creative community members open up about their creative pursuits, professions and passions
Performance Poet, Hip Hop Artist, Father, Community Programs Coordinator for the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs.
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"As a Philadelphia/South Jersey transplant, I come to self-identify as a poet in a different way. I see the poet as a 'jack of all trades' in the artistic realm. And though I try my hardest to be a 'master of some,' I think poets are so ever-busy redefining themselves and the world around them that time becomes the worst enemy of some of our best ideas. So necessarily, I have evolved back to where I came from.
"My affair with performance poetry has allowed me to challenge myself and grow my art across the blurred borders of poetry into the realms of theater, film and music. Once you think in narratives and messages, I think you become very enchanted in the different ways in which you can share those ideas. Where I grew up and returned to after college, there was no poetry slam (the community I most certainly emerged from and credit for encouraging my artistic growth). Poetry was never independent from music, comedy, theater, performance, activism even. It was all seen as part of the same current, or energy or cultural underground.
"Though I am currently on the 2010 Albuquerque Slam Team that is in 'boot camp' getting ready for the 2010 National Poetry Slam in St. Paul, MN in August, I have taken a step back from competitive poetry slamming to pursue my musical learning curve as a writer, vocalist and emcee. I have also taken the time (and will continue to do so at the end of the summer) to put the polish and promotion on my 90-minute experimental hip-hop poetry show titled Urban Verbs: Hip Hop Conservatory & Theater, which I co-created with my partners Carlos Contreras, Colin Diles Hazelbaker and Mark Archuleta.
The Albuquerque premiere will take place late summer 2010, however our world premiere at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York was met with much acclaim. This is exciting for my own ambitions of wanting to pursue my art full-time and I feel like the genre-bending collaborative climate of the Albuquerque arts community is what gives local artist like myself, the community support, confidence and tools to pursue artistic endeavors that don't fit so neatly into our institutional boxes. Obviously, supporting the local artistic economy is one way to feed an artist 'for the price of a cup of coffee' on a daily basis. But in my opinion, the cross pollination of talent and audiences is what really allows artists out of their comfort zone, to contribute something uniquely Albuquerque to the sometimes static artistic landscape."
Click here to email Hakim directly.
And here if you'd like visit his website.
And here to learn more about/lend support to the ABQ2010 City Slam Team.