The Soul Pros

The Soul Pros

I never sold out a show, or my soul
They say never say never but low and behold
Ever isn’t ever so forever I’m a glow
Dough or no dough my endeavors are a GO
- Mike Wird

Billboard vs. masterpiece up on the streets
Big money studios vs. home-cooked beats
Sex sells vs. b-girl skill
Studio thugs ballin’ vs. real souls rottin’ in jail
- Pablo Kee

The Soul Pros present a conundrum: Selling out vs. being Soul’d Out.  OG emcees Mike Wird and Pablo Kee lace DJ A-L’s soulful beats with down-to-earth flows and clever word play.  Classic hip-hop samples and audio snippets from old business seminars provide context.

When’s the last time your soul smiled at hip-hop?

This isn’t an album review and I’m not a music critic.  I’m an artist, often frustrated with the shady business aspects of this work I love.  At a moment I thought I needed a break from the game, $OUL’D OUT reminds me why we create.   I’m ready for more work.

Blessed to contribute to this project and add it to the cannon.  Soulful.  Professional.  Get it.

Autumn Sun

Summertime one mile high
city, red bricks tell the history.
Heat strokes begin to fade
and we bid her farewell,
as yellow school busses cast 7PM shadows
on the wide eyez of the winged.
They began to believe they ran everything
under longer dayz,
wearing their youth on their brows
running from time,
running from each other at play.
Loz vocez de los inmigrantes spilling out
into the streetz,
alongside the thick thump of el loco’s bass
cruizing by helado carts and lemonade stands
watching the streets signs change,
gentrified.
Star signs shifting abovehead, dancing with sliver moons
under grass blankets,
below Scorpio,
above doubts.
Even the grown folks, we thought we could do anything
like mountain streams running
and running, running like lil Carlos running from Jalene,
like lil Chris running from Esperanza,
running up and down the sizzling streets,
el jefe grilling carne asada,
mama boiling greens from the community farm,
Joslyn juicing fresh beets and carrots 
at the pop-up market on Welton Street,
summer setting on the North Side, South Denver,
West Side, East Side, Park Hill,
Montbello, out to Aurora
where suburbs are becoming inner-city,
schools closing and reopening under new names.
There were welcome back barbeques por las familias.
Everything changing, remembering how the hood felt so good
under the banner of Summertime―
fall winter spring we daydream
summer,
chanting down the autumn sun.

 

~ a poem by Molina Speaks

Community Charter School of Cambridge

A booking at Salem State University for National Hispanic Heritage Month led to several opportunities to work with youth in Boston and Cambridge.   Round the corner from MIT, this school boasts one of the most rigorous and impressive college prep programs in the nation, with open doors to students from underserved communities in the Boston area.

Read CCSC’s write-up on my visit: http://blog.ccscambridge.org/molina-speaks-visits-ccsc/#more-870

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Boston Arts Academy

Master Artist Class in public performance art by Molina Speaks

Boston Arts Academy, mixed majors, September 2013.

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Boston Arts Academy is a laboratory and a beacon for artistic and academic innovation. Boston Arts Academy prepares a diverse community of aspiring artist-scholars to be successful in their college or professional careers and to be engaged members of a democratic society.

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Edges of Earth

Wandering the edges of earth not long ago, going nowhere in particular, skipping over cracks in history, I stumbled upon that flower we have often spoken of.   That “Rose”, proving nature’s  laws wrong, learning to walk without feet… 

The ancients knew that before it could be, it must be

Imagined.

Here, we begin our journey. 

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Photo by Molina Speaks

About The Artist Lens

The Artist Lens blog experience is curated by Molina Speaks, dedicated to Poetry, Image, Muse, Open Letters, Arts Education and Profiles of artists and their work.  If the digital age is to be all encompassing, let it be artful.

Molina Speaks is a writer, poet, hip-hop artist, and event producer. Molina is the Performance Director and a Lead Instructor for Youth On Record. He is a TedX fellow and has been an Artist In Residence with the National Hispanic Heritage Center, Mizel Museum, Journey Through Our Heritage and Noel Community Arts School. He has worked on National Endowment for the Arts projects and has accepted invitations to speak and perform and dozens of universities, including Columbia University, University of California at Davis, UT Austin, CU Boulder, and the University of New Mexico. Molina Speaks has taught master artist classes at Boston Arts Academy and Colorado Academy. He has collaborated with the Denver Spirituals Project and was recognized as a keynote poet for 2013 Lalo Delgado Poetry Festival. Molina is the music supervisor for the documentary film Papers. He is a member of the Cafe Cultura artist collective. Molina has released over a dozen poetic and musical works, which have been recognized and critically acclaimed by the Denver Post, 5280 Magazine, Westword, Colorado Music Buzz and other publications.

For more information about the Artist visit www.MolinaSpeaks.com.

Email contact: molina@molinaspeaks.com