Dear Son: A Written Interpretation of a Spoken Word Piece by Urban Thoughts.

Urban Thoughts released a video interpretation of his poem “Dear Son” on last week. He asked me to write about it. So here is my written interpretation of this piece. Watch the video below, then read the rest of this post.

“The video became my healing. After I went into the Ozark mountains to finish some other writing, I ended up editing “Dear Son” with the film maker Jason Hall. It became the final poem. But I realized I hadn’t forgiven myself yet. The video became my forgiveness and redemption.” –Urban Thoughts 

For the men who have lost themselves in an abortion…

It’s never easy to say goodbye. Especially when another life is in your hands, another soul, another body. But when your life isn’t the only one at stake here, it becomes impossible.

While watching this video, I asked myself, “What would you do?”

I honestly couldn’t come up with an answer for that. But when you’ve lived your life for others, decisions never seem to be yours anymore.

When the decisions that you told yourself you’d never have to make are looking you in the face, it’s hard to make a choice.

When you’ve contemplated taking your own life, the idea of taking another seems like murder suicide. Because a small part of you dies as well. There’s a saying that with death comes new life. But it’s hard to live a life when you’re missing a piece of it.

But at some point you had to make a decision. Do you give up your future so that your son can have one? Do you change the course that God laid out for you, simply because you weren’t ready. It makes you wonder if readiness isn’t overrated. Nothing ever happens when you want it to happen. You’re never actually ready to be responsible for a new life.

But they say that everything happens for a reason. Even this. There’s a lesson in the pain. There’s a lesson in the regret. You don’t have to punish yourself for something that a younger you did. If we asked you today, that decision may have changed. But who knows how anything else would have turned out.

Even the smallest change in the past disrupts the climate. It changes the course of time. When you’ve given your all to a woman and she starts to harbor a piece of you, she becomes you. That pain that you felt, she felt it too. Women are incubators. Whatever you sow into them turns into something remarkable. You gave her a piece of you and even though she didn’t keep it. Even though that piece didn’t have a chance to grow. Her heart didn’t stop growing.

You asked a question… “Did you fight, like I should have fought for you?” You said that “[you] were reminded… that they say sons are like their fathers.”

If your son was like you, he knew the difference between a murder and a sacrifice. He knew the difference between a victim and a martyr. You weren’t a policeman or a Mr. Zimmerman. You were a young man who ran out of options. You were a young man who hadn’t gotten life figured out yet.

You were a man in love with a woman who hadn’t gotten life figured out yet. You were a young man who learned what it meant for silence to grow into constant yells and screams. Screams that grew from grief. But grief that led to prayer. Prayer that brought you closer to a God of forgiveness. That same forgiveness that you’ve learned to gift yourself. Because in reality, we’ve all done things we’re afraid to admit. We’ve all done things of which we’re ashamed. We’ve all done things that have taken us years to forgive.

They say that time heals all wounds. But I say that time exposes the scars. Those scars tell a story of why we’re still here. They tell the memories that we try to forget or the ones that we hold onto. Some memories we hold onto for dear life. Some scars we cut open so that the pain doesn’t disappear. We feel that if the pain leaves, so does the memory. But in that comes growth. Those same scars grow back stronger even when we try to make them wounds. Eventually they’ll all forgive themselves. It’s only right that you do too.

 

Credits:

Harley Quinn on (background vocals)

Poetic Sun and Suavo J (actors)

AC Dutch of 224 Studio (recording)

Jarvis Sumlin (J.D. Daltry) of KneeBraceMusic (audio production)

Tundrea Lyons (voiceover on the phone)

 

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Finding Your Happy: When What You Can Get Isn’t Good Enough!

 

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Photo cred: Michael Butler Jr. of one901

 

“You made this choice, so you have to take what you can get.”

When you’ve been hearing this your whole life, you start to wonder if you’re making the wrong choices. But you were also raised by a strong woman who taught you to go after what you wanted and to never take no for an answer.

But there’s nothing wrong with telling yourself no sometimes, especially when it’s for your own good.

We go through life wanting to be accepted. When we’re not, it hurts. It also hurts when people misunderstand you. You spend time getting to know people and you show those people your surface. After all, everyone isn’t built to see your heart.

Everyone won’t understand how you can love so deeply even when people don’t love you back. They’ll turn your good deeds into selfish acts. They’ll diminish who you are. They’ll misinterpret your nonchalant nature that protects your open heart from getting damaged for lack of care. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You actually care too much, so much that you’ve sacrificed a lot of your dreams for friendships that didn’t last more than a month.

You’ll cry, you’ll pretend not to. You’ll spend most nights feeling like that fifteen year old girl who no one liked. The girl who fell in love too quickly and gave too much. You’ll wish those memories didn’t exist. You’ll be reminded by your best friend that those memories remind you to never go back to that place. You’ll cry on their shoulder. You’ll send them messages in the middle of the night because you know they’re not awake to read them. You’ll wake up the next morning to a love letter in the form of praises and honesty from one of the few people who actually get you.

“You’re beautiful,” they’ll say. “You’re important and forget anyone who thinks otherwise. They may not need you. But you need you. I need you. Fight through this!”

You’ll feel embarrassed because as hard as the night before was, you’ll find joy in the sunlight. You’ll find joy in waking up in the morning. You’ll realize that your emotions are real, even the fleeting ones.

You’ll find your happy in small moments, in passing smiles. You’ll find a smile in your dreams. Peace lives there. You’ll learn to wake up with your dreams still on your heart. Because most days it’s the only thing that’ll keep you going.

You won’t accept “take what you can get.” Because whose right is it to tell what to take. People will force themselves into your thoughts. They’ll try to tell you that you’re less than everything you know to be. They’ll point out your flaws in hopes that they will overshadow the good in you.

You put good things into the atmosphere. You give all the love you can, in hopes that it’ll come back to you. Even when it doesn’t, you’ll know it wasn’t in vain. Because one day there will be a moment when all of the happy that you were looking for, will show up out of nowhere wearing your hopes and dreams proudly. It’ll show up dressed in confidence and beauty. It will be all that you prayed it would be and then some. It’ll remind you of all those nights that you spent wanting to feel accepted. And you’ll see that it never mattered. Because in the end, you found your happy and what you have now, is everything you’ve ever wanted.

Pre-Order Your Copy of “On The Other Side”

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I recently completed my novella, “On The Other Side!” I am doing pre-orders. My planned release date is March 17, 2017. If you would like an autographed copy, pre-order now. There are two links for local Memphis buyers and non local buyers. If you want to get you copy, click the book above.

 

SYNOPSIS:

In a story of love, loss, and betrayal, Kamaria is a living, breathing wake-up call. Kamaria is a 33-year-old woman who grew up on the Southside of Chicago. She witnessed her parents die in a horrible car accident leaving her with an inheritance of five million dollars, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. With these disorders came the need to love and be loved. Kamaria decides to leave her hometown to create a  new life for herself. Her new life consists of a husband and two beautiful children, until her husband attempted to take away her beauty. This led Kamaria to have an affair. Her lover becomes possessive and Kamaria gets too comfortable. What happens when her  past and future collide? Will she be able to accept the reality or will it consume her?

 

 

Taking a look at the Goodnight Sky with J.D.S.

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POETICXPOSURE.COM: For those who may not know you, Who is J.D.S.?
J.D.S.: J.D.S is a young Memphis artist. Leader of the young world and one half of Knee Brace Music production team.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: What is your definition of Hip Hop?
J.D.S.: Vibrant urban culture. The truth of the uncomfortable majority in the form of art.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Who do you consider some of the pioneers that have influenced your music and your sound?
J.D.S.:  Kanye West musically is my number 1 inspiration. As far as rap goes I have to say Lil Wayne an T.I are big inspirations also J Cole and Starlito.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: You have a new project dropping on the 31st of this month, “Goodnight Sky.” How did you come up with that title and what’s the concept behind the project?
J.D.S.: It’s basically all the shit I think about in the wee hours of the night when I’m the most real with myself. It’s very personal and if you don’t know me then you will when you hear it.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: On top of being a dope hip hop artist, you are also a well known producer in Memphis. Tell me more about Knee Brace Music.
J.D.S.: KBM is me and my brother Mike Maxis. We been making music together since 2012 and we were 14-15 years old. The name stems from my torn ligaments in my knees. Injuries I suffered in high school that led to some of our best work at the time.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Did Knee Brace Music produce this entire project or did you welcome other producers’ talents?
J.D.S.: It was all us lol. We locked in for a long time on this.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: I heard a lot of familiar as well as unfamiliar voices on this project. Who are some of the featured artists?
J.D.S.: My friend Bradyn
Mika Genesis
Jay Daskreet
Snapback Jolo
Idaly Maceano
Alma Almaz and
Miss Joyce
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Speaking of featured artists, one of my favorite songs on the project has a female feature. “Conversations” is a very melodic song. What was your thought process while creating this song and how did you pick the featured artist for this one?
J.D.S.: It’s funny I had writer’s block bad when i first got the track done. I couldn’t write to it. I had to go to Idaly’s place because we were consulting on some of her music and she helped me come up with Conversations and Gas on the same day. She’s dope lol.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: I’ve been a fan of your work for a while, your music as well as your production work. I’m particular fond of your singing. Your live performances are very energetic and seem to be full of personality. You seem to be creating your own lane when it comes to your style. If you were to place yourself in a genre, would it be hip hop or something else?
J.D.S.: I’m definitely Hip Hop but I’m like on some other shit though, if that makes sense. I like to call what I do “Post Hip-Hop”. Super punk rock vibes from that title but I feel like I’m doing something different.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: How can people get in touch with you or Knee Brace Music for production services?
J.D.S.: Contact me and mike @wearetheyoungworld on IG and twitter or email at inquiry@wearetheyoungworld.com
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Where can we find your previous and upcoming projects?
J.D.S.: There are no previous works available but starting on Dec 31st we are at www.wearetheyoungworld.com
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Do you have any shows or performances coming up that you want people to know about?
J.D.S.: DreamFest 6 I’m participating in night 2 of the festivities. On Feb 18th KBM is taking part in the draft edition of DOA and Mike will be there and I have a performance that night as well at another event and that info will be available shortly.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: It’s been a pleasure interviewing you and I can’t wait for this project to be released. If you had to pick one song already released that would give people an idea of the type of music that you create, which song would it be?
J.D.S.: Nights by Frank Ocean

JDS Proves to be Ahead of his Time w/ “Goodnight Sky”

good-night-sky

After years of enjoying the production genius from J.D.S. and anticipating a project of his own, the wait is over.

J.D.S. releases his Freshman project, “Goodnight Sky” on December 31st, 2016. I had the privilege of hearing the project early. With this privilege came the opportunity to give the people a pre-release album review.

J.D.S. lets us into his thoughts and mind with this album. Listening to this project feels like sitting in a living room on the floor, eating snacks, and inhaling herbs and incense while talking about issues in the world with dear, dear friends.

You may be familiar with his production. You may even be familiar with his voice on tracks and features over the years. But many may not know him personally. If you don’t know who he is, you’ll definitely feel like a long-lost friend after listening to this project.

He immediately gives you the feeling of a Neo-Soul/Hip Hop/ Punk Rock album. He has definitely paved a way for himself. He gives you samples of all of his talents. With this, you get to see the many colors of him.

“Goodnight Sky” is an album that you can listen to from beginning to end. I am almost reluctant to skip tracks because the arrangement of the tracks flow so effortlessly. Interrupting that would be a tragedy.

J.D.S. takes you on an incredible journey through this album.

On the intro track, “Euphoria Undone,” you hear euphoria turn into the realization of reality in this melodic track. Lines such as, “I’m in love with white girls but I’m afraid of white cops” makes you think and also gives you something to compare. This track takes you on an emotional roller coaster while describing what it’s like to be in love.

He takes us on a flight to somewhere heavenly in “Clouds.” This track is reminiscent of conversations we have with God with lines such as, “I really wanna pray and believe in you. I’m jealous of the ones that can see it through and make it to your house among the clouds in outer space.”

“Super” is the hype feel good anthem that you play in the morning before getting your day started.

“Tokyo” featuring Jay DaSkreet is definitely a Memphis anthem. It makes you feel on top of the world and shows that you can go anywhere with lines like, “Go to sleep in Memphis, then wake up in Tokyo!” He shows confidence and a little bit off arrogance in lines like, “If I had a baby the flow would tighten. These lame ass niggas sound so enlightened. Lean on that damn third eye as a crutch cause they suck and they know that the woke will like it. Quit making bull sh*** famous.”

My favorite track is the smoothest on the project featuring Idaly Maceano who is also a Hip Hop artist out of Memphis. I’ll leave that one as a surprise.

I won’t give too much of the album away. But with all of the features and smooth ass production on this project, you’re bound to find something that you like.

If you’re wondering what to expect while listening to this project, imagine sitting in a room listening to Frank Ocean, while Childish Gambino raps and rants from the other room. While you’re at it, let’s just put Chance the Rapper in the mix. The sound, the quotable lyrics, and energy reflects all of my favorite artists. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

If this is J.D.S.’s introduction to the world, I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us!

Be on the lookout for J.D.S. and all of his future projects. Once the project drops on Saturday, come back here for the links.

So until then,

Goodnight!

good-night-sky-back

 

 

Freestyle Friday: Evoking “Joy and Pain” with Amarii Davu

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PoeticXposure.com: For those who may not know you, Who is Amarii Davu?
Amarii Davu:  I’m a mix of life, poetry, rhymes, good vibes, storytelling, and Southern hospitality, man. The actual name Amarii Davu translates into “the beginning of a promise from God” and intend to deliver on that promise. Just know that when you hear ME, you’re hearing a vessel expressing on what I’ve been told to shed light upon.
 PoeticXposure.com:What is your definition of Hip Hop?
Amarii Davu: Hip Hop is healing. It’s a lost Art that’s appreciated by many, but disrespected by TOO many. Hip Hop is the reason I’m still alive. I don’t think I’d have purpose if it wasn’t for Hip Hop.
PoeticXposure.com:You had a birthday this week, in which you released a new song off of your new project, Khepri. First, Happy birthday! I think it’s dope how you give to people on the day that most people expect to receive gifts.
Amarii Davu: Thank you! I had to give back. I try to do something musically on my birthdays. Last year I gave people the Cost of Melanin video. This year it was Joy & Pain.
 PoeticXposure.com: Secondly, How did you come up with the concept for “Joy and Pain?”
Amarii Davu: I came up with the concept for Joy & Pain about three years ago. Keep in mind that most of these songs are old to me, but new to y’all. But I wanted to shed light on some things in my life that most people would consider as flaws or hindrances and show that you can flip any bad experiences in your life into a joy. It also came from a dream where Pac visited me. He told me that the only way I’d survive in this world was if I was able to flip my pains into joys. I’m just passing on the message to y’all.
PoeticXposure.com: How did you come up with the title for Khepri?
Amarii Davu: The title Khepri means a lot to me. Haha. So my middle name is Capri, right? Khepri is pronounced the same way. Khepri is the name of an Egyptian god that was responsible for moving the sun across the sky. The name translates into “one who is coming into being”. I used to hate my name until someone told me this info. On top of that, this entire project is about me coming into myself as a man and as an Artist while also discussing the events that got me to this point of evolution.
PoeticXposure.com: Speaking of events, you performed at SXSW this year. How was that experience?

Amarii Davu: SXSW was life. That was biggest crowd I’ve performed for and they rocked with me. There was so much love in Austin. It was just a different kind of energy there than other places I’ve performed. Outside of performing, Austin is just a dope place to be. Still wanting some Torchy’s Tacos.

 

PoeticXposure.com:Who do you consider some of the pioneers that have influenced your music and your sound?

Amarii Davu: Tupac, Jay-Z, Nas, Ice Cube, Snoop, A Tribe Called Quest, Outkast and that’s just naming a few. Each of these artists have something about them that I can see myself in.
PoeticXposure.com: Going out on a limb here, speaking of pioneers. At the beginning of “Joy of Pain,” you mentioned JayZ coming to you in a dream. Can you elaborate on that dream?
Amarii Davu: Yeeeeea! Man. Jay came to me in a dream, bruh. It was crazy. I had stopped making music for three years. I completely said “fuck music,” you know? And Jay-Z told me in this dream that he liked my music, but that it was missing ME. He told me that the only way people would connect with my music was if I was able to be metaphorically naked and expose myself to people in my lyrics. He said “Don’t worry about being the best, just be honest.” and that made me start writing again. Years later those tracks would turn into Khepri. I realized that with my first project, “6:15 DayDreamsz”, I was too worried about being the hardest nigga out. I wasn’t worried about telling my story. Now I am and my music feels different. A good different.
PoeticXposure.com: Do you have those types of dreams often; and if so, have any other famous rappers come to you in your dreams?
Amarii Davu: I have so many damn dreams about people coming to me. Pimp C visited me, Tupac visited me…and every time I have one of these dreams, it’s always something that completely alters the way I look at and create music.
PoeticXposure.com: It’s interesting that I’m doing this interview on the day that Cole released his album. You’re on my list of favorite artists right along with Cole. So, to me, this is beautiful. In light of J Cole’s new album release, “4 Your Eyez Only,” I know that J Cole has influenced you a lot. Have you heard the album? If so, what do you think? If not, Are you looking forward to it?
Amarii Davu: I’m glad that I can be listed in a high regard like that. I haven’t heard the album! But I know Cole delivers. Usually my tribe does listening parties for new albums so I’m waiting for everyone to link up. That “Everybody Dies” joint has been on repeat since the video got released. He pissed off people with the “False Prophets” joint. I’m expecting a lot of soul and thought-provoking words with this album.
PoeticXposure.com: You said tribe. I know that you recently recorded a song called “The Tribe.” What is your definition of a tribe?
Amarii Davu: Your tribe is the collective of individuals you naturally gravitate towards. It’s the like-minded people who support your dreams and you support theirs. Your tribe is your family even if y’all don’t have the same blood. Your tribe is your support system. You build with your tribe, you know?
PoeticXposure.com: I’ve been keeping up with your work. You are an advocate for Mental Health, especially Mental Health in the African-American community. Tell me more about your work.
Amarii Davu: Thank you for staying up on me. I really appreciate that. I am definitely a mental health advocate. I want to help people. I realize that’s my purpose in this world. To help. So I don’t mind speaking out about mental health awareness especially in my own community because we don’t talk about it enough. Look at Kanye and Cudi. They are direct results of us NOT speaking about mental health until it’s too late. What I am doing now is The Hopeless Blueprint.
PoeticXposure.com: Your song Hopeless is amazing. It touched on a lot of subjects that we often are told not to talk about. From that, Hopeless Blueprint was birthed. What exactly is the Hopeless Blueprint?
Amarii Davu: It’s a mental health initiative designed to help people share their stories about mental illness on camera and normalize the conversation on mental health. I’ve lost a friend to suicide, I’ve dealt with friends not feeling like their worth being happy because of mental illness, you know? It’s insane. I personally deal with Bipolar Disorder and Depression. I understand. I want people to know that you’re worth being alive and happy and that it’s ok to have a mental illness. In fact, it makes you dope that you are HERE fighting through your pain, getting up when you don’t feel like it, and living. I want people to know that it gets better at the end of it all. It really does.
PoeticXposure.com: How can someone who wants to be a part of this awesome movement get in touch with you?
Amarii Davu: If you want to be a part of The Hopeless Blueprint, please check out the WordPress page and review the videos [That are currently] up. The instructions are on the page and I definitely look forward to your stories. Let’s change the discussion!
PoeticXposure.com: Where can we find your music?
Amarii Davu: Most of my music can be found on my Soundcloud, but I also have videos on YouTube and music on Spotify, TIDAL, iTunes, and all other streaming services.
PoeticXposure.com: You recently joined RAWartists. You have a show coming up with them. Tell me more about it.
Amarii Davu: I love RAWartists. I’m excited about my show on Dec 21st at The City Winery in Nashville. Their showcases are a mixture of music, art, fashion, etc. It’s an organization that’s truly for the artists and by the artists. They have showcases in all 50 states and outside of the country so I’m looking forward to doing more showcases with them!
PoeticXposure.com: It’s been a pleasure interviewing you and I can’t wait for this project to come out. Do you have a release date in mind?

 

 

Amarii Davu: Just keep your eyes open. I hate giving dates haha.

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Short Story: Mirrors

when-your-past-reflects-your-present

I have a ton of short stories that I’ve been keeping hidden. I often write things with no intention of anyone ever reading them. They aren’t doing anyone any good sitting on my computer. I have decided to publish these stories and sell them for a small fee. The first story that I am publishing, is “Mirrors.”

Synopsis:

Martin had a rough childhood. Most people would have a hard time coping with such pain. However, Martin didn’t remember any of it.  Martin spends his adult life, living and falling in love. But what happens when he sees his past reflected in the mirror and he doesn’t recognize it?

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April 30 in 30 #4: Love’s Travel

No one ever told me that love would be a journey.
That I would be backpacking through the windows of your past
boarded to hide the things you’re ashamed of.
Skating by your insecurities in order to ease the pain.
Knee deep in the only ocean that separates you from your truth.
That everyone else seems to have been floating by
With the ease of knowing you would be their lifeguard
And save them
From death by drowning.
Yet all along, you were drowning in the thought
Of falling in love.
Yet no one caught you.

For some reason this boat ride seems longer than it should
And there are no iceburgs in this ocean.
No excuse for the women to leave you stranded
Wishing someone would share their unconventional bed with you.
There’s no reason for them to leave you out to freeze
To death in the ocean of your tears.
I’m just here to provide you with the wind that you need to dry them.

No one ever told me that love would be a journey.
But as long as you’re the copilot,
I don’t mind sharing that plane.

April 30 in 30: #3 Untitled (for now)

I’ve wondered how you handle your tears.
If you let them fall like rain
Or wipe them away like secrets that no one else has the right to see.

I can only imagine how you felt when your nephew was born,
Someone you can share your gifts with,
Your protégé.

I’ve pictured you with a million things to say
So much that a single feature
Wouldn’t do you justice

I spent a year imagining what I would say when I met you.
But we all know
That most plans don’t always go as planned.

I approached you
And my brain turned to mush.
The writer in me was suddenly silenced.

Choked up,
Like a kid who witnessed something they had no business.
I didn’t say much

I just smiled
In hopes that you
Could see past my nervous ticks

I met you and you were everything
That I ever thought you would be
And then some.

I gave you all that I had to offer
Materialistically
In a $3 gift bag.

A bag that wasn’t quite big enough
To hold my dreams
Of what you would mean to me.

I live vicariously through you,
No way I could be this cool
On my own.

I use to be known
As a shy kid,
Not from the Chi.

You’ve given yourself
To the art
of writing

You breathe
As though you have a thousand memories
Under your belt

Memories that I would love
To introduce
My dreams to.