The Reel Poets and Returning Podcast Guest Stockton recording artist / radio host, RawNe reviews the 2020 Independent film: The 40 Year Old Version. Released on Netflix. Semi-autobiography film about a struggling Playwright who thinks the only way to salvage her voice as an artist is to become a rapper.
Congratulation to Brandon for winning America’s Got talent. I am proud to know Brandon and his poetic journey.
I met Brandon at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento in 2016. He definitely has ambition and drive for Spoken word and Poetry. Plus, he is a Stockton native. 209 certified.
We both have been poets in Sacramento Poetry Community for several years. Brandon has performed in United States, New Zealand, and Europe. I performed in several cities in the United States. We both have hosted Poetry Shows and events. Plus, we are members of Sacramento Slam Team.
I have been honored to feature Brandon Leake at Sacramento Poetry Center Monday poetry reading show. I am also proud that he competed and won second place in SPC Quarterly Slam. We have been combatants, comrades, and diplomats of poetry and Spoken word.
The day Brandon told me he was a participant for America’s got talent, I was excited because I knew he could propel spoken word to the masses. Plus, this is a great opportunity for spoken word to come back to the mainstream was wild to me.
I am glad that he was guest on Iambic poetry podcast. We had a long discussion about his poetic journey.
Brandon is a man on a mission and America’s got talent is another step to push his message or poetry. I am honored to know him and to be called one of his friends.
CharRon had a zoom chat with his former band mate and good friend Eric “Letter K” Luis. Letter K has a multitude of endeavors during his two decade career. From his janitorial start, he has achieved being in management in Grocery and Tech Industry. But his career also consists of being a published Author, Lead Vocalist (Intercourse & Alphabet Asylum), Videographer, Actor, Record Label founder, Pinball machine Restorer, Show Producer, Show Writer, Mixologist, and front runner.
Brandon Leake has been writing poetry since high school. Since then, he has been writing, teaching, and performing poetry professionally for 15 years. He has won several Slam poetry Tournaments, writing chapbooks and anthologies, creating 2 albums, and running a non-profit organization called Called to Move.
June 30, 2020 – Brandon Leake was the first Spoken Word artist to perform on America’s got talent. With a heart moving poetry performance, Howie Mandel hit the Golden Buzzer.
To learn more about Brandon Leake, Check out his podcast interview on Iambic poetry podcast. Hit the link above.
Nena is a publish Poet & Author, Educator and Mother of 4 children. A Central Florida native that moved to Stockton, California. She released her first book, Activistic(2012), that is a collection of poems and prose of her past. Nena is working on her next Masters degree at University of Pacific. She, now, lives in Sacramento, works with 916 Ink, and is working on her next books: Chronicle of a Broken Childhood and the Sea also rise.
Her poetry origin
Her first Sacramento Feature
Her book: Activistic
Living in Central Florida
Living in Stockton
Her family past
Her latest books
Her poem: Our way through
Poem Excerpt: Stand your ground, Dear America, and Be Accountable. All poems written and performed by Nena Larieze
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.
When you think of a sandwich shop, what names come to mind? Subway, Togo’s, Firehouse, Mr. Pickles, or Domino’s? Yes, people! I did say Domino’s. They are selling hot sandwiches as well as pizza. But what about Quiznos? Quiznos was the first sandwich shop to use a pizza oven to toast your bread, meat, and cheese before subway stole the idea by using a microwave. I look at Subway’s microwave as an abomination to the legendary word, “Toasted”. But they have made the process standard in the sandwich Industry.
Well, It seems Quiznos is permanently left Stockton on September 18, 2015. After several attempts and multiple location closure, they have finally given up trying to establish shops here in Stockton. Is it due to Subway overcrowding the Stockton area like McDonald’s or has the demographic become sheep to Subway’s influence? I am not sure but it has been difficult for them to establish a stable location here in Stockton. The famous Quiznos location on Pacific Avenue was terrific real estate to uphold. It was better than a lot of Subway locations, but the lease or customer base was not working, so they close it down. Too bad. I am going to miss the Chicken Carbonara or the Ultimate Club.
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!