“Yes, yes y’all,” Carl Parker shouted as he walked onto the center stage of a crowded Alpha Delta Phi living room last Wednesday night.
“And you don’t stop,” the large crowd of 40 or so students roared.
While we may typically think of Alpha Delta Phi as a fun spot to throw down and get live on a Saturday night, the brothers have reached out to LOGOS and the Black Students’ Union to turn their house into a Wednesday night hot spot. But unlike Saturdays, Wednesday nights at the house draw a mellow crowd of students who are ready to slam — poetically.
Every other Wednesday night at 8 p.m., students gather in Alpha Delta Phi for Frat Boys and Poets: a night of traditional and spoken word poetry. Although the event is scheduled to end around 9 p.m., the expression “around” couldn’t be anymore appropriate than it is for these poets. Once the creative juices get flowing and the fingers get snapping, the course and length of the event follows the direction that the poets carry it, as if it were a Quaker meeting.
Last night was the third edition of Frat Boys and Poets, and it didn’t fail to deliver. Junior Alykhan Alani, also known as DJ Alykhan, set the mood on the turntables. As DJ Alykhan spun old-school hip-hop sounds in the background, the performers polished and recited their material in the mirror.
When it was time to perform, the lights dimmed and the lively crowd proceeded to snap their fingers in unison — as if saying amen at a call and response Baptist Church service.
The material ranged everywhere from reminiscence to female empowerment, and, of course, everyone’s favorite riddle: love. Sigma Beta Rho brother and junior Karimu Mohammed got personal with the crowd when he read his heart soliloquy about his perfect woman — poetry.
“Because I like to think of myself as being really creative, I’ve entitled it ‘Love Poem,’” Mohammed jokingly told the crowd.
Sophomore Kiera Anderson wooed the women as she performed her spoken word.
“Essentially intoxicating,” she said, while swaying back and forth. “This skin is beautifully potent. These lips, this body, this mind, this skin is beautifully potent.”
UR Hip-Hop performer and senior Chase Jarrett, also known as Chilly Chase, won the crowd over with his a cappella rap performance about the unspoken familial and cultural realities in American life, accusing some of fearing the harsh truth.
Other notable performances included Sophomore Kirk Douglas’ “I’ve met a God,” which was a dedication to his late Jamaican grandmother.
Every poet has a different source of inspiration for his or her words. For Douglass, he was nearly inspired to write completely different poems after sinking his teeth into one of the $1 grilled cheese sandwiches being sold at the door for charity.
“I’ve tried, but I can’t make it like this,” Douglass told the crowd before starting his poem. “I can write a poem for this next week.”
DJ Alykhan closed the show at 9:15 p.m., with A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Can Get Down.”
Performers have two more weeks to lay their emotions out on the sheets for the fourth edition of Frat Boys and Poets on Nov. 3. If you have a feeling, write it in your mind and then write it down. You can join the vibe scene the next time around.