I have enjoyed art, specifically writing and art for as long as I can remember. Truthfully, I don't remember when I came to love poetry. I guess it sort of happened sometime in elementary school or something. My brother introduced me to music; all types of music, which in our home was taboo. He would play rap, R & B, and oldies. He also taught me how to freestyle, sing, dance, and beat box. I think it's where I came to appreciate eclectic music. I've also seen writing as a form of expression. Even as a child I always felt that it was easier for me to share what I felt through writing it instead of verbally.
Fast forwarding to my adult life: I continued to write poetry in college. I had a strong interest in spoken word, but I did not know how to make my rhymes so that they reflected a rhythm opposed to a simple rhyme scheme. In 2010, I went a Power of the Tongue Cafe here in Durham. There was spoken word artists there. There was also a group there called, "Sound Word and Holy Strings." It was a group comprised of four people, two rappers/poets, and two singers, one who played a guitar. They were super dope. Later that night I connect with one of the guys there who was calling himself "Preach" at that time (now known as "Pat Junior"). We chatted a bit and I expressed my interest in poetry and spoken word. I shared with him what I had and he provided feedback.
He later taught me about word play and gave some coaching. Less than a year later I wrote my first spoken word poem. It was called, "Wave of Technology." Pat taught me how to deliver and I debuted at a Power of the Tongue under the direction of Brother Charles Freeman. I remember being so nervous that when Brother Freeman called my name that for a series of seconds my feet would not move. I got up, shared my piece and I felt awesome. I never [ever] thought that I would share my poetry publically, and certainly audibly. I believe that's one of my favorite memories about this journey.
Later in the year, I began my first transparent piece called "Soul Ties." It was personal. I shared it with Pat and he encouraged me to share it publically. It was very difficult for me because I was a private person. The other fact about the piece is, I wrote the piece inspired by God, but it took over a year to write. It was prophetic in that it revealed to me that I was in a stronghold and it became a roadmap to being free of it. That was the beginning of me as a poet. I'll tell yall the rest in a little bit.