I stumbled across this interview that I did for 8th Note newsletter. It was a publication of the L.Y.R.I.C., the poetry ministry I founded at Empowerment Temple. I was pretty impressed with my answers to the questions.
AN INTERVIEW WITH FOUNDER OF LYRIC MINISTRY
8Q. Why do you write?
Sjb: To be honest, my poetry is a product of my rebellion. When I was a teen, my mother, read my diary that I used to write in every night. From that point on I decided to write in code, something I thought she wouldn’t understand which virtually became rhymed meter and my poetry. But that was then. Today, I write for peace, for clarity for proximity; I want to be closer to HIM. If I never get on a mic, HE still gets the glory. If I never share a couplet, HIS word is still true.
8Q. What message do you usually want to convey when you recite your writings to an audience?
Sjb: For the last few years my pen has had a mind of its own. When I start writing words manifest and my flow becomes this sermon type of thing. I never want to be preachy in my poetry but I do seek to enlighten the audience. Hip Hop has blessed and cursed us, I believe poetry is our savior.
8Q When you first did poetry for the church did you think LYRIC would grow the way it has? Why or Why not?
Sjb: L.Y.R.I.C. happened overnight. I was a closet poet and one night I wrote a piece called “ENdangered Black Man,” and I shared it with Pastor Bryant and he asked me to perform it in church the next day. I didn’t have time to practice or get it down or anything. No one had ever heard my poetry and he encouraged me to share. I read that poem in front of 300 or so people at the Baltimore Grand and received a standing O. I was shocked, still am. A ministry was birthed right then and there. If God could take a sinner like me, decode my words and translate them into something thought provoking and powerful… then he could manifest a ministry and birth greatness like Myisha and Keith and Alvin . LYRIC is one of the greatest gifts that G-d has given me and The Empowerment Temple.
8Q What message do you want to share with current LYRIC members and future LYRIC members?
Sjb: My advice is simple: Practice makes perfect. The more you write the better you become. The more you perform the less anxiety. The more you pray the closer you are to your destiny. The more you give back the more he gives to you. Know the difference between performing and ministry. I believe that G-d honors the poet and that everything we release in ministry he restores in our lives.