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the ReadNex Poetry Squad

with poetry by Decora
I Write / Images of Santa Ana

Atlanta, Georgia

The ReadNex Poetry Squad

We are The ReadNex Poetry Squad. We are a group of poets who do what we feel is right in this world. Our music and poetry is nothing more than a mirror image of our actions. We consider ourselves to be revolutionaries because we believe that revolution begins with self.  In essence everyone on earth is a revolutionary, some bad some good it’s relative to you position in life. The lens we choose to stare out of is the lens of the proletariat. This lens contains 100’s of years of struggle, hope and truth through told by artists through different medians. Through Hip Hop and Poetry we allow ourselves to transcend into the manifestation through enlightenment, slowly our words become that in which we believe. Working with youth in the community has allowed us to fix the broken steps we fell through while climbing out of the mental captivity that society tries to place us in. Yet, we feel that everyday must be better than the last.  If we are given another day to live then we owe it to the universe to make it a better day, hence the Front Lines Tour. The Front Lines Tour is not only one of the most difficult projects we have come up with but also we already know that it will be the most rewarding. This project is a conglomeration of all we’ve learned over the past 6 years of performance and spiritual guidance. We will attempt to enter some of America’s most destitute locations and work with community organizations, give free workshops to the youth then when it’s all said and done we will perform and donate 75% of the proceeds back into the community. We do this because we have to.

Music With A Cause Not Just BeCause!  

Q: How do you define poetry?

A: Poetry is all that moves the body, mind and soul. When driving through a windy road and the sun hits just right on a cloud that hovers over a green mountain... one sees poetry. When one sees a child that is surrounded by destruction and said child rises against that struggle in adulthood... one sees poetry. And when a poet speaks of his or her experiences in a way that the microphone no longer needs an amplifier because of his or her passionate cries... then one is in the presence of poetry.

Q: Who do you define community?

A: Community is a collective of people that live under a common situation building an organic solidarity towards a common goal.

Q: How do you define the relationship between poetry, music and community building?

A: In regards to community building, poetry and music can be used in an effort to continue the ancient tradition of the “Griots”. Throughout the motherland of Africa our ancestors learned and gained a comprehension of their history and current situation by listening to the Griots that became the guardians of knowledge and history. Today the responsibility of dispersing knowledge lies in the arms of the learned poets, musicians dancers and artists that interpret reality and pass it down to the community as the ancient Griots did. This is hopefully done in an effort to free the minds of those that have a thirst for the truth and knowledge that has been taken from them.

Q: How many people are in your group? Give their names and one sentence about each ones creative work or background?

A: The ReadNex Poetry Squad is composed of 5 performance artists. Cuttz El Colombiano cuts out all the lies from history and speaks the truth. DJ H2O has music flow through him like water. Decora speaks “De Corazon” (from the heart). Latin Translator translates his own experiences into language that can be felt and understood. Freeflowin has words flow through her freely.

Q: How did the group get organized?

A: The group members met while attending SUNY Orange (formerly Orange County Community College) in 2001. There some of them came together and formed a campus organization named “REACH”. The purpose of this organization was to reach out to the surrounding community. Events such as food drives, cultural trips and open mic's were some of the events that the organization coordinated. It was through the open mic's that the group realized their talents and their abilities to speak in an inspirational manner.

Q: How did you get your name?

A: ReadNex Poetry Squad stands for Next Poets to be Read About. The “T”at the end of next is left off because with time the ReadNex will be the next poets to be read about.

Q: What do you think poetry can do to bring about social change?

A: Poetry can be used to educate a community both mentally and spiritually. This mental and spiritual enlightenment can be used to plant seeds in the minds of a people that can bring about the change they deem necessary.

Q: What was your most rewarding gig?

A: Every performance is rewarding because each one is an opportunity to plant seeds of knowledge that will hopefully grow into trees of positive change. We understand that we were once seeds of hope and we have slowly grown to be young trees providing oxygen for those who can’t breathe today’s issues. Yet, we also understand that if we do not nurture our roots then we ourselves will not be able to stand, therefore we make every performance a nurturing process especially for the youth.

I write

I write for the remnants of freedom of speech
In a place where it’s free to be dumb but cost to teach
Where dreams are possible but hard to reach
With a handicapped pencil and 1 glossed eye
I write for the real meaning of American pride
Cause someone crashed the boat on A Mary’s camp ride
And forgot to denote all the slaves that died
So I write with hollow tip lead to exhume all the lies

I write for us for me for you
I fight for freedom, I fight for truth
I write for you, for me, for us
Revolution going to come, revolution going to come.

I write for the people who are still in the matrix
Cause if truth was a sergeant then we all need a facelift
Were living in a place where cancers inpatient
And for 6.99 you can put cancer in patients
I write on top of the oil that floats on the water
Hoping one day I can free all the sons and the daughters
of the indigenous people who died in the slaughter
When shell established a city in Ecuadorian borders

I write for us for me for you
I fight for freedom, I fight for truth
I write for you, for me, for us
Revolution going to come, revolution going to come.

Images of Santa Ana

The only reason I’m living is because I have a vision of death
Every day I wake up I see it
Caressing me in the vestibule of my wisdom
Telling me the best is yet to come
You haven’t lived yet
That’s what it tells me
Comparing me to others my age it’s not too surprising
That the coup in my brain is uprising over my heart
I’m ripped apart, across the Atlantic Ocean
Where my forefathers are at the bottom making shoveling motions
With their chains still attached
I’m that
The image of freedom to me is now digital
But my words are mere representations of the physical
A Polaroid if you will
Give me a second I’ll come to fruition
Give me 20 seconds and I’ll be a permanent mark in the capsules of time
Where prose meets image
And lyrics don’t rhyme
Where time is stagnant and air can’t breathe
The absolute present is a permanent resident in the hotel of my mind
The future doesn’t exist
So stop planning!
Because death is approaching every second wasted on thinking about what’s to come
That’s why they call it seconds because it could never be first
But what’s worse is that it can never be rehearsed
Even repetition is not even willing to conform
High stakes are the highest when things are at their norm
Think about it
But for too long
Because in the meantime
The future marries the past and the present is born
Then the present turns into the past to marry the future in scorn
The future stays the same infidel to his many past women
And somewhere in between is where we all live in.
Somewhere in between what we had and what was given
Is the death of what never even existed
The digital picture that never came to fruition
Because no one thought to print it
Meanwhile 1000 Polaroid’s make time historical from what it has indented
As they hang from vestibule to banister to rear balcony and such
I sit with death in bed wondering why it wants
so much.

Becoming Lloyd Sandiford

Front Lines Tour

The Front Lines Tour is an artists’ run initiative to reconnect the severed edges of our community. Although we are at war abroad we are also at war with ourselves here at home. Whether it be at war with Poverty, the Environment, Racism or Just Plain Ignorance ; the continuation of social disparity has become more and more prevalent amongst us all. Our communities have become more condensed, thoroughly separated and structurally divided.

The Front Lines Tour will be traveling around the Nation for 7 weeks with a crew of 8 artists, 2 camera people, 1 photographer and 1 journalist. They will visit America’s most destitute and disenfranchised neighborhoods, towns and cities where a series of Music, Workshops, Block Parties and Community Action will be conducted in attempt to help reconnect the strains of communication.

The Front Lines Tour is not just a musical tour; it is a tour for change and unity. As artists we feel that it is our social responsibility to provide information about the most current issues to the people who need it the most in the most creative way possible. Please follow us along our journey as we will be updating everyone periodically via email. Also, if you know of anyone who would like us to visit their location as a stop on the tour then please let us know now.

Just some of the cities:

  • New York City, NY
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Juarez, Mexico
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Whitesburg, KY
  • Los Angeles, CA

Published in In Motion Magazine April 12, 2008

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