By: Shea Harris
It’s the first event of 2017 that I’ve attended and I’m completely overwhelmed. My drive to the venue was filled with laughter, serious tones and a bit of frustration. I was getting caught by every stop light and of course typed in the incorrect city in my GPS. After a bit of craziness on my part, I finally made it to the event. As soon as I walked in the doors of the venue, art was thrown into my face and music was blasting through my ears. I felt like I was right at home with company. Everything that interests me was right in my face at that very moment. I was able to speak with a few of the artists, and here’s what caught my attention:
This particular artist wasn’t just unique to me because of his youth, but because of his story. His name originates from being diagnosed with Leukemia at birth (if that’s not a testimony, I don’t know what is)! His passion is music and he used it as a coping mechanism during his battle with Leukemia. Lukeem began writing raps in the 10th grade and picked up the artistry in the 11th. Once he graduated from high school, he decided to fully invest in himself and craft by buying studio equipment. He usually gets his beats from YouTube, but has worked on Logic Pro X. His performance reminded me of some of the performances I’ve seen back in the Carolinas: hungry, humble, appreciative and passionate. I loved that he brought his own flavor to the event and gave so much energy as the first to perform.
My passion is to enlighten spirits. Music is a projection of my reality. Daniel was particularly different from any of the other artist because he understood my obsession with Bojangles. No. Seriously. This man understood what I meant by Southern Hospitality and why I need a chicken supreme dinner with french fries, a sweet tea and barbecue sauce. But besides bo-berry biscuits, his music was something a little different than what I’m used to. In order to speak with his audience and introduce spirituality, he uses biblical references throughout his raps and has a gritty tone to it. There may be a bit of profanity throughout his set, but profanity is used towards expression or an opinion. Although his music may not be for everyone, he makes sure that he’s fulfilling his purpose and sending out messages for the Kingdom.
What an amazing spirit. What an amazing soul. This young woman uses her passion through music and media and is pushing for her goals no matter what. As the only poet to speak throughout the night, she hit us right in the chest with the truth, reality and pain. To sit through her set was absolutely necessary for myself and many others in the room. She spoke about love, sex, STD’s/STI’s and many other issues women face in their lifetime. Her poetry is only one aspect of her many talents though! She is a radio personality, journalist and soon to be T.V. personality. A few of her short term goals include launching her radio show on Da Gr8 FM and curating events. Since many messages are often misconstrued, she wants to balance out how we as Black people are viewed in the media.
First off, can I just say that as soon as Onist stepped up for her set she demanded attention! I’m not talking about with words y’all, I’m talking about her presence and the tone of her voice. She owned the moment with her body language and you pretty much didn’t have a choice but to pay attention to her. Her style, flow and voice grabbed the entire room. Although she’s always been an introvert, she expresses everything that she goes through in her writing. In order to expand her audience, she attends open mic nights and networks with people through social media. Now during her set she rapped and had everybody rocking, but I was most amazed by her freestyle. This woman did not fumble, stutter and barely gasped for any breath. She was freestyling for so long and caught us by a storm that I felt bad for anyone who went after her.
As many of y’all know, I absolutely love underground events. If y’all come across any in South Florida, PLEASE let me know! I always try to support and do it for the culture. Until next time! 😘