I think it’s safe to say I have a problem. I over analyze things, I create problems where they are none. This is exactly what I am about to do with the Poetry aspect of Entertainment in Malawi. At the end of this article, they will be two options, either you agree with my stand or you agree that I just created a problem where there was none. Poetry is “literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.” My concern in this article is the poems aspect and not the genre of literature. Poems have graduated into one aspect known as spoken poetry. I’m not so sure if it was there before but as far as I know spoken poetry or spoken word stems from poems. In poetry, there is that aspect of expressing one’s feelings using a unique style and rhythm, and that expression is intense.
Let me just make it clear before I proceed, poetry is not for everyone. As much as you might say art is subjective but it has to have some standards. Poetry can fall in several dimensions in the music industry, hip hop artists employ poetry when composing lyrics (well some artists). Singers employ poetry as well to some extent. My concern in this article is spoken word. Well, with spoken word, artists record their poems. They speak their poems. There are countless spoken word poets that are doing fine with their art.
However, there is this growing tendency of nerds or introverts turning to spoken word. According to my observation, there are those that are naturally born talented and there are those that learn and then nurture their skill. Those that learn the skill equally fall in two categories, those that learn and then master that skill and there those that are just doing a terrible job at it. Here is where you find these nerds and introverts. Most of the spoken word I’m hearing is a reap off of some made spoken word artist. I am tempted to conclude that these nerds and introverts are fans who want to become spoken word artists. They however, don’t take into consideration as to what it takes to be a spoken word artist. Everyone can express their feelings but there are those that can express same feelings artistically.
What I hear most times is not artistic, it’s just words being forced together, there is no rhythm and no style at all. It’s not exciting. You sit there listening and it just doesn’t move you. Art should be able to move you, it should be able to touch your soul. The thing with poetry is, if you are artistic enough you can embed a message within a message so much that how you understand a poem today will be different with how you will understand it 2 weeks later. Most spoken word works lack that aspect. The poems are just too plain. There is nothing that provokes or entices the brain. Good spoken word should be like a treasure hunt, when you listen to a poem, it should be able to elevate you into a certain state.
You see I am just too broke, I didn’t buy Q’s album but I listened to some of his work and that guys’ work touches your soul. The word play, the rhythm and the style, they all work together, so coherent they form a bridge and touch your soul. That aspect is what is missing in most of these spoken words I’m hearing lately.
Just because you are socially different doesn’t mean you can do spoken word or because you are a nerd then you are a spoken word artist. Spoken word is poetry and poetry is art. Art is not for every Jim and Jack.
Most of you should just stick to being fans, humble yourselves