22 Years of Media Targeting the Interest of Women of Color
When it comes to “Keeping it Real” or “Representing,” you should look no further than to female hip hop artist Spoken Word. The heartfelt messages expressed through her work say that she is a true representation of a virtuous woman. Some say that she is the Erica Badu of hip hop and the Jill Scott of rap. To her fans, she is a beautiful, inspiring, intelligent, young lady, and the way she presents herself is definitely a game changer. The last time we’ve heard from a voice such as hers was through legendary emcees such as Lauryn Hill and MC Lyte. What we see in this queen is the realness in a strong black woman; the average round the way girl who promotes the beauty in hip hop. She has Sharp lyrical skills, hot metaphors, dope style and skills that can educate, encourage, uplift, and make your head nod all at the same time. She is called the heart of hip hop solely because through her spoken word and hip hop performances she is able to touch the heart and soul of her audience, and she also has heart for a female hip hop rapper. She is very passionate about delivering a message that promotes mental growth, cultural awareness, self-awareness, community empowerment and equality. Such messages are some of the elements of hip hop that are not often promoted.
Spoken Word was born in small town Suffolk, VA where she grew up in a low income neighborhood during the time drugs flooded poorer black communities throughout the nation. A recession was a normal thing for her household where she was the middle child of four in a single parent home. In the midst of it all, she developed a gift that would change her life forever. She learned how to rap. Spoken Word better known as Lady Vixen during that time did not have a hard time getting attention in the male dominated genre. By the time she was 12, she was performing in local schools. One of the highlights of her life was performing an educational rap over the loud speaker for her peers, proving that she does have the ability to speak in front of large crowds. Her first poem was published at the age of 13, and placed on the back of the schools programs for graduation that year. Literally, it was her passion that gave her inspiration to do positive things in rap. But that wouldn’t last long.
“When you grow up poor, it changes your way of thinking. It’s easy to get caught up in the traps of the streets especially when all you see is negativity around you. As a female growing up in a rough area, you have to be tough because there is always someone lurking around to try to pimp, manipulate or trap you.” Spoken Word
It was then that her lyrics became more hardcore. She joined up with an all-male rap group along with her twin brother G Valley. The group was known as Southside Soldiers. After performing with them for a few years, the group called it quits. Instead of continuing to make music, she solely began writing poetry. To Sharon, spoken word was deep and it addressed the real things that were going on in poorer black communities. But calling it quits wasn’t really an option for her because of the love and passion she has for the hip hop culture.
In May 2009 she released her first album, “Hip Hop Will Never Die” which was produced by Brooklyn producer and husband “Mike Millz.” Hip Hop Will Never Die gained international attention and placed in online stores throughout the world. She was even surprised to see the album sold in places such as Australia, Poland, and especially Ireland. Outside of her lyricism, she has had a full experience within her career as a Spoken Word Artist.
She released her second album, “After the Pain” on July 24, 2010. Releases such as The Realness and Ghost Town Anthem gave her even more recognition throughout her country (United States) as a female artist. Also spoken word pieces produced on that album such as Going out with a Bang, Victim of Society, and My Eulogy reached the ears of fans throughout the world. According to her demographics, she’s been able to reach listeners in places such as Germany, Kenya, South Africa, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Mexico, Canada, France, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Qatar United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Jamaica, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Argentina, United Kingdom and Belgium. Her audience ranges between the ages of 13-55+.
Look for her again in 2012 as she is now working on her first book and next album. In addition to that, she has also established a networking site (Word Life Production) that brings cultural awareness within urban communities. Through this organization, Spoken Word wishes to promote social change, social political justice, community empowerment, economic development, diversity, and a variety of talent.
Features and Performances
January 2009-December 2009
Lyrics Inc. Magazine
BTR w/Shema Girls (Detroit)
WDKK’s Conversations w/Diane Broomfield (Maryland)
Featured Artist on Tribe Magazine (to relate in beautiful energy) (New York/New Jersey)
Blog Talk Radio-Mystery Loves Company (Maryland)
Featured Artist on album, “Who is Paul Lipsey Volume I (song-CHILL) (New York-New Jersey)
January 2010-December 2010
Performed -Nais 1st Poetry Lounge (Louisville, KY)
Poetic Works Event w/E Michel Paul (Oceanside, CA)
Da Poetry Lounge 2nd place (by .5 points) Slam competition winner (Los Angeles, CA)
Opened for D Militant, “Why We Laugh Event” (Showtime Documentary) Malcolm X Library (San Diego, CA)
Featured Artist -Train of Thought (San Diego, CA)
Expressions Radio w/Bad Boy 1Love (California)
Featured Artist w/Khadijah Ali-Coleman Liberated Muse (Washington, DC)
Reader with an Attitude Event-RWA (Richmond, VA)
Juneteenth Celebration w/Washington’s National Opera (Washington, DC)
Rally-Scott Sisters (Washington, DC)
Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest (Washington, DC)
Word Play Wednesday (Forestville, MD)
January 2011-December 2012
Winner of the track competition at URTHEMOVEMENT-Ghost Town Anthem (California)
Featured Artist Playlist Yo!Raps Feb.-May (Europe)
WPED Radio-Queen Court (Minnesota)
Featured-Bless the Mic TV episode (New Jersey)
Featured Artist Day-One Production (New Jersey)
Featured Artist-Word Life Production (Virginia)
Interviewed w/RikkiNell-Blog Talk Radio (Florida)
Featured Publications: USA Today, India Times, Virginia News, NPR, World Book and News, etc.