Playlist: spoken word / rap artists

14 September 2018

The writing that has touched me the most deeply lately hasn't been found within the pages of a book.

Although it did all start with a book - Kate Tempest's 'The Bricks that Built the Houses'.

I was telling a friend how much I was loving this book and she told me Tempest was also a spoken word artist / rapper and she played me a song of hers - Tunnel Vision ... and when I heard the words 'I’m screaming at my loved ones to wake up and love more' it was like someone had taken an electrical cord, plugged it straight into my heart and turned the switch on.

I listened to Kate Tempest's two albums 'Let Them Eat Chaos' and 'Everybody Down' repeatedly, discovering many of the same characters from the book were mentioned in her songs. The book 'The Bricks that Built the Houses' was an extension of her albums.

Then I bought 'Brand New Ancients', a Ted Hughes Poetry Prize-winning poem about two London families, reincarnating the spirits of the gods. I read it aloud from cover to cover and then I read it again.

I started reading articles and listening to podcasts with Kate Tempest. And then I started wondering if she's touched me so deeply, and she's so unique, are there any others out there doing similar things?

I wanted to find out who her contemporaries are - who are her influencers and who are her influencers' influencers ...

I went on a spoken word search.

This led me to stumble across Scroobius Pip, a spoken word poet and hip hop recording artist, and I was awestruck all over again.

Any writer or creative will surely relate to this song of his 'You will see me'. Watch it now, and then watch it again:

And then, finally, listen to this beautifully confessional track by Sage Francis 'The best of times'. The film clip doesn't do justice to the words, and I want you to listen, so this is the audio only version. 

The first time I heard it, I was walking on the beach, headphones in, sun on the face, and I cried thinking about how such angst creates such beauty. Then I listened to it again and cried some more and smiled ...

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