I had the pleasure of listening to this amazing spoken word artist live, and as soon as I heard him, I knew I had to get him on Real Talk With Ree. He is so talented, and I was extremely excited to talk to him, so heres how it went:
What made you want to start spoken word? Because I know a lot of people do it as a means of release when they are feeling stressed or down, and there’s something about spoken word that literally touches my soul. I can’t explain it. Like my favorite scene of spoken word in a movie is Love Jones, it gives me goosebumps and that’s exactly how I felt when I watched you perform live
Ree Its actually mad hearing spoken word can make me feel sometimes man, so I’m mad grateful that you can resonate with mine and it makes you feel like that (slowly becoming my favourite blogger( laughs)
It started in a weird way I can’t lie, when I was younger me and my friend used to rap and freestyle to beats outside our block, trying to see who could come up with the best bars and punchlines, how long we could flow for. Then one day at a youth event, I got given the task to write a poem. I figured that it must kinda be like rapping but without a beat (laughs). I mean, everyone says rap stands for “rhythm and poetry” so I thought it’d be calm. So I rose to the task and when I wrote the poem I swear to you I went to one place in my mind and it felt so satisfying. On top of that I found that I could deliver a meaningful message and be entertains at the same time. I don’t even remember the first poem I ever wrote, and my style has changed significantly since then, but I will never forget how it made me feel and its something I don’t think I can ever let go of.
Spoken word for me has been a lot of different things to me at at different times.
You do a course that studies things like that- when we have more time I need to probe your mind boy. Okay, there are two reasons I wrote that poem.
I had to for an event and I was just procrastinating for the longest
For a while I has so many thoughts and feelings around the subject of race and identity and more importantly have to take progressive steps towards change.
My opinion is in my poem.
(laughs) just playing.
The phrase modern slavery can be interpreted in several ways. For me at the time it was the concept that we may not be slave traditional “yes sir, sorry master, I live to do your bidding and nothing I want matters because I don’t wanna be whipped mister” but In many ways we find ourselves (non-literally) complying with these ideas. everytime we are subjected to race-related stereotypes and accept them as rule, we are being subjected( and in a sense subjecting ourselves ) to a subtle form of slavery-as we become slaves to stereotypes, broadly negative ones at that.
The idea of race is a current theme in ‘Modern Slavery’, I want to know what inspired that, because you even say something about in society we are taught to focus on the outside, instead of what’s inside. “Black man time and Black man crime” its so true, I felt myself clicking (laughs). That’s what we are taught to accept and understand as being the ‘norm’, its not normal. I keep saying that ‘black people timing’ is literally a social construct, and we joke and banter about it but when we don’t get the job, and that Asian boy gets it and that white girl gets it, we end up being the joke. Its about setting a standard as a people, and taking ourselves away from stereotypes and how people perceive us, and step into the victory God has wanted for us whilst we were in our mother’s wombs. What is your take on the relationship race and society have?
Ree don’t get me started because I could really go all day (laughs). The relationship that race and society have? Lets start with the global society. Bear with me (laughs)
Before colonies gained independence, their function was to support the countries that colonised them. Whether that was through cheap labour, produce or other exports and resources. Post colonialism the is still a struggle to upend this relationship. Keep bearing with me (laughs)
I would argue that a similar relationship is present today on a local, British level. Intentional or not, the way the system is set up is conducive to restricting and limiting options of many ethnic minorities and as a consequence reinforces that relationship.
I wish I could elaborate but it’d be Lonngggggg
Theres Glass ceilings and we need to make an effort break them…regardless of who was standing on them
I can’t lie to you Ree…I don’t know.
Im learning every single day how to be better for myself and those around me and it can be easier said than down. However, and I now its cliche, but i’d say love. Just loving what you have and who you are where you are whilst you grind to improve.
Oh and stop competing, its easier to knock down walls together.
Love makes the world go round for sure, we need alot of that in this place we are living in. So, when you start to talk about women. It really did get to me (laughs), I’m not even playing it proper got to me because I was thinking WOW. I loved it when you said “Ladies, please invest in us because you bring out the best in us”. I was thinking, I want my future partner to think this way about me. But, all jokes aside, I think its really important to be with someone that supports you, guides you to an extent, is your shoulder to lean on but also somebody that uplifts you, vice versa. But, there’s something about that woman (laughs). I’m going to say black woman, because I am black, yes (laughs). Do you think the love between a woman and a man is guided through his relationship with his sister and his mother? Or do you think its complicated?
(Laughs) I can tell by the way you spun that question that you’ve thought about that before. Ree, I love you guys. Woman are actually G’s. Black women are OG’s. The is so much strength that you guys have in spite of( and as a result) of daily struggles and micro aggressions you face.
Yes. I believe that all of our relationships, especially when going up provide a framework and belief system for how our new relationships should operate. I also believe though, that it if you are conscious of the type of system you have and why you can conscious change it for the better.
Its kinda complicated though…women are complicated (Grins)
Ekay, I’m not being biased but I don’t think were complicated (laughs).I just think that we have alot going on and sometimes its not always straightforward. A man has to be willing to figure the woman out, in order for anything to work, regardless. Actually, I don’t like the term ‘figure out’, because you figure out problems and issues. I think its about understanding. All it is, is an understanding. You have me going into relationship guru mode (laughs). Anyway, what is next for you and how can we stay connected ?