end of the Birmingham campaign, Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters were making plans for a massive demonstration on the nation's capital composed of multiple organizations, all asking for peaceful change. On August 28, 1963, the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,000 people in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that King made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, emphasizing his belief that someday all men could be brothers.


The rising tide of civil rights agitation produced a strong effect on public opinion. Many people in cities not experiencing racial tension began to question the nation's Jim Crow laws and the near century second class treatment of African-American citizens. This resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities. This also led to Martin Luther King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964.

King's struggle continued throughout the 1960s. Often, it seemed as though the pattern of progress was two steps forward and one step back. On March 7, 1965, a civil rights march, planned from Selma to Alabama's capital in Montgomery, turned violent as police with nightsticks and tear gas met the demonstrators as they tried to cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge. King was not in the march, however the attack was televised showing horrifying images of marchers being bloodied and severely injured. Seventeen demonstrators were hospitalized leading to the naming the event "Bloody Sunday." A second march was cancelled due to a restraining order to prevent the march from taking place. A third march was planned and this time King made sure he was on it. Not wanting to alienate southern judges by violating the restraining order, a different tact was taken. On March 9, 1965, a procession of 2,500 marchers, both black and white, set out once again to cross the Pettus Bridge and confronted barricades and state troopers. Instead of forcing a confrontation, King led his followers to kneel in prayer and they then turned back. The event caused King the loss of support among some younger African-American leaders, but it nonetheless aroused support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

From late 1965 through 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. expanded his Civil Rights Movement into other larger American cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. But he met with increasing criticism and public challenges from young black-power leaders. King's patient, non-violent approach and appeal to white middle-class citizens alienated many black militants who considered his methods too weak and too late.

In the eyes of the sharp-tongued, blue jean young urban black, King's manner was irresponsibly passive and deemed non-effective. To address this criticism King began making a link between discrimination and poverty. He expanded his civil rights efforts to the Vietnam War. He felt that America's involvement in Vietnam was politically untenable and the government's conduct of the war discriminatory to the poor. He sought to broaden his base by forming a multi-race coalition to address economic and unemployment problems of all disadvantaged people.

Assassination and Legacy

By 1968, the years of demonstrations and confrontations were beginning to wear on Martin Luther King Jr. He had grown tired of marches, going to jail, and living under the constant threat of death. He was becoming discouraged at the slow progress civil rights in America and the increasing criticism from other African-American leaders. Plans were in the works for another march on Washington to revive his movement and bring attention to a widening range of issues. In the spring of 1968, a labor strike by Memphis sanitation workers drew King to one last crusade. On April 3, in what proved to be an eerily prophetic speech, he told supporters, "I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land." The next day, while standing on a balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was struck by a sniper's bullet. The shooter, a malcontent drifter and former convict named James Earl Ray, was eventually apprehended after a two-month, international manhunt. The killing sparked riots and demonstrations in more than 100 cities across the country. In 1969, Ray pleaded guilty to assassinating King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in prison on April 23, 1998.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s life had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States. Years after his death, he is the most widely known African-American leader of his era. His life and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him, and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, D.C. But his life remains controversial as well. In the 1970s, FBI files, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that he was under government surveillance, and suggested his involvement in adulterous relationships and communist influences. Over the years, extensive archival studies have led to a more balanced and comprehensive assessment of his life, portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible and limited in his control over the mass movements with which he was associated, yet a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.

© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.





IN THIS MONTH'S LEGENDARY CORNER-THE FREESTYLE KING, SUPER NATURAL Tags: legendary corner super natural freestyle king hip hop featured artist word life production

 Reco Price (born April 23, 1970), better known by his stage name Supernatural (aka Super Nat or MC Supernatural) is an American rapper best known for his "on-the-spot" freestyle and battle rap abilities[1][2] He has been a regular performer and host of the Rock the Bells Music Festival since its beginning in 2004. Born in Marion, Indiana, Supernatural began rhyming at the age of 10.[4] Moving to New York City at the age of 19, Supernatural began to make a name for himself on the hip hop scene rhyming in local night clubs. By 1993, he had landed a radio-show on 98.7 Kiss-FM where he met KRS-One from the group Boogie Down Productions who became not only a friend but his business manager.[5] Supernatural signed with Elektra Records in 1995 and recorded an album titled "Natural Disasters". He reportedly had a dispute with Elektra and was subsequently dropped from the label, leaving the album unreleased until 2000.

His freestyle rapping battles with MC Juice and Craig G are highly regarded. Using a line that simultaneously revealed Supernatural's origin and referenced pop culture ("When you go back home to Indiana, get Mike Tyson out the slammer"), Craig G. delivered Supernatural the first major loss of his career as a freestyle battle rapper at the New Music Seminar in 1994.

Supernatural later arranged a rematch with Craig G. The outcome of this competition was inconclusive though decisively in Supernatural's favor, due to emotional distress on the part of Craig G, who ended the battle. Supernatural's story and performances are reported in the documentary film Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, which contains clips of his and Craig G's battle. The film also contains clips of a notable battle between Supernatural and MC Juice, another popular freestyle rapper who was featured on the Wake Up Show. In this competition, Supernatural defeated MC Juice in two of three freestyle rounds, although, reportedly, there were disputes over the legitimacy of this conclusion.

Supernatural released several singles prior to 1997. He has also released 2 full-length albums, including "Natural Disasters" and "S.P.I.T. (Spiritual Poetry Ignites Thought)" (2005, Up Above Records), which features Raekwon (of the Wu Tang Clan), B-Real (of Cypress Hill), and Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5). A compilation of previously-recorded tracks entitled "The Lost Freestyle Files" was released in 2003.[6]

On August 5, 2006, Supernatural successfully set a new world record for the longest continuous freestyle rap while hosting the Rock the Bells festival in San Bernardino, CA. The nine-hour and fifteen minute session earned him a place in the Guinness World Records., [7] breaking Canadian rapper D. O.'s record of 8 hours and 45 minutes. On September 12, 2009, Supernatural's record was broken by the Brooklyn-based rapper DJ Green Arrow, whose record of 9 Hours and 57 minutes was set at St. Mark's Church. DJ Green Arrow reported, on the True School Radio show, that Supernatural inspired him to take freestyle rapping seriously.


POET & HIP HOP ACTIVIST, SPOKEN WORD Tags: spoken word hip hop music poetry underground networking word life production

Sharon Lawrence, female Poet/Hip Hop Artist is known to the world as Spoken Word. She was born in small town Suffolk, VA where she grew up in a low income neighborhood during the time drugs flooded poorer black communities throughout the nation. A recession was a normal thing for her household where she was the middle child of four in a single parent home. In the midst of it all, Spoken Word developed a gift that would change her life forever. She learned how to rap. Rapping became the thing that kept young minds occupied in a suburban area where there was little to no transportation to participate in positive activities outside of her community. Spoken Word better known as Lady Vixen during that time did not have a hard time getting attention in the male dominated genre. By the time she was 12, she was performing in local schools. One of the highlights of her life was performing an educational rap over the loud speaker for her peers proving that she does have the ability to speak in front of large crowds. Her first poem was published at the age of 13, and placed on the back of the schools programs for graduation that year. Literally, it was her passion that gave her inspiration to do positive things in rap. But that wouldn’t last long.

“When you grow up poor, it changes your way of thinking. It’s easy to get caught up in the traps of the streets especially when all you see is negativity around you. As a female growing up in a ruff area, you have to be tuff because there is always someone lurking around to try to pimp, manipulate or trap you.” Spoken Word

It was then that her lyrics became more hardcore. She joined up with an all male rap group along with her twin brother G Valley. The group was known as Southside Soldiers. After performing with them for a few years, the group called it quits. Instead of continuing to make music, she solely began writing poetry. To Sharon, spoken word was deep and it addressed the real things that were going on in poorer black communities.

“My way of thinking changed. I began to see things clearer than I had ever seen before. Maturing with age, I decided to let rap go. I became a mother, a wife, fulltime employee, and a fulltime student. There was no room for entertainment.” Spoken Word

But that wouldn’t last long. By winter of 2008, she changed her name and started performing in poetry clubs as Spoken Word. According to Spoken Word, she chose that name because it better defined the positive side of her. In May 2009 she released her first album, “Hip Hop Will Never Die” which was produced by one of Brooklyn Finest, “Mike Millz.” Although the album wasn’t successful on the billboard charts it drew international attention. She received radio airplay in Houston, California, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, United Kingdom, Canada and Central Europe. She was featured in Lyrics Inc. Magazine, BTR with Shema Gurls, WDKK on “Conversations.” She was "In the Spot Light with TAMMIE", during the fall season of 2009. She was also the featured artist of the month in January with T.R.I.B.E. (to relate in beautiful energy) and the feature artist on BTR with Mysterie on “Mysterie Loves Company.” Spoken Word also featured on album, “Who is Paul Lipsey Volume I” produced by Paul Lipsey, a native of New Jersey/New York and released to the public on January 1, 2010. She started the year of 2010 off with the performance of a lifetime at Nais 1st Poetry in Louisville, KY. Following that, she gave an inspiring performance in Oceanside, CA along with musical artists Kevin Sandbloom, Vanessa Fitz Ingram, and Poet “EMichele Paul” of Poetic Works. She also performed at Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, CA which is one of the most reputable poetry venues in the United States. She opened up for Comedian and Writer “D Militant” at the Malcolm X Library in San Diego, CA during the “Why We Laugh" panel Discussion. The event was created to promote the documentary entitled, “Why We Laugh” which has aired nationally throughout the United States of America. She performed, “My Eulogy” which later gained international attention when it was featured on Yo!Raps. (Europe’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine) She was also a feature at “Train of Thoughts.” (Queen Bee Cultural Arts Center in San Diego, CA.) She talked about her experience in California on Expressions Radio show with Bad Boy, “One Love”. (Winner’s of the Best Poetry Radio Station at the National Poetry Awards 2010) She was the feature artist of the month in April 2010 at Liberated Muse founders of the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. According to Khadijah Ali-Coleman of Liberated Muse, Spoken Word rocked at the RWA (Readers with an Attitude) book expo in Richmond, VA. (Virginia Commonwealth Mall) According to Spoken Word, that was a very exhilarating experience because she drew the attention of those who was just there shopping in a very noisy environment that seemed extremely quiet once she picked up the microphone, such as it was during her performance in Oceanside, CA. She has a voice that is able to draw the attention of most people regardless of nationality or creed. Because of that her presence has become noticeable in reputable sources outside of the average music source such as USA Today, India Times, Virginia News, NPR, World Book and News, etc. She performed at the Juneteenth celebration for Washington’s National Opera on June 20, 2010 to celebrate freedom from African American slavery within the USA. Shortly after, she went on to perform at a Rally to free the Scott Sisters at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC. This was the first Rally that drew people together from places throughout the world to ask US Attorney General Eric Holder for the release of wrongfully convicted prisoners Jamie and Gladys Scott. Later on she wrote and performed a Spoken Word piece entitled, “Breaking the Chains” in regards to Jamie and Gladys Scott’s incarceration in order to promote the public to sign a petition that was created in view of their case. She performed at the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest on July 24, 2010 in our nation’s capital, and also performed at Word Play Wednesday in Forestville Maryland in the Month of October. Starting off the year of 2011, Spoken Word’s “Ghost Town Anthem” Produced by Brooklyn’s finest, “Mike Millz was the winner of the track competition at URTHEMOVEMENT. (January 2011) She was featured on Yo!Raps playlist during the months of Feb.-May 2011. She was also the featured emcee in the Queens Court on WPED radio in Minnesota, and Bless the Mic TV in New Jersey both held in the month of May. Her latest album, “After the Pain” was released to the public on July 24, 2010 where she performed yet another piece that drew international attention. That piece was entitle, “Victim of Society.” The track was produced by one of New Jersey’s own K Black of Day One Production. Victim of Society addresses issues of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Outside of her music she has established a networking site (Word Life Production) for Underground Urban Artist. She also has an Underground Video Channel that is screamed on demand in order to give Underground Artist who works hard some extra exposures. Through her poetry and rhymes, Spoken Word has proved to be nothing more than a hip hop spoken word activist that will stand out throughout American History. In addition to that she has begun to pursue a career in screenwriting and journalism. Spoken Word definitely wears a coat of many colors.


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