Spoken word poet Shihan inspires an awakening
Published: Monday, September 26, 2011
Updated: Monday, September 26, 2011 20:09
Very few people have the ability to understand words and transform them into raw, powerful and intelligent messages—poet Shihan is one of these people. The New York native and current Los Angeles legend is making his way up to Sonoma State's Pub for a special live performance on Thursday, Sept. 29. Anyone passionate about hip-hop, poetry or the realities of our current society will find a deep appreciation for Shihan's spoken word.
Said to be one of the most successful talents in the industry, Shihan has an intriguing and spine trembling voice as he speaks the truth about relatable life issues. Most commonly known from "Def Jam" and co-hosting "Da' Poetry Lounge" (the nation's largest open mic in Hollywood) for the past seven years, Shihan is recognized all over the states for his one-of-a-kind talent.
Shihan has released many albums of his own that embody stylistic hip-hop tracks along with his own free-verse, a capella poetry. It is so refreshing to listen to a form of art that is proactive, self-reliant and ultimately just real.
Looking at online videos of Shihan's poetry slams, his eyes are closed with his arms stretched up high, he's pouring out the messages within his heart and it is truly fascinating. Shihan is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic speakers of our time—he opens the blindest eye to reveal earth-quivering realism.
"He is a very creative and versatile poet. He has this amazing ability to take his audience on a journey through his poetry whether it's emotional or mental. In addition, he can connect to his audience by making you laugh while at the same time making you think critically about what he's saying," said Ashley Yarbrough, programmer for ASP.
As coordinator of the event, Yarbrough is excited about Shihan's debut here at Sonoma State.
"The fact that he can connect to all cultures while making you feel the exact emotion that he is feeling is something that is very rare. He is a phenomenal poet."
This artist tries to seek the beauty within all the ugliness and speaks of salvation. In one of Shihan's famous free-verse poems, "Drum," he states, "I was born with a drum on the inside of my chest beating along my ribcage/ Color my spirit with a passion/ I'm forced to exhale a sigh so uninhibited/ Release from a truth so deep within/ My spine shivers as a brush with death." His talent is undeniable.
There are no stutters or awkward moments during his performances. Shihan's words flow freely from him in a funky yet earthy fashion.
Shihan is "struggling to carry the weight of the world" and releases it through emotional outpourings of his own scripture. The life of a poet is not an easy one, but Shihan states "would you still dream if no one inspired you?"
His stand-up, spoken word ranges from inspirational, to comical, from anger and to sadness. Shihan's earnest and lyrical truths pull at the heartstrings of any listener.
All of Shihan's work is full of grounding substance and thought-provoking insight on concepts such as race, discrimination and untainted love. He is a spokesperson for our generation, proving that it is possible to stand up for the truth within a corrupt world.
Shihan will hit the Pub in the Student Union this Thursday at 8 p.m. This ASP event is free for all students.
For more information and upcoming events, visit http://www.sonoma.edu/as/asp/.