The Def’est Poetry
I have watched every episode of HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry and let me tell you, there are many, many talented people making poetry out there. There are so many good Def Poetry videos that it was hard to cut it down to ten, but here they are, the best videos (in my opinion) from Def Poetry.
10. Jason Carney – Southern Heritage
This poem is about Jason Carney’s past and his future. He speaks about his relationship with his grandmother and then brings it around to the relationship with his daughter. I always get goose bumps when he speeds up his speech; it’s as if you can feel his words.
9. Daniel Beaty – Knock Knock
This poem is about a boy whose father leaves his family, and how he grows up to become a man. The build up to the last line is so good it makes me want to stand up and scream it with him.
8. Mark Gonzales – As With Most Men
Mark Gonzales brings to light the misogyny and objectification of women in western pop culture. The poem makes you think about what kind of man you really want to be.
6. Steve Coleman – I Wanna Hear a Poem
You’ll have to skip to the 1:42 mark if you want to skip Mos Def telling you about what Def Poetry is. When you finally get to hear Steve Coleman you will like it. He basically lays out what kind of poem he wants to hear. “I just want to hear a poem.” I hear that, man.
2. Taylor Mali – What Teachers Make
This video has been sent around the staff at the school I work at so many times, I can only imagine how pumped up it makes teachers feel. I could see a teacher watching this before a class getting excited and ready for the class only to be brought back down to earth when the idiot kids walk and lower all expectations.
1. Suheir Hammad - First Writing Since
Suheir Hammad speaks about the racism problems in the states after 9/11. She speaks so eloquently and passionately about her subject. It is amazing to imagine what art and beauty can come from the struggles her family had to face.
Here are a few extra videos I didn’t add to the list because I already had a better one from the poet.