Brutha Gimel, spoken word poet and co-founder of Da’ Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, will be the featured poet of Another Type of Groove for Black History Month.
As a DJ, Gimel has been at the turntable for the holiday parties of the shows “The King of Queens” and “CSI: Miami,” was a member of Seattle’s National Slam Team and was a part of Roni Walters “Backstreet Poets.”
Generally, a lot of the featured poets are found on YouTube and invited to be a guest at Another Type of Groove (ATOG). This is Brutha Gimel’s first ATOG, but he came to Cal Poly in 2008 during May Mayhem, which highlighted University Union programs. He also performed several love poems, coordinator of MultiCultural Programs and Services Renoda Campbell said.
“He evoked a lot of positive emotions,” Campbell said. “He has a spectrum of poetry he recites, or ‘spits.’ You spit spoken word (poetry).”
While ATOG involves various forms of poetic expression — beatboxing, songs and basic poems — Gimel is known for his spoken word poetry. Marielle Cuison, lead advocate of ATOG, said while people hear ‘poetry,’ they always think it is like Shakespeare, but spoken word is for this generation — more upfront and a bit aggressive.
“It’s like performance poetry,” Cuison said. “It’s meant to be said out loud.”
The show will start off with an open mic session, followed by a set performed by Gimel. There will be a brief intermission and then a repeat. Cuison said she expects the guest poet to be good, since she has listened to Gimel on YouTube and his co-founders have been to Cal Poly before.
During open mic, people have a lot to say about a variety of topics. However, people come with an open mind and no one has become upset enough to yell at the performers, Cuison said.
“I would expect people would be kind of angry, like ‘Why did they say that?’ or ‘How could they say that?’” Cuison said. “But at the same time we have to respect that. You can’t call it open mic if it’s not open.”
Electrical engineering senior Adonna Anderson was not only an emcee, but also a participant in ATOG. Anderson said she attends the event as often as she can and thinks everyone should attend ATOG at least once to see if they like it.
The poets address a diversity of topics, including love, life, politics, diversity and their families, and the audience gets someone else’s perspective on life in the form of a poem, which is “creative and always cool,” Anderson said.
“Honestly, if people go to it and get something out of it, it’s the best fulfillment,” Anderson said. “I get inspired from going to it, so hopefully someone gets inspired.”
While she hasn’t heard Gimel, Anderson said she always expects ATOG guests to be great, as well as the open mic. The last time Anderson attended, someone performed a love poem, and was followed by another poet whose poem was about hating love poems.
“It wasn’t really a conflict, but it was kind of ironic that they went right after each other,” she said.
Another Type of Groove: Spoken Word will be held in the Chumash Auditorium on Feb. 2 from 7:30 to 10 p.m.