So, I was given a challenge that led to a unique journey. My girlfriend’s friend is a judge in Weed expo. He was bewilder on how much reggae was played at the expo. So, could I find weed songs to keep the vibe without the Reggae aftertaste. I believe so. Check out my company: A Serious Production for other mixes and DJ or Podcast service needs
I visited Len Germinara’s home to conduct an interview for Iambic Podcast due to Gallery portrait additions being placed at Sacramento Poetry Center for Second Saturday. Beside his dog’s infatuation for attention., we discuss about several topics:
Happy new year everyone. 2019 has been a game changer in my life: 1) I have left Sacramento. 2) I have moved to Nevada County. (Where?!) I asked the same question. I definitely feel like the Fresh Prince in Grass Valley. I have moved my business operations also with me. So, A Serious Production is operational out here. But, I have a found a open mic spot. I am on the hunt for poets and stuff to do. I still host Sacramento poetry Center and deejay and engineer open mic shows, poetry slams, and comedy show in Sacramento. But will I do the same thing in Nevada County. We shall see.
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.
It is the year 2020. I have been hosting at Sacramento Poetry center for 1 year now. It has definitely been a interesting experience. I thank Wendy Williams for asking me to do it. I bring local and distance poets to share their poetry and sell their merchandise. But I do recall when I also had a zine to give to people. My literary zine called Iambic. So, what happen to Iambic? Well, I ran out of money. From printing cost and no sponsorship, it did not take long to see diminishing returns. So, I stopped the presses after the one year anniversary. Evil. Iambic was not being utilize so, I donated a volume of zines to Sacramento Public Library and maintained the website.
But in January 2019, I became the new Poetry reading host at Sacramento Poetry Center. This action brought me back into having an outlet to introduce poets and rappers into the Sacramento Poetry Community which was the mission of Iambic. So, Iambic became a show pamphlet but it was hard to maintain. But I still hosted shows under the Iambic moniker. Then I realize that I could make a podcast instead. So I had recorded a podcast introduction episode with the help of BYLO podcast group in August 2019 but I released the first two episodes in January.
Iambic the Podcast
So I started a podcast to give more depth to my feature Poets who have graced Sacramento Poetry Center. I started to notice that a lot of poets are not given an in depth interview after performing at Sacramento Poetry center. They sell books and talk to people but it is a short time. I figured I have the opportunity give them as much exposure before they say their first poem. Plus, it is what Iambic was about: making people aware of local poets. So, my first episodes will introduce Auntie Vice and Jorge Quintana:
But check out the new Iambic Podcast. The link is the Logo in the Sidebar.
I accepted a DJ gig with a local rapper because her last DJ was unavailable. So, we started to inform friends and figure out a rehearsal schedule. But a week later, she informs me that she talked her previous DJ and they agreed to do the gig together instead.
Okay, since I have no contract involved, I was not bound to do the gig. So, I withdrew.
But, in a few days, she has returned and requested me for her gig again because the previous DJ was not working out. I accepted but, I wonder. Should I draft a binding contract for her to sign? She released me once and I don’t fully trust her to not do it again.
So, I drafted a contract with a deposit to make it official. I was cautious not to fall into the same situation this time.
We had an excellent show and I have been the rapper’s DJ for all her show including the latest one in June 2019. But, I still draft a contract and send it to her to sign. So, she has proof and so do I.
I was a toddler when the year 1980 began. I was also fortunate to have cable at home. So, most of my childhood was being babysat by a television. During my adolescent years, I would watch after school cartoons and Music Television(MTV). Rock and pop video were the rage on television with wild hair bands and colorful outfits. It got to the point where I would go to school and see kids already sporting outfits they saw on a video. MTV had a powerful impact on the 80s generation. So, It is surprising to view documentaries about popular topic. For example, Michael Jackson being the first Black artist to appear on MTV, YO MTV Rap was only suppose to be one season but became bigger than they could imagine. These events made powerful strides in the music to the viewing public that can still be influential today.
But, here is a pop mix that will give you a sample of what I am talking about: