Spitting more equalizing meaning

Poets in MPLS going far and beyond Uranus for affecting language.

Spoken-word poet Guante poses for a photograph on Tuesday outside of Canvas in Paul. Guante will be one of the hosts for the Equilibrium Spoken Word on Thursday at the Loft Literary Center.

Anthony Kwan

Spoken-word poet Guante poses for a photograph on Tuesday outside of Canvas in Paul. Guante will be one of the hosts for the Equilibrium Spoken Word on Thursday at the Loft Literary Center.

Grace Gouker

WHAT: Equilibrium Spoken Word

WHEN:Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave. S.

COST: Free

So many hip-hop artists âÄî and lyricists in general âÄî are capable of grabbing listenersâÄô attention while still spitting the worst, most meaningless string of words imaginable. Case in point, oldKanye singing, âÄúMy apologies, are you into astrology / Cause IâÄôm, IâÄôm tryinâÄô to make it to Uranus,âÄù on JadakissâÄô 2004 album âÄúKiss of Death.âÄù Charming.

Not to sound like an old-school marm, but what does that slew of atrocious nonsense contribute to the literary and music communities? And what does it put at the forefront for those growing up with it? Try that one at a party this weekend, guy, and see what happens. Using that line may have worked on Kim Kardashian, but Kanye, we all know you can do better.

Guante, born Kyle Tran Myhre, and Idris Goodwin , along with Lisa Brimmer and Ed Bok Lee, at this monthâÄôs installment of âÄúEquilibriumâÄù at the Loft, are two artists doing it better.

âÄúEspecially when it comes to hip-hop, [Goodwin] has a certain credibility that a lot of other people who write about hip-hop just donâÄôt have,âÄù Myhre said. âÄúItâÄôs in the ideas, but itâÄôs also in the approach and the language.âÄù

For Goodwin, the featured guest at this monthâÄôs installment of âÄúEquilibrium,âÄù the focus is the message and who hears it. In his newest book, âÄúThese Are the Breaks,âÄù Goodwin takes on the material memory of vinyl LPs, Run DMC, metal kids and copyright and intellectual property rights in sampling. As an ardent fan of spoken word and hip-hop as a teenager, he remembers how it all started.

âÄúI was a mess in high school. Head in the clouds. Distracted. Obsessed with comic books and rap music. Giant feet and an awful jump shot. I am shocked that I made it out alive,âÄù Goodwin said.

The aggregating influences seem to reference back to his love for hip-hop as a genre.

âÄúAll artists create their individual style by blending a wide range of influence,âÄù Goodwin said. âÄúIn hip-hop culture, you donâÄôt have to hide it.âÄù

For Myhre, much of the satisfaction felt in hip-hop and spoken word comes in providing these cathartic forms for his students. The accessibility of the genres to so many students that he reaches out to transforms their frustration into meaningful and affecting conversation.

âÄúI love hosting an open mic and looking out into a room of sixty or seventy students from so many different schools, identities, walks of life and social circles,âÄù Myhre said. âÄúItâÄôs not just the art itself that matters, itâÄôs the community that is created through art.âÄù

Myhre is working on a book of essays himself, integrating poetry as well. He plans to cover hip-hop, spoken word, ideas of identity and activism.

These âÄúEquilibriumâÄù artists have managed to keep hip-hop and spoken word at a level of high integrity. The genres evoke expectations of thoughtful, word-conscious artistic communication, and they fly far and above these expectations. No 6th-grade anatomical jokes involved.