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Wednesday, April 17

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Performance Wed Jun 02 2010

The "Kings of Poetry"

Thumbnail image for 26635_356049498650_585583650_3811982_1424840_n.jpg

Blaq Ice: Blaq Ice Productions, Inc.

The beauty of spoken word lies in its diversity; whether it comes via social issues, everyday life, political statements, or even erotica, spoken word artistry is a poetic form of expression that has something for everyone.

At the "Kings of Poetry," held recently at Kenwood Academy, the audience was treated to five spoken word artists with very different styles and messages. Hosted and produced by Chicago spoken word artist Blaq Ice, a South Side native who began his poetry career in the early 90s, the "Kings of Poetry" took the audience on a poetic adventure with their a variety of subjects that included youth violence, spirituality, relationships, gentrification, and even the headaches of highway construction.

The evening's first artist, "Ova Flo," who had a vocalist accompany him, delivered his spoken word in a sermon-like fashion, complete with a preacher's cadence. At times, however, he came off a bit too preachy, which tended to detract from what he was saying. And while I'm sure the use of a vocalist was to add more artistic effect, it was both too loud and distracting.

AJ Bryson, who had a more familiar style, powerfully engaged the audience with his piece, "It Just Ain't," a nod to the ideal that things and people aren't always what they seem and the very relatable "Them," a poem about the "tug-of-war" that sometimes exists in relationships.

The fun artist of the evening was poet Darryl "The Real Deal," also known as the "King of Cometry" (comedy and poetry). With an "old school" charm and a rhythmic style similar to comedian Rudy Ray Moore, Darryl provided [clean] comic relief via one of his pieces entitled, "Young Generation," an expression of his confusion about today's youth:

"Pants hanging down real low,
Fallin' off their behind,
I wonder do they need to borrow a belt,
Because if they do, they can borrow mine!"

Another performer was "Kharacter," a poet who morphed into different characters as he moved from piece to piece. Gentrification served as the subject in "Spaces, Places and Faces"; however, in what was undoubtedly the most unique piece of the evening was when he morphed into a drunken character. While this was certainly "different," it was extremely long and would have been better suited for a one-man stage play rather than spoken word or poetry.

For the show's finale, Blaq Ice wowed the crowd with his testimonial "E.G.O." (Easing God Out), a piece about holding on to one's faith; however, due to another [loud] vocal accompaniment, not all of it could be heard. There were even moments when their dual performance seemed like a competition for the audience's attention or having to choose which person to pay attention to. Again, there is nothing wrong with pushing the artistic envelope, so to speak, but the incorporation of a vocalist in a spoken word piece really should be done intermittently, especially if there is an important message to be heard.

In all, the show was entertaining, and I appreciated the difference in the various performers; however, a little less singing (or at least at a lower tone) and a little more spoken word would have been great. And if a music must be included, some nice, bass guitar in the background would definitely do the trick.

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JG / June 3, 2010 7:29 AM

I attended this performance and I found it quite entertaining. But I must agree, the vocalists were loud, but the one for Ova-Flo was extremely loud.

orion / June 7, 2010 10:58 AM

Blaq Ice is southside drug dealer Tyrone DeAndre Hawthorne:

Tony / May 10, 2013 2:19 PM

I think Blaq Ice is a phenomenal poet and does a lot for the community. He has over 20 years over activisim and I am proud of him.

MARIE / May 11, 2013 1:13 AM

Blaq Ice is a very intelligent men,who touching the lives of the people with his poet gift GOD has given him.not only that he goes out and reaches the heart of the youth as well as the adults.keep up with the spoken words.

Lovely Lyricist / May 13, 2013 10:03 PM

I have worked with Blaq Ice for 4 years and this Brother has done NOTHING but build me and the people I have known him to encounter. The only thing I have known him to sell is who you are and what you have within you to let it shine! I applaud him for all he does!

Mary / May 13, 2013 11:20 PM

Blaq Ice is like fine wine on the poetry scene, he has accomplished so much over the years.I'm proud he is a Southsider and he is always helping the youth, as well as the adults. Blaq Ice travel to different states and visit many University's speaking knowledge.We all should have his back, with positive feedback and stop being negative we should have one goal in mind, stop breaking one another down, but lift each other up.But the ones that know Blaq Ice or Tyrone DeAndre, as a man and a mentor,and the King of poetry is real nothing fake about him, keep doing you and you will continue to be bless.

Minister Wes The Poet / May 13, 2013 11:23 PM

Blaq Ice is a very Godly person and wonderful man of God who holds his self up as a Christian and man of God, he is a man that strives to change the world one day at a time with his poetry. He goes out and helps people of all ages, he lets them know that God loves them he even goes to different schools, homeless shelters, detention centers and different places like that to influence the inmates, people that are homeless and to the schools to tell kids that it is not over that there is hope and that they can make it, all they have to do is not give up and just hold on. He influences kids, teens, people on the streets whether they are on drugs or alcohol or prostituting he influences them with his poetry by letting them know that there is hope that they will make it, for them to get off the drugs, alcohol and to quit prostituting because it's not the things to do he uplifts them with his poetry, He influences teens not to choose the wrong path and do what they want and do what everyone else wants them to do to fit in and not to give up because they are smart and they will make it because they are smarter, brighter and can do it. This is what my C.E.O and Founder of P.O.E.T does this is a man that you want to be around someone you will call on and want to call on to talk to or just ask for advice or help, this is the man that you want and will want to be around because of the person that he is, he is willing to help you if you will let him and he is willing to be here or to do things for you so why don't you be willing and let him because if you are willing then he can. PLEASE STOP SAYING ALL THIS STUFF THAT IS NOT TRUE ABOUT HIM AND GROW UP AND STOP TRYING TO MESS UP AND RUIN PEOPLE'S LIVES YOU GO LIVE YOUR LIFE AND LEAVE HIM ALONE AND STOP MAKING UP THINGS THAT ARE NOT TRUE ABOUT HIM FOR HE IS NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG OR DOING ANYTHING BAD BUT HERE TO CHANGE THE WORLD ONE DAY AT A TIME WITH HIS POETRY AND HE IS HERE TO MAKE A CHANGE AND HE WILL MAKE A CHANGE.

Thank You! God Bless You in Jesus name!
Minister Wes The Poet


inner child / May 14, 2013 3:40 PM

I am so honored to be associated with my Brother Blaq Ice. I commend the tireless effort he gives into the work of his Ministry and all the Spoken Word Poets and Community he empowers through his vision. What can one say. His work deserves and warrants all the light we can give that others may model their spirit and efforts after such an honorable Human Being.

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