This has been a reminder that even in a pandemic, war, or Apocalyptic moments; I have a birthday. So, it should be celebrated. It should be broadcasted and treated with the same appreciation as money.
I have grown numb to fact that my birthday is just another day. It seems time and societal norms have made me feel that my birthday is a tolerance. The idea of the spotlight being pointed at me. I survived this far but do I enjoyed the ride?
My birthday is not only about me, it is about my tribe who support me. It about the doctors who helped me enter this world. My mother, father, brother, stepfathers, stepmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandfathers and grandmothers who are my family. My friends that have supported me. My enemies who have challenged me. My previous jobs that taught me the work ethic. My business that taught me my worth.
My birthday is a celebration to remind me that I didn’t do this alone. They helped CharRon be CharRon.
So Thank you and cheers to them. Happy birthday to me.
I am excited to see an interview done on me. Thank you to Izzy Lala for asking and writing the article. It was an amazing experience because it was a chance to see someone else’s point of view of me.
Plus, I started to understand the image that I projected publicly. Since being a tone setter is a statement, I enjoy being the first poet to starts the show.
My roots with poetry are long. I have been writing since I was 10 years old. A lot of my early poems were turned into rap lyrics immediately. While most poets have their heroes: Robert Frost, E.E. Cummings, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, etc. my heroes were rappers (emcees).
Street poetry was the coined term before Hip Hop was a culture. Most critics say that rapping is not poetry. I counter that remark with this: evolution is a recurring event. So, when poets view some new or strange styles of poetry, they need to understand the importance is still the words.
I thought about how to define my own poetry. I assumed poetry was similar to a painting or music. I made it for someone to read or recite and build their own interpretation.
But reading Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work, revealed my work can’t tell stories by itself. My poetry is my work. So I have to explain the unfamiliar parts because what I do is me.
My first love for hip-hop was Emceeing. I enjoyed writing poems and prose in school about nature and personal things. But, I was a 10 years old kid with cable TV. MTV was one of the most watched channels in my house. While I enjoyed watching Brit-pop and Heavy Metal, it was Hip-Hop that grabbed my attention. I found vocalist who did not sing but spoke in rhymes. I thought it was the greatest thing!
I started changing my poems into rap lyrics to be more involved in the Hip-hop culture. I started making tapes and doing shows at 13 years old under the moniker, RES or Resolution. I would be involved with several rap groups and bands over the next 25 years. Most of these groups became local acts in different counties like Mr. Know-It-All and The Essence Of from Washington State.
I was mainly influenced by East Coast style due to their lyrical content but Emcees on the West Coast and South started getting more of my attention as I got older. Emcees (Rappers) would be blunt, offensive, passionate, and articulate. I wanted to be in that position in music and life.
By 2000, there was a shift in performance art. Poetry Slam started to emerge nationally. Poetry slams were used to eliminate the boredom of poetry recital and create an interactive show. Local coffee shops and performance stages became hosting areas.
Poets would bring their poems to either read them out loud or perform them to an audience that would judge their performance. Poetry Organizations started holding poetry slams nationally with cash prizes. These slams were used to provide open mic shows.
Now, Rappers and street poets started leaving the street corners to participate in coffee shops. They knew their style of poetry would resonate with other poets and the audience. Poetry slams and Def Poetry Slam started a new chapter in Hip-hop. Poetry was embraced as urban.
Emcee to Poet/Spoken Word Artist
My first poetry appearance was in 2002 at the Anywhere Cafe in Stockton. The show was called the H2O poetry slam. It was run by a couple from Oakland and held weekly. I would become a regular attendee performing my rap lyrics for 3 years. Then I started rewriting my rhymes into poetry forms and performing them with different emotions and without music.
Now, I have gone onto perform rhymes in bars and stages and poems in front of cafe patrons. So I created this full circle of my Emcee side. I evolved from a poet to an Emcee when I was young, but now, I have returned to my roots.
As I awaken from my slumber, what is my first thought that come to mind? Damn, it’s almost here. I am month away from my birthday. The feeling of new year is exciting. So I always remind myself to reflect this year and prepare for a new one.
I am very thankful for many endeavors over the years and the people that I have shared them with. I have regrets on certain events but I push forward to better myself in today’s way ward society. I enjoy poetry and Deejaying but I know I can do more. Some people never think of leaving a piece of their legacy. It doesn’t have be glamorous. It just has to be precious to you and others.
Do ever think that this could be your final year? I have started to become more aware of my mortality. I don’t want to die but I have no control to the decision. So do you feel satisfied? Is your work done? Or do you fear nothing is finished or ready? I have read and listen to many philosophers discuss the end game. We all know it is coming yet we still view it as a distance future. Well, this is not true. So what are you not doing that should be done?
So I turn the big 4-0 in December. It never occurred to me that I would make it this far in life. I still have fears and I still have dreams. I hear too many people screaming I am too old. Why? Maybe, you should work on acting younger. We assume that the external needs are important. But we also have personal needs to be met.
I have children and I need to project a better image of a father. So my milestones are unique steps I built but my journey doesn’t stop at 40.
I am a weirdo to be making pushup challenge video after work. I definitely get a few onlooker not sure what I am doing now. If they want to say anything about me; say I am unpredictable. That could get me killed sooner or later. So the latest endeavor was inspired by an associate, Brittknee, doing a pushup challenge sponsored by the Purple Hearts Foundation. I was unaware of this movement so, I researched it. The 22 pushup challenge movement is about 22 veterans per day commit suicide in the US. So, citizens perform 22 pushups for 22 days to promote the movement suicide prevention. I saw this movement as a worthy cause. So, I started making pushup video to journal my progress. When I reached the 11th day, I started recording my pushups videos at different locations. Being a veteran, I can relate to their struggle with civilian life.
I was happy to find the Goldman and Sach Bull but, there was a crowd surrounding it. Everybody wanted a picture with the bull including myself. Some people even tried to mount it. I was hoping they fell off. But this caught my attention: the amount of people who touch the bull’s nether regions. Even more surprising: it was the shiny part on a brass bull. Continue reading “Bull Hunting”→
Have you ever did something that impress somebody?
That would be Jenny, my new Slam Poetry coach. We have started training for October Sac Poetry Slam. She training me to write and perform powerful performance poems and improve my ranking with competition. I definitely wanted this to happen and I am going to follow her lead to get it. I have known Jen for almost a year now. We met at Joe Montoya’s poetry unplugged at Luna’s cafe. She has watched me perform spoken word poetry and participate in the Sac Slam every third friday for a year. In her words, I am an inspiring poet who has potential but I am still an amateur.
I headed to San Francisco to view Austin Kleon’s “Just Keep Telling Yourself: It’s Art” presentation at Mule Gallery in North Beach (80 Fresno St., San Francisco). The Gallery presented 22 Framed Arts and 9 Illustrations from his New York Bestselling Book, Steal like an Artist (which was also available, for sale, at Mule Gallery). Most of the Framed Art were either Blackout Poems or Pop out Poems. I was able to score a solo viewing with the Art. So, I made a podcast inside the Gallery.
After a long day at work, I hopped on the light rail heading to 16th St station. It was running behind schedule, so the light rail was packed with people trying to escape downtown. I had to squeeze out the door when I arrived at the station.
I headed to Safeway to grab a sandwich but, was stop by a homeless gentleman. He asked if I could buy him a meal at Panda express. I wasn’t interested in getting food there, so I told him I could get him food from Safeway. He agreed.
My first love for hip-hop was Emceeing. I enjoyed writing poems and proses in school about nature and personal things. But, I was a 10 years old kid with cable. MTV was one of the most watched channels in my house. While I enjoyed watching Brit-pop and Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop started to appear. I found vocalist who did not sing but spoke in rhymes. I thought it was the greatest thing!