I’ve been promising it, and here it is. Finally. A post about probably the most exciting project I have been involved in since arriving in Taipei: A Nook for Rhyme Crooks.
The brain child of my friend, Tai, a.k.a. Prosperous Dep, + hosted by Red Room at Taipei Artist Village, A Nook for Rhyme Crooks is a spoken-word-hip-hop night in which new poetry is shared, original + classic hip-hop blasted, visual art created live + sick moves danced.
There are 7 writer/performer Crooks: Prosperous Dep, Lux (me, the only girl holdin’ it DOWN!), Antithesis (also responsible for all of our original music), Oz Wonka, Mellow Junkie, Limp Bizzie + our newest Crook, Taiwan rapper Leo37 (Crook name Triple), was added into the mix last weekend! SP Williams is our artist Crook, who paints a painting inspired by the words we speak during the show.
It is the job of the Crooks to tell the stories of 4 characters, archetypes if you will, who embody specific qualities: Po is wisdom, nature, virtue; Music is harmony, (genuine) love, bliss; Giggles is madness, chaos, jester; Jezebel (for me, she’s Jezibelle) represents desire, love, sex. The idea is that everyone has these sides of themselves, + my expression of my Music or Po, etc., is different but not less valid than the next guy’s.
To reinforce this idea, all Crooks stand behind a curtains, lit from behind in silhouette throughout the event. (The artist is behind a separate curtain than the performers.) The idea is that it is up to the audience members to paint their own pictures along with the words we speak. There are bboys, baked goods + classic hip-hop music when it’s not show time, + the painting is unveiled after all words are spoken. Basically, it’s ill.
The first Nook was a whirlwind for everyone involved. We decided that the theme would be a general introduction of the characters + threw ourselves into it along with the audience, unsure of how everything would work out. We learned a lot from the first night + will be adding more structure to this next one. Our theme is Love.
Instead of all of us trying to write for each character, this time I’m writing for Music + Jezi, + all the guys are writing Po, Giggles or narrator/conscience type characters. We will establish Po + Music as lovers, + Giggles’n’Jezi as lovers. I actually wrote my first rap for this one!: Music + Jezi telling the story of a girls’ night out to the tune of Biggie’s “I Got A Story To Tell.” 🙂
I’m so into the whole Nook idea + project that I’m at the point where I just wish I could write little stories + poems + vignettes alllll the time. I had no idea that I would find + be included in the creation of something like this in Taipei. It just reinforces to me how important it is for me to create opportunities for myself. That there is no way to know where the paths that one creates will lead! We are all also super excited to get Leo37 in the mix. It’s really encouraging to know that, while this guy seriously KNOWS his voice, we’re bringing enough to the table that he wants to jump in with us.
Something has clicked that has made me finally able to embrace the writer part of me. I’ve been actively running from it for the past few years, but something about pulling myself out of my comfort zone + routine has allowed me to focus on the things that actually make me tick. Not to mention the fact that I (er… sort of) have the time to do some self-exploration here, + have encouragement from my ridiculously smart friends here + Stateside to take this + run with it.
So, if you’re in Taipei on Saturday, come on out to A Nook For Rhyme Crooks!
Taipei Artist’s Village, No. 7 Beiping E. Rd., Taipei, doors at 6:30pm, show starts around 7:30.
Hope to see you there! In the meantime, check out our awesome teaser, put together by Isabella Tan!!