I had my early start back in the early 80’s as a lover of hiphop. My first exposure was Sugar Hills rapper delight and my soon obsession with Roxanne Shontae. My list grew as I aged and I filled my time and notebooks with words that seemed to effortlessly flow out of me.
During my coming of age experiences writing raps and lyrics kept me sain as I used the pen for therapy.
When I got old enough to join in on the poetic scene here in STL, it seemed like everyone was being pushed to sound like the spokenword artist’s on BET. If you failed to use similiar voice inflexions and etc. you didn’t get love for your artistry. I always felt that poetry just like other art forms should be raw, authentic, creative and an expression of each individuals humanness. Here in STL if other veteran poets didn’t talk you up and feature you then you failed to get much love. The STL poet circle became in MY opinion…CLICKY!
I went solo with my ish! Lol…I stayed true to who I was and in tune with how I expressed myself through words. I wasnt going to become anyone elses carbon copy. My experiences and thoughts were my own and so would the words I spit. My words had to be from my heart as God had givem them to me. I wasn’t looking for fame or approval just a space to be ME…100% uncut.
Who would have known that it would take me to become 43 years old before I allowed the public to truly see me resurge on the poetry scene in my true form untainted by the stereotypes that still float through many ideologies of what poetry should sound like. In June 2014 I released a spokenword cd titled, ‘A Piece of My Pie’. It was liberating to be free to flow as me! With the help of Plads Photography owner, Patricia Taylor and Terrance Germany of Fettiflappin Ent. God moved upon my creative work! All praise be to the most high God! Not only did HE call me forth to once more stand at the mic clothed in my total self, but through Patricia Taylor this year (2015) I was able to find a poetic group who shares my belief on how creative expression should have no barriers. Verbzzz after Work is the new up and coming poetic take over in STL. Hosted by Derrick Mr Poetry Seven, Kisha Brown and Dj Albizness with Patricia Taylor behind the camera and Daniella Monae as the event greeter, this poetic family is changing the poetic scene here in STL. In their circle, artist are encouraged to let go and let God however it feels right to you! They are making poetry a family affair and ensuring that it encourages spiritual growth as well. I’ve found my place of acceptance in this circle! Stay tuned for information on upcoming events offered by Verbzzz after Work!
*I am Jahsartsygurl!*
It was a pleasure to again perform with the new poetic family that’s taking St. Louis by storm! Verbzzz after Work is soon to be the new craze amongst local artist brave enough to embrace the mic! This event was held at Schafly Library in the Central West End on January 31st. Patricia Taylor, Mr. Poetry Seven, Kisha Brown, Al-Bizness and others who are the brainstorm behind the concept were in full effect!
Artist such as myself (DeVonshae Ali) , Folklore, Julia, Christian Johnson,CEO Lace and Dope were in the building representing poetry and song! Stay tune for more updates on the hottest poetic movement to hit STL!